The Education of Oronte Churm
November 14, 2010 - 6:15am
Many small mammals in the Midwest are driven mad by fall lusts. Not just undergraduates, either: A whole new crop of out-of-season juvenile squirrels with thin coats and skinny, hairless tails has been roaming the neighborhood, causing our children to shout, “Look at the rat in that tree!” Dogs bark all night, coons maraud and scream, and our housecats dash for doors that smell of freedom. Dust, warmth, and leaf smoke quickly change to cold equatorial downpours. It’s pneumonia weather.
October 23, 2010 - 1:00pm
Remember the scene in Disney’s Pinocchio where the wooden boy jumps into the sea to look for his father, who’s been swallowed by a giant whale named Monstro? It strikes me how well the animators understood and portrayed the way bodies move underwater. Maybe Milt Kahl’s reputed obsession with getting the art right led him to observe deep-sea divers; at the least I’m convinced he was once a great swimmer.
October 16, 2010 - 6:15pm
The Youth Literature Festival held here last weekend and sponsored by the College of Education featured an appearance by author Jim Aylesworth, whose work you likely know if you have children or are younger than 35.
October 1, 2010 - 4:30am
Duff Brenna’s novels include The Book of Mamie, Too Cool, The Altar of the Body, The Law of Falling Bodies, and The Willow Man. Honors for his work include the AWP Best Novel Award, Favorite Book of the Year Award from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a Pushcart Honorable Mention, Milwaukee Magazine Best Short Story of the Year Award, inclusion on the New York Times Noteworthy list, and an NEA fellowship.
September 24, 2010 - 5:45pm
A friend in another department asked a few months ago how my semester was finishing out. I told him about my classes, which included a lit lecture with 240 students, a creative writing workshop, and an independent study, as well as two or three honors-project students. He said, “You taught more IUs [instructional units] than my entire department.” I laughed, and he said: “No, really.” (I also did readings and interviews and otherwise tried to promote my novel that semester as I was putting final edits on the brief nonfiction book.)