Even More Erotic Adventures of Allen Ruskin, Headmaster of Educational Aid

Ruskin stood in the doorway of the musty mausoleum. They were in the Royal Cemetery, Ruskin dressed as a horned haerlequin in red spandex that fit a bit too tightly around his ship-captain buttocks and his frontal hornpipe. Standing next to him was his protege, Pip, dressed as a parrot.

The mausoleum was full of new bodies -- all young girls, all laying back in perfect repose as if they were simply asleep, waiting for their Prince Charming to wake them. Little did they know what horrifying love spider had slipped his way into their places of final rest and repose. Ruskin, the dastardly devil and deleterious dragon deigned to debar and debase Death's door to delight in delirium his dark dreams of demon debauchery!

"They all took their lives -- poison mainly," explained Pip, plumping up the plumage of his hat, which was already beginning to wilt in the fetid, damp air. He flinched as a bat flew too close overhead.

Ruskin walked among the corpses, indelicately letting his fingers touch them in ways they never would have allowed in life. "Yes -- the sweet words of that alliterative ass, Corwin Cobbins. His romantic writings have made my rascally wrongings much more difficult. Now they all want talk of love, and kisses, and actual feelings! And this! Look at all these fresh flowers who have been struck down before they wilted. If I didn't know better, I'd say Cobbins was working for the French."

"It is very sad indeed. My Joe used to say --"

Ruskin wasn't done. "Why in the world would the woe of one wastrel's words waste such winsome wafers of womanly wonders! Look at this one! Her beauteous orbs rival the moons of Jupiter! And this one! She has a bottom like a ripe mango -- so juicy, so sweet --"

"I think that's leaking embalming fluid, sir," squeaked Pip.

"Dammit! I wasn't being literal, you literal louse! What on earth is wrong with you? You almost stemmed my appetite!"

"I don't like it here -- we'll get caught -- by the police or, or ..." Pip glanced around in fright.

"Or what?" snapped the excited eliciter of Eros, yanking his tights into a more comfortable position. His jester cap rang in the darkness.

"Ghosts??" squeaked Pip.

Ruskin laughed, "Ha! What kind of age do you think we live in? Ghosts are for old Papists and scared little girls (who may need a good warm cuddling to get back into bed -- ha ha)! I'd expect Bart to say something like that, but not you. Did I not tell you about the helper monkeys?"

"True ..."

"We are well into a new century! And it calls for something even more rapacious than I have ever attempted before!"

"I think you had too many cosmopolitans at the Halloween party, sir."

"Shut up, Pip!" Ruskin's eyes crawled around the room like two furry spiders who were looking to eat something like a fly or a cockroach or a wasp or an ant or maybe a very small duck. "We are like two childish cherubs in a confectioner's castle!"

"What do you mean?" quaked Pip.

"If you are to be my protege, you must get one thing absolutely clear," growled Ruskin.


"A day with your pants on is a day wasted -- now, let's see what kind of Resurrectionists we are. I'm feeling something rise from the dead as we speak!"

*** Can Allen, the asinine adulteror, sink any lower? Find out next week!

Taking stock

I feel like we are losing the point of this meeting place. I have no idea anymore what people are even working on, who has published where, what people think of various books that are out there, or even why this site still exists. Cristina was on Talk of the Nation a few weeks ago, and no one said a word. I only discovered that by accident. Daniel is in the New Yorker this week. That's huge -- or at least it used to be. I'm not going to review that story because I love that man even if he only wrote shopping lists, but damn ... Daniel is in the f-ing New Yorker this week. And you -- yes, you -- YOU have been writing and maybe even publishing something, but we don't know what it is or how hard or wonderful or frustrating it is. (Unless you have a blog.)

Here's what I think the problem is: this blog has lost its newness, its immediacy, its cachet, its vibrancy. It will soon be 2007 -- four years post-IWW for our class. Many of the people here now have their own blogs that are usually much better attended to, that are updated much more often. I think maybe this place has run its course. There is a limit to how many places on the Internets people can get to in a day, a week, a lifetime. There is a limit to how much effort people want to put into propping up a connection, a community, a feeling that is receding into the past. I have spent a fair amount of time in the past two years on this blog, and if I had spent that time on my own fiction, maybe my novel would be done. Okay, probably not, but I did it because it's exciting to stay in touch with people who populated one of the favorite times in my life. It's exciting to still feel connected to a group of smart people who write. I don't regret a minute of it. But maybe we have all moved on from this need and are looking forward now into our lives. Maybe the workshop buzz has finally worn off.

