Change Your Perspective: Dead Poets and Sedoka

There are few films (and I find it a bit ironic that it is the film we go to before the book here) more called upon for inspiring young writers than Dead Poets Society, in which charismatic literature teacher Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) leads a group of teenage boys to discover their personal voices. In... Continue Reading →

Sponging away patriarchy

My students and I these past two weeks have been exploring language and gender. We have considered how women and men might use language differently (conclusion: any differences there are are slight), and how language represents gender (see this fascinating though unsurprising, and ultimately disturbing look at the words books have most frequently used to... Continue Reading →

Photos from Montana

America has been troubling. The consumer push is thicker than I ever remember, the pressure to buy big and often and right now. Things are far larger than they need to be. It's a difficult relationship, I think, that I've got to my home country. For moments I wish I had been born somewhere else.... Continue Reading →

Reading Bashō, remapping genre

Following the example of the ancient priest who is said to have travelled thousands of miles caring naught for his provisions and attaining the state of sheer ecstasy under the pure beams of the moon, I left my broken house on the River Sumida in the August of the first year of Jyōkyō among the... Continue Reading →

Conflict a copout?

I've been working on a short story recently. Unlike most of what I've been writing the last few years, it's solid realism. I didn't expect this to make it a particular challenge for me, but as I have been slogging my way through outlines, a first draft of one-and-a-quarter scenes, doubt has besieged me of... Continue Reading →

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