Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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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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