Saturday, March 03, 2007

Schlesinger, Monro, Starkey

The New York Times obituary of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. reports that he died of a sudden heart attack in a New York restaurant at age 89. He was most famously an advisor to President Kennedy, writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning account of his "Thousand Days" in office. In 1945, at age 27, he also won a Pulitzer--that one for The Age of Jackson. Schlesinger grew up in Iowa City, where his father was a professor before moving to Harvard. He never got an advanced degree but was a prolific writer, continuing to produce until very recently. He wrote a book adamantly condemning the Iraq war, calling it a "ghastly mistake."

Thinking about Schlesinger reminds me of my Tougaloo College colleague John Monro, who died 5 years ago and was also 89 at his death. John knew Schlesinger at Harvard and often told stories about him and other Harvard luminaries such as Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Nathan Pusey. John's obituary in the Harvard Gazette recounts his decision to leave Harvard and work in historically black colleges in the south.

Speaking of former colleagues (this one alive and well and nowhere near age 89), I just came across David Starkey's blog for The Creative Community TV Show, which he hosts in Santa Barbara. Starkey also edits King Log, an online poetry journal in which several of my poems appeared back in 1998. In a couple weeks, I'll see David in New York at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. David is writing plays these days, including his most recent, How Red the Fire, in which Emily Dickinson is a main character. For old time's sake, here are three poems by David, complete with audio.


New York Times review of Tom Bissell's book about his father and Vietnam

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