Monday, July 2, 2007

Grub Street Rag, 7/2/07

"Characters take on life sometimes by luck, but I suspect it is when you can write more entirely out of yourself, inside the skin, heart, mind, and soul of a person who is not yourself, that a character becomes in his own right another human being on the page."

-- Eudora Welty

grub street gossip.

Welcome to the Grub Street Rag, a newsletter of the Boston literary scene sent out every Monday from the granite outcropping at Grub Street's world headquarters. As always, if you are receiving this e-mail in horror, please advance to the bottom of the page to unsubscribe yourself.

Poetry Book Prize Winner Announced
We are thrilled to announce that Linda Gregg has won the first Grub Street
Book Prize in Poetry
for her collection In the Middle Distance (Graywolf Press, 2006). Gregg is the author of five previous poetry collections, including Things and Flesh and Too Bright To See. A poet of international acclaim, Linda Gregg has taught at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, and the University of California at Berkeley. She currently lives in New York and teaches at Princeton University.

You will have two opportunities to meet and learn in person from Linda Gregg. The first is on Friday, December 7th, 2007 at 7:00 PM, when she will be reading from her work at Grub Street. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and a reception. The next morning, Saturday, December 8th, from 10AM -12PM, she will lead a free craft class on poetry writing for Grub Street members. Do not miss this extraordinary opportunity to work with one of the country's most accomplished poets.

This year's contest attracted many excellent and worthy submissions, and we were honored to read so much great and varied work. We would also like to congratulate our two wonderful finalists: G. C. Waldrep for Disclamor (BOA Editions, Fall 2007) and Peter Pereira's What's Written on the Body (Copper Canyon, 2006).

The New York Times Book Review
We just discovered this cool underground literary publication and thought you might want to check it out. Kidding! But... you should take a look at the article in the July 1st edition by amazing writer (and Grub friend) Martha Southgate. It’s an essay about the apparent scarcity of African-American writers of literary fiction, and you can find it in the paper issue or at this link (along with a podcast with editors Sam Tanenhaus and Jennifer Schuessler and a short list of little-known African-American writers): . Read it and forward it on to anyone you think would be interested.

Softball Department (brought to you by guest sportscaster, Tom Champoux)
MEDFORD –This week’s “Softball in a word”: Abnegation.
Yes, it’s true. The road-weary, perhaps ill-prepared Word-Slingers took their game to Medford, and, while tossing practice balls and stretching our quads, we somehow managed to lose. Yes, sadly, the ratio of Word-Slingers in vs. out of Medford was quite large, and we did not have the required eight players to field a team.

But mercy asked, mercy found. Two gracious opponents – Mike and Sara – offered to take their place next to the Word-Slingers and the game was on. Since the game was officially ruled a forfeiture, score was not kept, making the day a whole lot more fun for everyone.

And fun it was. Becky and Kate both continue to exhibit ferocious power at the plate. Brian put on a third base clinic and Tom again pitched a beauty of a game. Such a resplendent site did we make that a random spectator named Anthony left his girlfriend sitting on a rock so he too could join the ranks of Word-Slingers.

The highlight of the game, at least for me, came in the form of my very own long, rolling homerun. And as I rounded third I glimpsed my two young kids, Abby and Eli, shrieking and jumping with delight for their huffing, red-faced dad. What pleasure it is to experience the complete and utter joy of softball through the eyes of two proud and enthusiastic tots. True Word-Slingers in the making.

As for the loss? Remember, that which does not kill us makes us better writers.

Whitney, Chris, Paige and Sonya

Welcome to the end of the e-mail, where, like the manliest manatee, we offer you the chance to win a prize. Rudyard Kipling wrote a series of stories to entertain his daughter, Josephine. Though British-born, Kipling knew much about American geography, and included what list of Massachusetts landmarks in one of these stories? Please name the title of the collection of stories, as well as the list of Massachusetts landmarks. Email your answer to Whitney. Winner receives a gift certificate for ice cream at J.P. Licks.

Answer to last week's quiz: Ian McEwan has been convicted of a crime. While writing On Chesil Beach, McEwan pilfered stones from Chesil Beach and was ordered to return them by the British authorities. Winner: Judy Salzman.

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