when a writer loses the way

Over the last year or so I am finding I have more and more unread or half finished books on my desk and shelf. I think that has to do with an issue of focus and depression. And I have revision tasks I’ve put off and off for far too long as well. My MonteContinue reading “when a writer loses the way”

a raisin in the sun

D and I escaped from the election and Trump fallout and enjoyed the Hoagland Center for the Arts’ presentation of A Raisin in the Sun. I’ve always enjoyed Lorraine Hansberry‘s family drama and the production had some strong performances. I found the play to be a very timely message on standing up and facing injustice as wellContinue reading “a raisin in the sun”

quick note–twin peaks, juan rulfo and spirit world voices

After a long semester of teaching I found some time to indulge in studying the novella Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo. I’ve been an admirer of Rulfo’s career and this book reads as a tremendous progression from his short stories I was introduced to in his book The Burning Plain. What I found in this work is aContinue reading “quick note–twin peaks, juan rulfo and spirit world voices”

podcast recommendation: this american life episode 562–the problem we all live with

Episode 562 This American Life–The Problem We All Live With I’ve lived and taught in the Midwest for ten years now and have yet to fully understand the place and the people. After the Michael Brown shooting and the Ferguson riots, I found this incredible episode of This American Life on Michael Brown’s school district–the worst district inContinue reading “podcast recommendation: this american life episode 562–the problem we all live with”

the house of order now available on kindle and smashwords

available now on kindle, smashwords The House of Order–stories, the first collection of composite stories by John Paul Jaramillo, presents a stark vision of American childhood and family, set in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. 2013 International Latino Book Award Finalist–The Mariposa Award–Best First Book–Fiction Latino Stories.com 2013 Top Ten “New” Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)

amy hempel reading

The power of the Internet brought me this mp3 of Amy Hempel reading “The Harvest” and suddenly I know what we’re listening to in class tomorrow. http://www.wiredforbooks.org/mp3/AmyHempel.mp3 Amy Hempel — “I moved through the days like a severed head that finishes a sentence.”

film recommendation: world’s greatest dad

This film is from 2009 and from director Bobcat Goldthwait. I missed it because of a limited release. I most admired Robin Williams playing a frustrated writer and teacher in this dark comedy. Love the scenes in poetry class. “I used to think the worst thing in life was ending up alone, it’s not. TheContinue reading “film recommendation: world’s greatest dad”

documentary recommendation: shepard and dark

Fascinating documentary about Sam Shepard’s forty year letter writing correspondence with friend Johnny Dark. Shepard stands as one my favorite authors and I enjoyed the inside look into how Shepard works and operates as a playwright–travelling around with his dog and his typewriter.

film recommendation: a scanner darkly

Lately for many reasons I feel I’ve been living inside of a Philip K. Dick novel, so I’ve been rereading a couple of my favorite–Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said and A Scanner Darkly. What does a scanner see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does it see into me, into us? Clearly or darkly?Continue reading “film recommendation: a scanner darkly”

quick review of big sur feature film

Big Sur may be my least favorite Jack Kerouac novel. While On the Road and The Subterraneans captured youth and restlessness, Big Sur relates the aged, alcoholic Kerouac. And perhaps that is why I don’t enjoy the book. Kerouac’s persona is one of such a broken down writer unable to cope with fame and personal relationships.Continue reading “quick review of big sur feature film”

thankful for graphic novels

The other day a student came in to the office while I was reading a graphic novel and asked me what I was doing slacking off at school. He seemed to think I was getting away from my responsibilities. Well, this holiday I’m thankful I will have a bit of  time off soon to prepContinue reading “thankful for graphic novels”

quick review of junot díaz’ this is how you lose her

I’ve long read and admired Junot Diaz‘ style of prose. I’m almost embarrassed to say how much I’ve modeled my own work after his. This latest collection of work contains all the themes of trouble and failure at its heart. And also the redemption. I continue to admire how the work follows a consistent universeContinue reading “quick review of junot díaz’ this is how you lose her”