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Other Voices, Other Rooms

A look at what is happening in the literary world outside our region.


Emma Copley Eisenberg on the Setting of Her Debut Novel

In an article on Literary Hub, Emma Copley Eisenberg discusses how her experiences in Philadelphia influenced her debut novel, “Housemates,” reflecting on the city’s unique blend of community and isolation. Eisenberg emphasizes how the setting plays a crucial role in shaping the characters and narrative, highlighting her deep connection to the place and its impact on her writing. She also explains how a specific locale can profoundly affect storytelling and character development.


Historian Randall Woods Publishes New Biography on John Quincy Adams

Randall Woods, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas, has published a new biography titled “John Quincy Adams: A Man for the Whole People.” The book, which took eight years to complete, combines travelogue, family history, and political-diplomatic narrative elements. Woods aims to revitalize the legacy of John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president, highlighting his extensive travels, linguistic prowess, and fierce opposition to slavery. The new biography also sheds light on the personal tragedies Adams faced, enhancing our understanding of his multifaceted life and contributions.



How sport and poetry make the perfect match on TV

Joe Towns’ article on The Conversation explores how the combination of sport and poetry on television enhances the viewer’s experience by adding emotional depth and a sense of drama to sporting events. By weaving poetry into the narratives, broadcasters create moments that resonate deeply with audiences, whether through classic verses or commissioned pieces from contemporary poets. Examples include Serena Williams reciting Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” and Brendan Gleeson reading Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” to heighten the tension and significance of key moments in sports. This blending of the lyrical with the physical amplifies the emotional impact and celebrates the beauty of both disciplines​ (QOSHE)​​ (Yahoo).


“Poetjournalism” slouches forth from Michigan to be born

Aaron Dworkin, a professor at the University of Michigan, founded the Institute for Poetjournalism to merge poetry and journalism into a new form called “poetjournalism.” This discipline aims to convey news with emotional depth through “newspoems,” blending factual reporting with poetic elements. The institute plans to launch a $150,000 prize and a wire service called the “Verse News Network” to promote this craft. Dworkin’s initiative seeks to innovate traditional news storytelling by connecting people through the arts.


August Thompson’s Debut Novel Dives Headlong Into the Pool of Queer Desire

In an interview with AnOther, August Thompson discusses his debut novel “Anyone’s Ghost,” which explores the evolving relationship between two men, Jake and Theron, over 20 years. The book deals with the themes of queer desire, identity, and masculinity, drawing structural inspiration from “Moonlight” and Elena Ferrante’s works. Thompson reflects on his personal experiences and the complexities of bisexuality and male relationships, aiming to provide an authentic and nuanced portrayal of queer and masculine identities.


New YA novel uses talking llama, High Peaks chase to entice reluctant readers

William David Thomas’ new YA novel “HUM” uses an engaging mix of adventure and fantasy to captivate reluctant readers. The story follows Allen, a boy with a unique connection to llamas, and his journey through the snowy High Peaks with a talking llama named Yanna. Designed as a high-low book, it combines high-interest plots with accessible reading levels, specifically drawing in middle school readers. The novel balances realistic settings with fantastical elements, emphasizing themes of friendship, survival, and self-discovery​ (Today’s Author Magazine)​.