I feel like this blog is just hanging out there, usually beyond even my range of attention, a pointless anachronism getting dustier in scattered link lists. I believe I would feel cleaner in my daily life were I to just end it and move on, putting what little time energy I still lend it back into my own writing. The Sword of Damocles trembles above!


A decade of birthdays with Traca de Broon

Baby tdb

Today this impossibly cute little cherub has officially outlived Jesus, a worthy effort meriting a bit of a retrospective for Traca de Broon (the Irish version her real name, for the curious). It has been my privilege and good fortune to have spent ten of these birthdays with the love of my life, so let's take a stroll down a winding little street called Memory Lane...

1996 - 24 years old
I had known her just six months. We had become friends working together as editors at a certain Bay Area book-publishing company. I got myself assigned as her mentor, and our first lesson took place at a nearby Thai restaurant over lunch. Soon the package of editing materials was casually laid aside as we turned our earnest attention to taking care of the Singhas that somehow kept coming and ended up precipitating a certain tardy, blurry return to our desks. On her birthday, we attended a party at our friend Sat's, who had introduced us, and on the ride back to San Francisco from San Mateo, we occupied the back seat. Don't recall how I managed that, but between us panted my black chow mix, and in the course of our innocent petting of the creature my right hand and her left came into contact, a happenstance akin to when chocolate met peanut butter. A chain reaction of heat and electricity erupted in me. Sweat literally popped off my forehead. Immediately I was cranking down the window seeking relief, to little avail, from the passing highway air. The chain reaction was terminal, though, and soon spread into the rest of our lives, culminating in my decision that I had no desire to go through life without her, leading to my departure from my previous living arrangement and my appearance at her apartment August 17th 1997 with a paper bag of meager belongings and my scooter helmet. She had an orange Karmann Ghia, two cats, and one fork, which she had stolen from the lunch room at work. The object of her grandest larceny, of course, was my heart!

karmann ghia

1997 - 25 years old
Cohabitating in her humble studio apartment two blocks from the Upper Haight, we had been invited to dinner with friends at a swank and trendy French restaurant in the Financial district at a time when we had, literally, about a hundred dollars between us. The place was called Plouf, which she later said was the sound of a bag of money being thrown into a river. Afterward, we went to a bar with some of those friends and, I am sorry to say, I stupidly got very high and allowed my insecurities and demons to run rampant for a few hours. This was the birthday of hers that I ruined with an emotional outburst of a pathetic and obnoxious nature, and the fact that she forgave me has since served as a reminder of how just lucky I am.

1998 - 26 years old
T was training for her first marathon, which meant she was being healthy, eating right, not drinking, not smoking. Oh, how I hated the New Way! Again, my selfishness is astonishing and shameful in retrospect, but at least I don't deny it anymore. We spent the birthday evening at her sister's house a few neighborhoods away, a mild event featuring wine and cake and the presentation of her present, which had been split between Tamara, their father, and myself: a hammered dulcimer (T was, and I soon became, a huge Dead Can Dance fan, and if you know the band, the dulcimer will make perfect sense). It wasn't long before I was a lucky and frequent listener, and the song her teacher drilled into her was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and the apartment was, I believe I mentioned, a small studio with two cats.

1999 - 27 years old
We had moved some months before from San Francisco to Galway, Ireland, because why not, and because T had family on her mother's side all over that charming little island and had spent a lot of time there growing up. For her birthday we arranged to meet Ralph and Vanessa, friends who lived in Plymouth but who were travelling in Europe, in Barcelona. (Yes, chastened, flawed I knew I had some making up to do...) Of course we strutted the Ramblas, looking every bit as hot as any of those curvaceous, classy, couture Catalonians, or at least she did, looked as hot, that is, and we ended up on a rooftop next to a spectacular Gaudi-designed structure, being serenaded by a friend and cotraveler of R & V, who drove a bus in his non-Barcelona life and had brought his saxophone.

