Books

Jeff Fearnside delivers short stories worth the wait

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jeff Fearnside has his new year’s goal set out for himself – finish his novel. And he’s hoping that novel, when finished, won’t take as long to see print as his first book of fiction, “Making Love While Levitating Three Feet in the Air.” The Bowling Green native who now lives in Corvallis, Oregon, completed that manuscript in 2005. The stories had already won awards including the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award. The collection was a finalist for the New River Press MVP award. Publishing, he thought, at the time “was just around the corner.” But what was right around the corner was frustration. “Then it didn’t go to the next level,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “I lost faith and stopped sending it out. Something I now really regret. That put me behind.” He advises other writers not repeat to that mistake. “Keep the faith.” When he decided to start submitting the manuscript again, it wasn’t long before he struck a deal with Stephen Austin State University Press. The book was published in 2016. “It all worked out in the end,” he said. “Making Love” brings together 13 short stories,…

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At BGSU, Clarence Page reflects on Middletown & “Hillbilly Elegy”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Clarence Page is a story teller. That’s what all good journalists are, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner said. On Thursday at Bowling Green State University, though, he reflected on someone else’s story, J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” Vance’s book has been selected as the university’s Common Read. Page was invited to BGSU to discuss Vance’s book. Meant to bring everyone together to read the same book and spark discussion, this year’s selection has done the trick. Social media is full of commentary on the book, and even its appropriateness as the Common Read. “Hillbilly Elegy” arrived at the same time as Donald Trump was elected to office, and many reviewers touted it as the book to read if you wanted to understand Trump voters. Vance takes a hard look at his people, who feel displaced in America and are plagued by dysfunctional families and unemployment. This demographic is the most pessimistic of any in the country.  Poor whites are more pessimistic than poor blacks. “Maybe because we’re used to it.” Page, who like Vance comes from Middletown, Ohio, said the book gave him a look at…


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Clarence Page to visit BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS As part of the Bowling Green State University 2017 Common Reading experience, BGSU will welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Clarence Page, syndicated columnist and senior member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board, as the Common Reading Scholar-in-Residence. Page will participate in a number of events and give a public presentation at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, followed by a question-and-answer time. In his Oct. 26 presentation, Page will address issues of culture and identity in the United States and share his perspective on topics raised in this year’s common read “Hillbilly Elegy.” Like J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” Page grew up in Middletown, Ohio, where “Hillbilly Elegy” is set but a generation earlier, attended Middletown High School and went on to a successful writing career. Also during his visit, in a session designed especially for faculty and graduate students, Page will participate in a faculty panel discussion on “Migrations and Cultural Populations” from 3-4:15 Oct. 26 in 207 Union. Moderated by Dr. Ray Swisher, sociology, panelists include Drs. Melissa Miller, political science; Andrew Schocket, American culture studies; and Larry Smith, humanities and English, BGSU Firelands. Dr. Michael Ann Williams, chair of…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  & COMMUNICATIONS Oct. 11 – The Faculty Artist Series presents BGSU tuba/euphonium instructor David Saltzman. An active soloist and chamber musician, Saltzman was the winner of the 1996 Colonial Euphonium Tuba Quartet’s Tuba Solo Competition in Albany, New York. Since then, he has performed solo recitals at many regional and international festivals, and he has most recently been part of a consortium of tuba players commissioning a new concerto for tuba by Samuel Adler, currently slated to premiere in October 2018. Salzman’s performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 12 – The Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will perform as part of a small ensemble with guest artist Matthew Murchison. Murchison is known as a varied performer, composer, arranger, educator, conductor and producer. He was a member of the River City Brass in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 2002-15, and was the principal solo euphonium for the last nine of those years. Since then, Murchison has performed solo and chamber music concerts across the U.S. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 13 – The BGSU Concert Band will perform as part of Homecoming festivities. The…


Writer reaches beyond trauma of rape, 9/11 to confront PTSD

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Julia Torres Barden grew up as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center rose above the New York skyline. “I spent my whole childhood watching them get bigger and bigger,” she said in a recent interview. That childhood started in the projects in the South Bronx, amidst her fellow Puerto Ricans, and then later in Upper Manhattan. On the day of the 9/11 attacks she was back in Manhattan on business. She was watching the aftermath of the first plane striking on a large screen in Times Square with a group of strangers. At that moment they assumed it was an accident, then the second plane struck. “It was devastating … to see them collapse like that. Those towers were raise in glory throughout my childhood,” she said. Now there was a sense of the city being under attack. Torres Barden, now of Perrysburg, recalls in striking detail the next couple days, being trapped in her hotel room, watching far too much TV coverage. She remembers the constant bomb threats to the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the Lincoln Tunnel, which was her exit from the city, At the time, she said,…


BGSU faculty committee finds no single solution to textbook costs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No one solution exists for addressing the costs of textbooks. The Textbook Affordability Committee report to the Faculty Senate recommended a multipronged approach that built on what is already being done at Bowling Green State University and approaches taken at other institutions. The report was presented to the Faculty Senate Tuesday by Ellen Gorsevski, who chaired the committee. The senate voted to accept the report and discharge the committee. In a separate vote senators submitted the report to the administration saying it should be used to guide the university’s policy on textbooks. BGSU and other state universities have been feeling pressure from Columbus politicians over the costs of textbooks. One proposal that worked its way through the legislative process before being killed would have limited the cost of textbooks to $300 a year and would have required universities to pay for textbooks. In the end, the legislature left it up to universities to develop policies to reduce the costs of textbooks. “That could change,” Gorsevski said. “This is an evolving issue.” The problem with these state approaches, Gorsevski said, is that they lacked data to back them up. How much the “object formerly known…


BGSU arts events through Oct. 17

Oct. 5 – The International Film Series presents “The Mermaid” (2016, China, 94 minutes, directed by Xingchi Zhou [Stephen Chow]), with an introduction by Elizabeth Niehaus, doctoral student in American culture studies. Breaking box office records to become China’s highest-grossing film to date, “The Mermaid” sees hit director Chow (“Shaolin Soccer,” “Kung Fu Hustle”) bring his zany, comic style to a modern fairytale with an environmentalist message. After their peaceful existence is destroyed by pollution and underwater sonar, a group of merfolk send an alluring mermaid to kill the young businessman responsible. Their revenge scheme hits a snag when mermaid and tycoon fall in love. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 5 – The Visiting Writer Series features poet Christopher Kempf, author of “Late in the Empire of Men,” which won the 2015 Levis Prize from Four Way Books. He is also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. His poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, The New Republic, PEN America and Ploughshares. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free…