The Spirit of Wilderness in a Fallen World: Winslow Homer & Eric Aho’s “River Line”

February 8, 2020 § Leave a comment

Portage 78x70“A vibrating current of electricity dwells just behind everything in nature and the encounter with the painting, like the encounter with the trout, links you to that current, if only for a fleeting instant. A connection is made between you and something larger. Something important and true. Winslow Homer knew this. Eric Aho knows it too.”

Wrote this essay for the catalog accompanying an exhibition of my good friend Eric Aho’s recent work at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming. Very happy to share it here. If you haven’t seen Eric’s work, well you really should.

Illustrated Talk on the Literary and Artistic History of Nantucket Island

July 21, 2017 § Leave a comment

Untitled.001Very much looking forward to this talk, which I’ll be giving at 7:30PM on July 26, at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, in collaboration with talented painter Julia Jensen! If you’re in southern Vermont, come out to hear a novelist and an artist discuss the rich historic, literary, and artistic legacy of this very special island. Here’s a link to the event. Drinks and snacks too!

The talk is in anticipation for the Museum’s sponsored trip to the island coming up October 26-29, 2017, which Julia and I will be co-leading.

The Life & Times of Goya at the Brattleboro Museum

July 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

31-112Very much looking forward to giving this illustrated talk on one of my favorite Spanish artists and the times that produced him. The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries encompass a  fascinating era in Spanish history, well into the decline of the great Empire, with plenty of corruption and chaos to go around, culminating in the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula and the dark times that followed.

Among other things, we’ll be tracing Goya’s evolution from a designer of light-hearted tapestry cartoons to First Court Painter to an artist who captured his age with a darkness and power that sent western civilization’s understanding of what creative art is and can be hurtling into the future.

We’ll also be serving tapas and summer wine. So if you’re in the area on Thursday, July 21, at 5:30 PM, stop by BMAC in downtown Brattleboro!

New: Customized Independent Trips to Cuba

March 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

CURRENTLY BOOKING TRIPS FOR WINTER ’21 AND BEYOND  – Hey everybody, recent changes in US law now make it possible for individuals to travel to Cuba without signing on with a tour group. This is an exciting development because it can now be done more affordably than ever, at your own pace, and according to your own interests. You DO need to make arrangements in advance, however—and in order to avoid falling into the well-grooved touristic route it’s a very good idea to seek expert advice. And, well, that’s where I come in!

IMG_0277If you’ve been meaning to get to Cuba, but don’t like the idea of being on a tour group and/or don’t want to spend a fortune doing it, click here to read all about letting me help you up a customized independent trip.

Georgia O’Keeffe talk at the Brattleboro Museum

February 25, 2016 § 1 Comment

Excited for tonight’s talk, “Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico,” 7PM at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Join us if you’re anywhere nearby! Slide67

Collection is Semifinalist for Subito Press Book Prize

November 26, 2015 § 2 Comments

DSC04036Pleased to note that my short fiction collection, “A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing,” was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Subito Press Book Prize. So far, earlier versions of the same book have also been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award. Stories within the collection have won a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and the Grand Prize of Outrider Press’s The Mountain anthology, and have been shortlisted for many awards including the Lightship Publishing International Literature Prize, the Glimmer Train Short Story Award, The Richard Yates Short Story Award, and others.

It’s been a long road for these stories, all of which  have appeared previously in literary magazines and/or anthologies, but a final home may be in sight. Stay tuned for more exciting news about the collection . . .

Northern Spain by Rail with National Geographic

September 15, 2015 § 3 Comments

franciscogoya_the_parasolWhat a privilege it is to be heading back to Spain, the country that I’ve long considered my home away from home. This is a special trip, too, my first time on National Geographic’s fascinating Northern Spain by Private Rail. We’ll be starting in Santiago de Compostela and making our way across the northern breadth of the Iberian peninsula to San Sebastián, all aboard the extremely well appointed Transcantábrico Gran Lujo.

EH 6672P Ernest Hemingway with Ilya Ehrenburg and Gustav Regler during the Spanish Civil War, not dated, circa 1937. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Of course we’ll be stopping quite a bit along the way, to explore Romanesque chapels, mountain villages, and prehistoric cave art.  I’ll be giving a series of lectures focusing on Spanish history, the life and times of Francisco de Goya, and Ernest Hemingway’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, and of course I’m hoping to be able to get a bit of good writing done too. All in all, much to look forward to!

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook if you’d like to see photos from the experience!

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