2000 - 28 years old
We had moved some months before to Utrecht, the Netherlands, because why not, and because T was getting her master's degree in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. At this time we were nine months away from getting married, which was going to happen in Holland, meaning family and friends would be forced to leave, briefly, AmericaWorld, and they deserved to be welcomed by a couple that was not fat and nasty, hence an effort was underway to Be Good -- a new New Way, one that I was finally on board with. However, our apartment was over a Middle Eastern restaurant and next door to a hash bar. Outside our streetside window our downfall awaited in the form of one huge bright sign blaring "WIETSTOCK" ("WEEDSTOCK" - get it?) and another trumpeting "SHALOM - BEST SHOARMA IN TOWN" (shoarma = spiced meat hacked off a twirling slab and stuffed into a pita). The rest of that birthday, after we gave in to these twin vices, is unavailable to memory.

2001 - 29 years old
We had moved some months before to Iowa City, because of the reason whose faint traces echo through this blog, and T was delighted to discover that sushi was available in Iowa. We had too much sake and laughed uncontrollably at our little table at Three Samurai in Coralville. It was a Wednesday, and at my misguided insistence we went to TalkArt afterward, where we were shockingly inappropriate, making out in a booth while the poor writer read her story about a rape.

2002 - 30 years old
We packed the Sanctuary with friends and had a classic session for the "home birthday," and spent a couple days in Chicago for the "away birthday," where we pretended we were still in our 20s and went to a dark, divey club on the west side and saw the New Duncan Imperials, a rowdy, legendary bar band. Sure we shook our asses.

2003 - 31 years old
Vegas. Ostensibly for a "PocketPC conference," as we were writing a trade book together about this device (don't ask), but we spent far more time at Slots of Fun drinking margaritas the size of our legs. Our Birthday Gal was served burgers and champagne in bed. Next day we drove to Area 51, and T was so hungover she bought a straw hat to banish the sun and spent most of the drive moaning and taking pictures of her feet. Lunch at The Little Ale'Inn, amid photos of UFOs and Greys, was shaky but fairly hilarious. On our way back we drove right up to the Deadly Force Authorized sign and, sure as shootin', T was able to video a UFO glittering along a mountain ridge deep inside the base that does not exist. The "X Files" birthday.

2004 - 32 years old
T ran the Race For the Schools in Iowa and jetted off to San Francisco to run a half marathon. On the actual birth-day, we had a nice time playing Scrabble at Quinton's with some Big Girls.

2005 - 33 years old
Behold, verily the Jesus Year commenceth. We had gone to Amsterdam for T to run a marathon and go on a job interview, although we woke up in our rented houseboat two hours after the marathon had begun, and we also managed to fit in a visit to her newly discovered half brother Alfie in Dublin. This was some birthday present: a boy born in secret to her mother six years before T's birth, who had recently battled the unhelpful Irish adoption laws and found his half sisters and the rest of the family. T and I met him for the first time at his home, expecting to spend an hour or two there and then go see These Charming Men, the "best Smiths cover band in Ireland." Instead, we all got wrapped up in so many conversations that we ended up staying with Alfie and his wife and two kids. Next morning they even drove us to the airport.

2006 - 34 years old
And now she sits in a tan J-Lo velvet-y track suit and pink fuzzy slippers, which, when I began to mock them, she reminded me all were given to her by my mother, here she sits, Jesus's senior, editing and writing at the dining room table here in East Sandwich, hot as ever, still putting up with me, training again for an impending half marathon, still being the classiest, coolest chick I've ever known. Happy birthday, Trace! Thanks for spending so many of them with me -- and for forgiving and forgetting those times oh so long ago and remote, back when I wasn't perfect. I love you, sweetie, now and forever more. Amen!


The Continuing Erotic Adventures of Allen Ruskin, Headmaster of Educational Aid

Ruskin, the rapacious rapscallion, reclined in his rascally rectory, remembering his repugnant rut with a rubbery resurrectionist he'd met along the Royal Road. He watched the trees outside his window.

"I am bored as the Devil," sighed Ruskin. "It has been hours since I have had some relief! I need some resupinate resuscitation to relieve my restless reseda reptile before it ruptures and requires a requiem or a requiescat. Bart, get in here! I have some scrivening for you to attend to!"

"I would prefer not to," called his embattled employee from the front hall.

"Bah! I should never have let Gingernuts go! He was good for something!" snapped Ruskin.

Suddenly, a woman darkened Ruskin's doorway. Although older, she was not without her charms.

"And who may you be?"

"I am Miss Havisham, of Scotland Yard," said the woman.

