Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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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