I purchased this book (made a nice trade for it actually!) because I may teach composition now, but it wasn't the focus of my undergraduate or graduatI purchased this book (made a nice trade for it actually!) because I may teach composition now, but it wasn't the focus of my undergraduate or graduate studies.
I didn't read every single article in this collection from beginning to end, but I did skim and take notes on each one. I found a nice variety of history related to composition studies as well as practical discussions on everything from digital writing to identify formation through the process of writing.
This book will remain in my office as a resource and I recommend it for anyone who is teaching (or thinking of teaching) composition, especially those of us who focused on creative writing and may not have had extensive studies in composition pedagogy. ...more
I'm surprising myself by giving the second in a series of books a 5 when I think I gave the first one in the set a 4.
I found the first in the HungerI'm surprising myself by giving the second in a series of books a 5 when I think I gave the first one in the set a 4.
I found the first in the Hunger Games series to be a tad predictable and I wasn't really sure how I felt about the protagonist. I think Katniss is more real in the second book and there were moments that actually surprise me in the second volume. I found myself entranced even if there were a few sections that seemed a bit over the top. Then again, I'm speaking of a post-apocalyptic series of novels where children have to go to battle each other as tributes so . . .
I've seen some pretty varied ratings on the 3rd book in the trilogy, but I'll definitely read it. I'll probably have to wait until March when I can borrow again from the Kindle Lending Library. 30 days and only one book? That's like being a kid and being only allowed to take two books out from the library.
Really strong research. I heard the author of this book speak at a professional development day earlier in the summer of 2011. He is a dynamic speakerReally strong research. I heard the author of this book speak at a professional development day earlier in the summer of 2011. He is a dynamic speaker and his voice comes through in this book. I think I could use this text for a variety of classes, but my plan is to weave in some of the life skills (stress relief, time management, budgeting etc) into my composition classes. I probably should be reviewing this after accessing the CD that comes with it, but I already found this book so helpful that I think the 5 star review will stand for itself. ...more
I believe it was my novelist-MFA fellow alum Susan Woodring (you should read her as well!) whom told me about Chris Offutt, but it took me forever toI believe it was my novelist-MFA fellow alum Susan Woodring (you should read her as well!) whom told me about Chris Offutt, but it took me forever to add him to my to read list. I finally HAD to add him after reading one of his short stories in a literary magazine a few years ago. It is killing me that I can't remember the name of the story right now, but - then again - I'm terrible with titles.
Funny, perhaps, that I would decide to read his short memoir before picking up one of his short story collections (or novels). I, however, was not disappointed by the choice. "The Same River Twice" is under 200 pages and is set up in mostly short chapters that alternate between a young Offutt drifting around the country and the more present day Offutt (at least present when the book was being written) who is embarking on fatherhood.
Offutt is a perfect example of what I often tell my students. You become a "good" writer when you do one of two things 1 - write about something no one else could write about 2 - write about the ordinary in a way no one else has written it.
Some of the things Offutt writes about are down right shocking (be warned!), but the strength of his description really holds those borderline - did that really happen? - kind of moments from becoming cliche.
For example, Offutt opens one chapter by writing, "Where I'm from, the foothills of southern Appalachia are humped like a kicked rug, full of steep furrows." I could go on. A ton of different writers have described their homes, but this may be the first time I've heard mountains described as a kicked up rug. Just think of that word kick and I automatically think boot; think of a people held down.
In many ways, this is a writer's book because Offutt's wandering has a lot to do with him finding the writer within himself. That being said, some writers may find the details of Offutt's rough wanderlust life before he settled down a little abrasive. I found myself, even if I couldn't love the young Offutt, hoping he'd finally smooth the rug down.
You know I love a book that looks gorgeous inside and out, and Collin's newest poetry collection does not disappoint on that front. It's a book you waYou know I love a book that looks gorgeous inside and out, and Collin's newest poetry collection does not disappoint on that front. It's a book you want to read just from how gorgeous the design is, and the poems do not disappoint. I often say that a chapbook should have an overarching theme it if wants to be successful. I'm less focused on that with a full-length collection, but Collin does a great job playing off the word render throughout the book. These poems are raw, raunchy at times (in the best of ways), and very real. Hard for me to pick a favorite, but one I found myself circling is towards the end of the book "Broken Things" starts with: My mother hovers now, whipping this world / with damaged blades, her selective amnesia // is rudderless, requires a stabilizing hand / from my father, the elephant who never forgets. ...more