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All posts by Keith Taylor, MQR Associate Editor

Returning to Greece

Why our continuing attraction to Greece? There is something in that small country out there on the edge of Europe that doesn’t feel like the rest of the continent. Part of the attraction is certainly to the very different modern history, and to a landscape shaped by human use yet still oddly wild.

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Ahem, dear National Book Foundation…

by Keith Taylor

I feel grateful to Northern Illinois University Press for publishing Something That Feels Like Truth by Donald Lystra. It is a book that deserves an audience, even in a time when we are uncertain who might comprise an audience for well written, passionate fiction. We’re not sure if the effort is valued even by people who are supposed to value it. Just this last week (and I’m writing this in mid-January) someone at the National Book Foundation, when explaining their expanded short list of finalists for the National Book Award, slurred, in passing, “collections of short stories published by university presses,” implying that no one would actually want to read these books.

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One More Summer (Make that Fall) Reading List

by Keith Taylor

As for poetry criticism, I am reading a critical book on Jean Follain, but in English the book I’m looking forward to the most is The Embattled Lyric: Essays and Conversations in Poetics and Anthropology by Nathaniel Tarn. Tarn came through Ann Arbor earlier this year and gave a couple of great presentations through the One Pause Poetry Series (you can see what they do and access videos of the readings they sponsor and the conversations they have with poets at www.onepausepoetry.org). Tarn has thought deeply about the intersections of the art with the culture that creates the art, more deeply than some other poets, and more originally than some academics. Plus he is the poet who came up with the idea of the “bird-scape,” the notion that a bird in a landscape changes our perception of the landscape. How can I not love him?

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Book on Planes

by Keith Taylor

We have all participated in the discussion about the new ways of reading, the end of the book, the new literacy, etc., etc., ad infinitum. And things are certainly changing. I’m not going to fight any rear-guard neo-luddite battles. I’ve read the reports in Publishers Weekly and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The change has happened. So I thought I would pay attention during some holiday traveling this year, and try to see what, if anything, people might be reading on planes and in airports.