"I've never met a bobby with boobies. Do you have a stick? Or perhaps handcuffs?" asked Ruskin, sitting up in his chair. He rubbed the top of his mahogany desk. Somewhere, he heard the wild drums of heathen Africa in the distance. Women policemen? The wheels of his wretched wickedness turned with thoughts of new witchery.

"What?" snapped Miss Havisham.

"I am sorry -- I mispoke. You caught me at a loss. It has been a very hard day. My days are always very hard. Very hard. How may I help you?" asked Ruskin, slowly slithering around his desk with the relentless surety of a tree root tearing down a stone wall to get to some forbidden water on the other side. "Bart! Get Miss Havisham a drink. Perhaps some cool port on such a hot day?"

"It is not so very hot," answered Miss Havisham. She was still cross. Even so, as he passed from behind his desk, she couldn't help but be mesmerized by the manifest manikin that manfully molded his mesomorphic mesothorax .

"Is it not?" leered the lusty legator. "I feel some heat coming on. Bart!"

"I would prefer not to," called Bart sadly.

"Damn it, you blackguard! I should have never let Gingernuts go -- you see ..."

"We really should get down to business . There's been some rumours going around campus about you and some of our sensitive young students," said Miss Havisham.

"What kind of rumours?"

Miss Havisham blushed. "I really couldn't repeat them."

"But you could, you really could," said Ruskin, his eyes scanning Havisham's decotellage as if they were two blue ticks looking for the best place to attach and begin sucking. "Perhaps someone has provided a sketch?" asked Ruskin hopefully.

"Sir, I must ask you what you have been up to with your students. You must give me a straight answer."

"I would love nothing more than to give it to you straight," declared the cocky counselor. "I was simply helping the young ladies practice their Latin."

"You were? I am learned in Latin."

"Does your tongue not trip over its tintinnabulations?"

"Doesn't everyone's?" she asked timorously, as Ruskin's tentacles reached out to her.

"My tongue does not. My tongue is always as sure as the anteater seeking the Queen at the center of the hill -- and it will stop at nothing until it gets there. Would you like to see?" he asked with all the delicacy of a voluntarious daemon.

"My -- maybe I would like a small glass of port," said Miss Havisham. "I suddenly feel as if I might swoon."

"Scotland Yard is no place for a woman. Not until the helper monkeys are finished. Come, recline for a while in my office." The door closed with a soft click.

A moment later it opened again. The indelicate inquisitor's face was red from inebriate.

"Bart -- Get me some port ... and Miss Havisham's horse ... and a barrel of lamp oil!" The door slammed again. It was soon followed by the curious cries of those cradled and coddled by Cupid's connubial carresses.

"I would prefer not to," sighed the sad scrivener to the empty room. He readjusted the padlock and chains he kept wrapped around his groin and went back to work.


Gary Shteyngart and George Saunders reading

Entertaining video from the New Yorker festival. Shteyngart (whose Russian Debutante's Handbook I am currently absorbing) reads from "Absurdistan," and Saunders reads from his new story collection.

Charles Frazier's sophomore(ic?) effort

A New Yorker book reviewer a few weeks ago neatly punctured my high expectations of Frazier's new book Thirteen Moons, but this vicious Slate review absolutely eviserates the thing. Calls it "a disgrace"! If you love negative reviews, you gotta read it.

Man, what a disappointment. I admit to loving Cold Mountain. I read it twice. The voice in that book hooked me and didn't let go. I was mesmerized, smitten. But was I fooled? I remember one of our workshop teachers dismissing the book in class as a "cheap McCarthy knockoff," and I thought no, you are wrong, sir. Is it possible that Cold Mountain was great and Thirteen Moons sucks? Or did Cold Mountain suck more subtly? Has anyone here read the new one?

I can sense the "I-told-you-so's" ... (winces, glancing sheepishly in TLB's direction).


Is Jim Leach going to lose?

Consituent Dynamics is publishing its latest poll on congressional races. Click the link, then choose "Iowa District 2" from "Select a District." He's down 48% to 47% to David Loebsack. If Leach is in trouble, November really might be a landslide. I have written/emailed him a few times, and he always responds with polite, carefully nonpartisan letters. He's pro-choice, voted against the 2002 Iraq War Resolution, and was the only Republican in the house to vote against the 2003 tax cut. But Iowa City's is the most Democratic district in Iowa, and the default setting should be (D). He's been on borrowed time since 1977. His time may be up.


