Fooling With Words: A Celebration of Poets and Their Craft by Bill Moyers
A rich selection of interviews with poets at the 1998 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Waterloo, New Jersey. See especially Stanley Kunitz, Mark Doty and Marge Piercy, whose work and beliefs about writing and the power of words touch me especially.
Ava's Man by Rick Bragg
The story of Bragg's maternal grandfather, a man the author never knew, but a legend in Bragg's big Southern family. Beautifully written, lovingly told. Bragg's is a compelling, entertaining voice.
Ahab's Wife: or The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund
A spellbinding book, the story of an adventurous woman in 19th century New England. I was totally taken with the voice of the narrator, her growth through the novel, her connections to real and fictitious people. Naslund incorporates the story of the sinking of the whaleship Essex in the novel and I had just read In the Heart of the Sea so I ended up spending the whole summer whaling, dreaming, alive in another time.
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
A book like The Perfect Storm, in reading this you enter the complex world of whaling, of living on a small ship with people you hardly know, of surviving or failing to survive disaster. The story of the Essex inspired Melville's Moby Dick and Naslund's protagonist, disguised as a deckhand, was onboard that ship.
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