I walk to work along a street named Wisteria, where there is no wisteria to be found, and planted wisteria in my backyard 12 years ago, but it has yet to bloom; nevertheless, it is wisteria-blooming time nearly everywhere else in Salem. Maybe even just past-time, so I took a walk and tried to capture some good shots of the exuberant purple and white blooms, which was not too difficult. The great thing about wisteria it that it needs support, so you get architecture and flowers at the same time. Even when the wisteria was not in bloom–as in my backyard, or on my next-door neighbors’ beautiful fence, or the arbor at the Ropes Mansion, it was still quite abundant in its more restrained way. Given the east Asian source of wisteria, I can imagine Salem’s merchants and adventurers bringing it back from China and Japan in the eighteenth, nineteenth…
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Writers In The Storm is pleased to welcome Big Al, our first reviewer!
Looking at the posts on the Writers In The Storm Blog and reading the bios of the contributors I was reminded of one of my favorite things to say about what I do: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, review.”
I know, not very original, which is at least part of the reason why I’m not an author.
Assuming this blog’s readers are as accomplished and varied as the contributors, what could I have to say of value? I was told that I’m the first reviewer to guest post here, which means the range of subjects should be wide open, right? The request even included a few ideas. Rather than say a lot about one thing, I decided to say a little on two subjects, the world of book reviewing in general and how to…
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On May 21 1813, Harriet Shelley writes to her friend Catherine Nugent and mentions that Shelley’s poem Queen Mab is being privately printed:
Mr. Shelley continues perfectly well, and his Poem of ‘Queen Mab’ is begun [to be printed], tho’ it must not be published under pain of death, because it is too much against every existing establishment. It is to be privately distributed to his friends, and some copies sent over to America. Do you know of any one that would wish for so dangerous a gift?
Apparently, Shelley’s publisher Thomas Hookham had decided that the poem, with its utopian themes, was too dangerous for him to publish it. Shelley had decided to do it himself
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I’ve been waiting my whole life for Theatre of WAR’s production of Hamlet, running through May 19 at the 133rd Street Arts Center in NYC.
Too often, staged productions of Shakespeare’s plays seem like undigested chunks of Shakespeare, as if this most human and vital of playwrights is “good” only when the plays feel hard to understand. But Shakespeare is not difficult. Complex, thrilling, incomparable, yes, but not inaccessible. Under director Cassaundra Post’s sure and brilliant hand, Theatre of WAR’s gorgeous, incendiary Hamlet feels like a play just written, like the ink is still wet. All of the masterful actors bring to life thinking, changing, present human beings, and the language of the story rings as clear as bright water.
Today is so beautiful.
“When in mid-May the sickening East wind
Shifts sudden to the south, the small warm rain
Melts out the frozen incense from all flowers,
And fills the air with so much pleasant health
That even the dying man forgets his shroud; -”
– John Keats, The Fall of Hyperion
On May 13 1813, the Observer publishes a review of the exhibition of the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds at the British Institution.—
Genius, like Egypt’s Monarchs, timely wise
Constructs its own memorial ere it dies.
Never has it fallen to the lot of genius in this country to be so highly honoured as in the person of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Surrounded and admired, during a long life, by all that was splendid in opulence, or that was dignified in rank, all that was lovely in beauty, all that was powerful in talents, all that was estimable in virtue—his death was universally felt to be a national calamity, an unexampled respect was paid to his memory, he was followed to the grave by the most noble and distinguished individuals in the land, and the metropolis assumed an exterior of grief, which, until that period, had been reserved for royalty…
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After reading @authorjanep Jane Porter’s inspiring Writers in the Storm Blog post, 10 KEYS TO SURVIVAL & SUCCESS IN THE ROMANCE INDUSTRY (especially tip #4 Success/Survival Require Perseverance & Mental Strength) I’ve created a rejection ritual in which I will take a shot of rum in honor of the attempt and recite some beloved text very loudly in my office.
Stephen King had his huge nail in the wall. I have a shot of rum and poetry.
Today from HAMLET (Act IV. Scene III)
“Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service – two dishes, but to one table. That’s the end.”
I love this post!
Well now that Spring finally feels like it has arrived, one’s thoughts head into dirt and gardens and plants and herbs, so wanted to share this article from the most recent issue of Colonial Williamsburg: “Uncommon and Expensive” by Mary Miley Theobald, on John Edwards’s The BritishHerbal – you can read it online here:
There may be no better guide to the plants that grew in eighteenth-century gardens than The British Herbal, a rare collection of botanicals by artist John Edwards, published in 1770. “It’s one of the most valuable books we have,” said Wesley Greene, garden historian in Colonial Williamsburg’s historic trades department. “It lets us document the sort of plants that were available in the colonial era.” Edwards referenced Linnaeus for every plant, allowing Greene and others to identify species precisely.
Edwards, John. The British Herbal, containing one hundred plates of the most…
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