Battlestar Galactica and the war in Iraq

Battlestar Galactica is back for its third season. The first episode premiered last night on the Sci Fi Channel. Yesterday afternoon I ran across the following while reading my favorite conservative blog, The Corner, one of the National Review's blogs, in which a contributor, Jonah Goldberg, posted from an email he had received from a reader (scroll down to the 2:20 post from Friday Oct. 6), who said:
Ever since the astounding conclusion of last season's BSG, I was pumped for this year's new episodes. However, I'm getting a very bad vibe about it being a multi-episode Iraq war bashfest. In particular, the webisodes - which, in all honesty, I've only seen the first five or six - draw complimentary parallels between the jihadi "insurgents" and the human resistance forces on New Caprica.

Plus, there's a story on Zap2it.com where Mary McDonnell, in discussing this season's plot arc, commends the BSG brain trust for their "brave and beautiful act" in putting together this year's series.

A "brave & beautiful act," I believe, is vapid actorspeak for "speaking truth to power." To quote Krusty the Clown, "Oooooo, this is always death."

So I'm afraid for this one. Any words of encouragement?
In response, Mr. Goldberg merely commented, "I hear what this reader is saying, but they've earned my trust at the outset. So we'll see."

I rolled my eyes when I read that -- I read The Corner to give my eyeballs exactly that kind of swiveling exercise. But I hadn't watched any of the webisodes, so I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was (spoiler alert) that at the end of last season Vice President Gaius Baltar had won the election for president of the Colonies, after the president, Laura Roslin, had been caught trying to fix the election (you root for her to fix it! -- one of the amazing things about the show). As Charlemagne pointed out here some time ago, the series actually makes you root for a military dictatorship:
I seem to root for the military and their control of the government. I think, this silly group of civilians can't possibly know how to save the human race from sexy horrible robots! But then I say, "Oh. I guess I came in against freedom of representation. Freedom of the press. Etc." Then I feel like an ass.
Anyway, Baltar won the election and decided to move everyone from the colony ships down to this planet they had just discovered. The 40-odd thousand colonists have been on the run from Cylons -- the "sexy horrible robots" -- for a long time, but the people were growing weary, and here was a decent enough planet where they could lay down their burdens ("Lay Down Your Burdens" was the title of the Season Two finale).

And so down most of them went to the surface. Many months went by. The planet was fairly bleak. Nothing fancy here. They built tent shelters, formed a camp. A sparse existence on firm ground must be better than living on a spaceship that's constantly under attack. And it was peaceful. No sign of Cylons. The people thought they were out of the woods. Then suddenly the Cylons came back, found the folks defenseless, and forced a surrender from the sleazy, corrupt Baltar. The ships in orbit, with their skeleton crews, "jumped" away (the only way to ditch the Cylons when they show up) and left the people to endure brutal Cylon occupation. (They are coming back. We know this. It's fiction -- you can take it to the bank.)

What does this have to do with Iraq? Well ... now there's an insurgency against the occupation, complete with suicide bombings and the characters wrestling with the moral dilemmas of insurgent warfare. There is now a human Colonial Police Force, trained by the Cylons to maintain order. A suicide bomber blew up their graduation ceremony -- 33 dead. The parallel is too obvious to dwell on.

This is exactly what Mr. Goldberg's reader was worried about. And if I were conservative, the show would now be making me very uncomfortable. After all, in our national mythology we prefer our insurgencies to be staffed by evil extremists, our suicide bombers to be anonymous, dark-skinned, whacked-out, our occupiers to be white Republican men.

The purpose of war propaganda is to turn those Other people into its. The enemies are not really people anyway, are they? A neighbor is a person, a family member, a friend, and yes, so is a fictional character. Admiral Adama, former President Roslin, Starbuck -- these are people to me. They reside in a friendly place in my mind. I think about them, look forward to seeing them, root for them as I squirm on my couch. That's the power of fiction. It's every bit as powerful as propaganda (while it lasts -- propaganda is 24/7).

It's fairly subversive to do this, even under a fictional premise. That is why Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin) praised the BSG creators for their "brave and beautiful act." And rightly so. They are doing the things that writers are supposed to do: Find something important about human nature, serve it up with style, expand the reader's (or viewer's) humanity, make you care about the characters. The old saw runs: Nonfiction uses the truth to tell lies, and fiction uses lies to tell the truth. Here's one truth: humanity is universal. Speaking truth to power "is always death," according to the Corner reader's Krustyite philosophy. But that's not it -- those in power already know the truth. They would just rather no one talk about it.


