Letters

Letters 02-01-2016

Real Contamination In 1968, Chicago (its Mayor Richard Daley in particular) felt menaced by anti-war protesters (Abbie Hoffman in particular) threatening to put the hallucinogenic LSD into Chicago’s water supply. In reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., we reacted vigorously to a perceived threat of chemical or biological terrorist attacks on our water supply. A religious cult contaminating a city water tank with salmonella in Oregon, sickening about 700, was the only such attack in our country until now. The water supply of Flint, Mich., was attacked and contaminated, not by terrorists or protesters, but by our own government...

Why The Muslim Debate? I was passing through your fine town last week and picked up a couple copies of Northern Express. There I noted a discourse concerning the Muslim situation in Dearborn. It is interesting to note that I see similar conversations in newspapers and blogs throughout the country and, in fact, throughout the world...

Kachadurian Has It All Wrong Thank you for continuing to publish Thomas Kachadurian’s bigoted editorials. If not for this publication, I wouldn’t know that such people lived in my sweet northern Michigan...

Over The Line I felt Sarah Palin crossed the line when she indicated our president did not care about those like her son who came home wounded. No one challenges her on these remarks; to me it is shameful...

Flints’ Man-made Disaster Governor Snyder’s Financial Emergency Manager Law has created a State of Emergency in Flint. In 2011, newly elected Governor Snyder signed Public Act 4, giving him the freedom to take over any city government his office found financially bankrupt, with power to override any decision of elected city officials. This law showed his primary motive — money before people. In November 2012, the People of Michigan voted down his Financial Emergency Manager Law, as they resented losing control of their cities. In December 2012, he showed his contempt for the people’s vote and signed a revised version, one that did not give power back to the people...

Defending the AR15 And Gun Rights I was amazed to read David Downer’s recent letter. He admits he is a gun owner but he expresses his ignorance of what an “assault rifle” really is, and thereby spreads the antigun position that an AR15 is an assault rifle...

Home · Articles · News · Books · Soul Searching
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Soul Searching

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli - May 31st, 2010
Soul Searching: Three take top prize in Michigan Writers Chapbook Contest
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
As all writers eventually discover, writing is a lonely business. Not just the hours spent at a computer, but the aftermath — trying to sell the work that has kept the writer busy for months, or even years. As local writer John Mauk notes: “Authors can’t write and then fall into a hole… Authors have to carry their work into the world — even when it’s heavy.”
It’s because of this ‘carrying into the world’ that the Michigan Writers organization began a chapbook contest in 2005. Chapbooks tend to be small books issued by poets or essayists for an appreciative readership of like-minded souls.
The three winners of the 2010 Michigan Writers’ Chapbook contest are John Mauk, English rhetoric professor at NMC, for his short stories, “The Rest of Us”; Jennifer Sperry Steinorth for her poetry collection, “Forking the Swift”; and Sarah Baughman for her essays, “Growing in Seasons.”
What are their thoughts on the writing life?
“In a previous life, I was a dog,” Mauk says. “Whenever I like something, I want to howl back in kind. Years ago, after I finished my PhD in rhetoric, I decided that I was going to read fiction, get my head into something besides theory. Along the way I rediscovered the novel—what it does, how it pulls you forward and knocks you around. It’s taken me years of weird noises, awful guttural hacking, to make a sound worthy of the wind. In short, this is my first formal literary howl.”

SOLITARY ACT
Of being one of this year’s winners, essayist Sarah Baughman of Petoskey has this to say: “Writing is a fairly solitary act, but ultimately you hope that your words will ring true for others and in some way echo a common human experience.”
Baughman says her collection “tracks my pregnancy and my son’s birth within the framework of Northern Michigan’s four seasons. Working on this collection has reminded me of the surprises inherent in the writing process.”
Poet, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy where she majored in dance, is a builder and designer for a small, green-building company in Traverse City. When asked why she writes, Jennifer says, “That’s a hard one to answer. We try and make sense. Sometimes the conversations we have are internal, but it’s easy to get lost in the mind. Wishing to put one’s work into the world publicly is like wishing to participate in a conversation that one has been listening to, rapt, knowing full well that one may sound very foolish.”
Of being chosen a winner in the Michigan Writers Chapbook contest, Steinorth adds, “We are rich to live in a place of such bounty: where exquisite food is produced both for body and the soul. I am humbled and grateful to those at Michigan Writers for providing this opportunity to add my fare to the cart, in hopes that someone may find some sustenance there.”
The three beautifully designed and published chapbooks are now out and available from Michigan Writers - www.michwriters.org - and in local bookstores.

Elizabeth Buzzelli’s new mystery, “Dead Sleeping Shaman” is now available at local bookstores.

 
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