I was born in November, the month of obsessives. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), in which participants attempt to write a 50,000 word draft of a novel in 30 days. That requires an average writing pace of nearly 1,700 words per day. On a good day, I'm capable of that much writing, but I tend to spend too much time polishing individual sentences, which is a NaNoWriMo no-no. And for writers who work on a smaller scale than the full-length novel, November is also National Blog Post Month, which requires participants to write and publish a blog post for each day of the month. So far I'm two-for-two—but don't expect me to keep up the pace. I prefer blogging without obligation. My personality is already too obsessive without outside encouragement. Meanwhile, my birthday is coming up at the end of next week. If you're looking for the perfect gift, here are a few suggestions:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight, Volume I: The Long Way Home. The television series ended several years ago after seven seasons, but in 2007 Joss Whedon cooked up a "canonical" eighth season—in comic book form. The first few "episodes" are now available in a single volume.
Dr. Who: The Complete Second Series. One of the televisual highlights of our year in England was the third series (i.e., season) of the new Dr. Who on the BBC. The second series, available on DVD, will fill in some of the back story, including the Doctor's relationship with his companion Rose (Billie Piper). The current Doctor, David Tennant, is a wonderful actor. A year from now, he'll be appearing as Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company, with Patrick Stewart as Claudius. A geek's dream Hamlet: Dr. Who vs. Captain Picard.
Robin Hood: Season One. This was another favorite on the BBC, appealingly updated and acted. Maid Marion (Lucy Griffiths) is not only beautiful, she's strong and independent-minded and more than holds her own with the men. The Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen) is one of the best TV villains since the Mayor in season three of Buffy. In fact, the entire show seems to owe more to Buffy than to Errol Flynn. Yes, the show is heavy on the political-correctness, drawing a clear parallel between the Sheriff's harsh measures and the erosion of civil liberties in an age of global terrorism—but it's just so much fun.
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, Raising Sand. A CD pairing the voice of Alison Krauss with the voice of Led Zeppelin. How can it fail to be brilliant?
My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .
The frontispiece from Countee Cullen's The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Illustration by Charles Cullen. Click to enlarge. On...
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, Septembe...
In early August, the director of the Northfield Public Library, Teresa Jensen, asked me to write a poem to be displayed prominently in the...