Monday Miscellany

This morning's poem, "Night Class" by Andrew Hudgins, took my breath a bit.  This whole collection, in fact, has been impressing me and inspiring me at varying turns.  It is Babylon in a Jar, and I love it.  Andrew Hudgins is a regular attendee at the Conference on Southern Literature, so I have a lively surface familiarity with him that does not in the slightest touch his poetry.  I am so glad I have now begun to touch these words.  Now, in April, if he returns to town for the conference, I can behave as a real drooling fan should.

Good news!  "Night Class" was first published in Slate and still is available on Slate.com, so I can share it with you through this link.  Go there.  Read it.  Be admiring.

And perhaps you won't be moved by it as I was.  Perhaps you haven't taught or attended night classes.  Perhaps your version of "college" is something more like Dead Poets Society.  Perhaps you don't appreciate silence in the way Hudgins describes.  Perhaps you don't often consider the weight of a student's burdens and look for tiny opportunities to relieve that weight.  But I do.  And Hudgins has written words for me here that I hope I won't forget.

Also, today, I dove in to my first issue of The Sun.  It arrived some days ago, but I hadn't allowed myself the time to explore it until today.  I have subscribed to various journals, magazines, and news weeklies over the years, but there are few I have felt cause to renew after that first year.  Even the big literary journals (currently, I take The Sewanee Review) leave me a little disappointed.  I don't like it when they choose a theme, and I can't take them in quickly enough to feel like I've really gotten the full experience.  So, I end up trying new things fairly often and was recently invited to try The Sun.  So far, I'm terrifically glad I did.  First, it is sort of a mash up between a political/current affairs magazine and literary journal, so I'm guaranteed to find something to relate to.  Second, it is a traditional magazine format (with beautiful, provocative photos), and at 48 pages, I can reasonably tackle the content in the month before the next one arrives.  Finally, this month's issue features a personal essay by Lee Strickland called "Girl, Ruined."  You can read the first chunk of it here.  I am excited to find it because it tells a birth story, and I am constantly on the lookout for those (especially in fiction - if you've read any lately, please comment below). 

Finally, as it is Monday, I spent the afternoon with my kids at the library.  This time, I perused the audiobooks section thinking I might find something I can put on the ipod and listen to on the bus or between classes.  I picked up Elizabeth Berg's The Art of Mending.  Though I was previously unfamiliar, the blurb sounded good.  We'll see if I can manage to add another layer to my reading life.


  1. I LOVE that collection from Andrew Hudgins. One of the first poets I read in high school (I heard him speak) that helped me "get" the point of poetry.

  2. I'm about half through it now, and every other poem causes me to put the book down and wonder if I will ever reach his level of precision. Such inspiration!