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An Evening with Natalie Díaz

Natalie Díaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She is also the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. Díaz is also a well-decorated poet with a Pulitzer Prize for her most recent Postcolonial Love Poem, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the … Read More

Translating Stories to Make Sense

If this story doesn’t speak to you, you are lucky. If this story doesn’t speak to you yet, it will. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia. A progressive brain disease, Alzheimer’s actually starts decades before the first signs appear. Symptoms … Read More

Trethewey and the Casta Paintings

Natasha Trethewey has served as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), and as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She has also published, to date, eight books of poetry. Thrall, published win 2012, was a Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 Finalist and a Best Poetry Finalist, a 2013 Southern Independent Booksellers … Read More

Summer Tales: One Poem, One Story

As the Summer Tales Book Club program is winding down, it’s time to reflect on some great moments of Summer Tales 2021. With over 40 students enrolled and active on and off since June 1, 2021, we were delighted to meet readers of different tastes and backgrounds in this virtual intellectual community. The books recommended … Read More

Confessions of a Part-Time Interviewer

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting poet Natalie Díaz for a Zoom reading and discussion, and a few weeks ago in late June we had author Carmen Maria Machado for a similar event. I had the particular pleasure of being the one to talk to both, asking them questions drawn from our preregistered … Read More

Language Preservation on Both Sides of the Iron Curtain

Matapris oli. The only sentence I remember from my one-semester course of an endangered Finno-Ugric language called Mansi, as part of the Master’s program at the Kossuth Lajos University (KLTE), Debrecen, Hungary at the end of the 1970s. To fulfill the requirements in diachronic linguistics, we had to pick one language from the Finno-Ugric language … Read More

Natalie Díaz and the Mojave Language

While Natalie Díaz is known internationally for her poetry, she is also passionate about preserving the Mojave language. Díaz’s work with the Mojave language comes from both a desire to preserve and to better understand it. The Poetry Foundation’s biography of Díaz includes a quote from the poet explaining how language impacts her work. She … Read More

Poetry and Recipes

In addition to my position at Rutgers as a part-time business librarian, I am also a food writer and historian. While the vocations might not seem connected, they really do work well in tandem. The database-searching proficiency I gleaned through my M.L.S. (Rutgers, 1997) combined with many years working in corporate libraries allows me to … Read More

Persimmons… friend or foe?

In November of 2009 a boy named Brady invited me out to his farm home in Creal Springs, Illinois, which is roughly 45 mins outside of Carbondale, Illinois (SIUC) where I lived at the time, and where we met. Brady’s home was a natural paradise and plant lover’s dream as the farm had once been … Read More