This January, students and I were supposed to be in London and Haworth and Whitby, tracking Frankenstein’s Creature and Dracula and Heathcliff and Mr. Hyde. Instead we were in a classroom on campus, a beloved old building with a sloping floor, a harmless ghost named Gertrude (according to student legend), and a whanging, banging monster […]Read more
Blake and Kae Tempest: Seeing “People’s Faces” with students (Nov. 28)
On Nov. 28, I’ll take part via Zoom in The Blake Society’s special event to celebrate the launch of its journal VALA’s new issue – which includes my short piece on teaching Blake’s “London” alongside current Blake Society president Kae Tempest’s spoken-word poem “People’s Faces” – over Zoom on Dec. 21, 2020. It was, and […]Read more
Castles in the air – even now.
Colleagues and I have been sharing lots of ideas about how to help students cope with the ambient uncertainty of life and futures in the pandemic – heightened by the uncertainty of election day today, all of which can create anxiety it’s hard to see beyond. So to the excellent resources here (thanks to Luther’s […]Read more
An Awful Rainbow: possible introduction, part 2.
Possible introduction, continued, to An Awful Rainbow: Reading the Romantics in a World on Fire. Read Part One here. *** We Frankenstein pilgrims came home to a year that only got scarier. First, there was barely-averted war with Iran. The presidential caucus – Iowa’s pride and joy – came apart in our hands. Then the […]Read more
Thinking through coronavirus.
“It’s a matter of common decency. That’s an idea which may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague is — common decency.” Albert Camus, The Plague Read War and Peace in a free virtual book club with the writer Yiyun Li. From A Public Space. Free virtual book clubs and […]Read more
Protection. Rebellion. Incarnation.
Easter Sunday, 2019. Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square. Extinction Rebellion and Brexit and Eucharist. Two hundred years on from Shelley’s “Mask of Anarchy” and Keats’ Odes. What if this is the site of Incarnation, here and now? parliament square easter sunday Carn, the root: meat, flesh. Incarnation: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. […]Read more
The Women’s March: here, there, and everywhere.
Saturday, January 21, 2017 It felt good to be out on our little town’s main street with a sign in my hand again, surrounded by my friends and students and – despite the chilly fog – determination and hope. As I describe in my forthcoming book, The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and […]Read more
Life in the word.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. …. […]Read more
Moving the house.
On the morning of November 9, 2016, I walked out of my front door into a world I wasn’t sure I’d recognize. It was the warmest November ever, but with just enough nip to the air to remind us it was still November after all. The sky was creamy blue, the air exhilarating, with a […]Read more
John Milton, the morning after.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016: 7:30 a.m. I have a lot of thoughts but for now, as a college professor, will confine myself to this: What happens now to education, in a country where everyone claims to value it but our new president-elect, and those who voted for him, have just rejected its actual results? I’m […]Read more