Iowa City Arts: October

Apologies for getting this posted so late in the week. I was a little daunted by such an incredible lineup. Let me know in the comments what I've missed. As always, everything's free unless indicated.

October Lectures
  • Friday, 10.6, 12 noon, ICPL Meeting Room A. - Lou Ye from China, Rafael Courtoisie from Uruguay and Mazen Sa'adeh from Ramallah/Palestinian Authority. A panel discussion titled "Writing for Two and Three Dimensions." Follow that link for more info. Paired with screening--see Movies section.
  • Friday, 10.6, 4 p.m. - Brenda Hillman, "Revising Revision." This is part of the new lecture series and should be in the Frank Conroy Reading Room at the Dey House. Get there early to either a) get a seat, or b) learn you need to make the walk to the business building.
  • Monday, 10.9, 8 p.m. - John Toth, "intermedia artist," will discuss his work in Room 116 of the Art Building West. Examples of his work.
  • Wednesday, 10.18, 8 p.m. - Michael Chabon. Not sure whether to put this under lectures or readings, but it's possible he'll give us a taste of the forthcoming The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Get to the Buchannan Auditorium in Pappajohn Business building early.
  • Friday, 10.20, 4 p.m. - Opening ceremony for Glenn Schaefer Library and Archives. Dey House.
October Movies
October Readings
  • Friday, 10.6, 5 p.m. - U Moe Hein and Russell Valentino, poetry and prose reading as part of the International Writing Program reading series. The Paul Engle Lounge of Shambaugh House on Clinton.
  • Wednesday, 10.11, 7 p.m. - Nell Freudenberger. This "lucky girl" (I couldn't resist) will read from her novel, The Dissident.
  • Thursday, 10.12, 8:15 p.m. - Denis Johnson. Shambaugh Auditorium of the UI Main Library. Free, but donations of copper wire will never be turned down.
  • Friday, 10.13, 5 p.m. - Fadhil Thamir of Iraq and Partaw Naderi of Afghanistan read poetry at Shambaugh House.
  • Friday, 10.13, 7 p.m. - Kevin Moffett reads at Prairie Lights from his award-winning short story collection. (Thanks, MSF.)
  • Sunday, 10.15, 1 p.m. - Mark Danielewski at Prairie Lights. Follow along with your copy of Only Revolutions, so you can figure out how to read the damn thing.
  • Monday, 10.16, 7 p.m. - Dara Horn, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, reads from her second novel.
  • Tuesday, 10.17, 5:30 p.m.(or 7 p.m.? Check back. I'll verify.) - Kelly Link, author of the acclaimed (and rightfully so) Magic for Beginners, reads at Prairie Lights. This'll get you in the holiday spirit.
  • Thursday, 10.19, 7 p.m. - Patrick Irelan, non-fiction reading at Prairie Lights.
  • Friday, 10.20, 7 p.m. - Alice McDermott, reads from her new novel, After This, at Prairie Lights.
  • Monday, 10.23, 7 p.m. - Heidi Julavits, editor of The Believer, reads from her new novel at Prairie Lights.
  • Tuesday, 10.24, 7 p.m. - Jane Hamilton reads from her new novel at Shambaugh Auditorium in the UI Main Library.
  • Wednesday, 10.25, 7 p.m. - Barry Lopez, author of the incredible Arctic Dreams, reads nonfiction at Prairie Lights.
  • Thursday, 10.26, 7 p.m. - Joe Miller reads from his nonfiction: Cross X, a book-length examination of an inner-Kansas City debate team. At Prairie Lights.
  • Thursday, 10.27, 8 p.m. - James Tate reads poetry in Lecture Room 2 of Van Allen Hall. I thought of him often during the selection of this latest pope. For obvious reasons.
  • Tuesday, 10.31, 7 p.m. - Patricia Hampl reads from her new nonfiction meditation on art and experience at Prairie Lights.
Whew. That doesn't even cover the drama and music in town. There's also The Englert's lineup. Oh, and Riverside Theatre's new play will open at the end of this month. It's going to be a busy but rewarding month. See you in November.