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, including the six he submitted for his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing thesis from Eastern Washington University in 2000. The stories are “stylistically all over the board,” the author said. There’s realism, allegory, magic realism, and surrealism. “I like a collection that has a little bit of eclecticism to it.” What holds them together is keen psychological insight expressed in clear, shapely prose. The collection opens with the quirky realism of “Nuclear Toughskins,” about coming of age in the shadow of the bomb and includes the allegory, “Cat People,” in which feline overlords dish out just desserts to those who have treated them well or badly. For the record, Fearnside has two cats and is assured of rewards should his fantastical vision come true. On the other end of the spectrum is “Going for Broke,” a straightforward piece of historical fiction. Fearnside tells of a talented Japanese American baseball pitcher, struggling against prejudice to make it to the big leagues after being interned during World War II. The settings of several stories become characters. Fearnside locates his tales in places he knows – his native ground of Northwest Ohio and his adopted home, the Pacific Northwest. “I’m really interested in place and deliberately choose places I knew.” Several characters, like their creator, straddle both regions. In “Every Living Thing That Moves” set in the farm fields of Wood County, a teenager struggles with a domineering father and with his own emerging sexual desires. In “Maps and Compasses,” another character, also sorting out his relationship with his father, stalks a deer on the cusp of winter. The Western wilderness almost claims him. “When I was writing these, it was more about personal relationships, really close to home, really interior kind of things,” Fearnside said. His focus has shifted to a more global viewpoint though “I don’t think I’ll ever lose interest in the personal.” After he graduated from Eastern Washington University with his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 2000, he decided to realize his dream of joining the Peace Corps. He either had to do it…


Vegan Toledo hosts discussion of ‘How Not to Die’

Submitted by VEGAN TOLEDO Vegan Toledo will present a book discussion of New York Times bestseller “How Not to Die” by Michael Greger, M.D. at Gathering Volumes Bookstore, 196 E South Boundary St, Perrysburg, on Thursday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and will include free food samples as well as drawings for food baskets, T-shirts and books. The book offers a detailed account of how our American lifestyle can cause preventable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It gives practical advice about not only what foods to avoid, but many positive suggestions about delicious foods that are particularly useful in protecting our health and promoting longevity. Attendees may have read the book, or they may participate even if they are just considering reading it in the future and wish to learn more about it. “This is an eye-opening, evidence-based book,” shared Mike Zickar of Vegan Toledo. “We are excited to partner with Gathering Volumes to bring this important discussion to our community. We all struggle with our food choices and we’ve found this book to offer clear and manageable strategies to help lead to a longer and healthier life.” “Our motto at Vegan Toledo is you don’t have to ‘be’ vegan to eat vegan,” shared Rachel Zickar of Vegan Toledo. “For many of us, it’s more effective to take small steps over time toward a healthier lifestyle. This book is a great way to start, or continue, that journey. Folks with all kinds of eating habits are welcome to join this discussion. We will all do better with the support of others as we strive to become healthier together.” Vegan Toledo, founded by Rachel and Mike Zickar, is an organization dedicated to healthy lifestyle choices as well as making it easier for travelers and residents to find vegan options in the area via their web site, VeganToledo.com, as well as through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


BGSU Arts Events through Jan. 23

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Jan. 10 — BGSU’s Guest Artist Series welcomes back former faculty member and pianist Yu-Lien The. A prizewinner of the 12th International Piano Competition Viotti-Valsesia and the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb, The has performed at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and at Carnegie Hall, with the new music ensemble Opus21. Frequent collaborations with saxophonists Joe Lulloff and Henning Schröder have led to several world premieres of new commissions for both piano and saxophone. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 13 — Sigma Alpha Iota members will present a Winter Musicale at 6 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 14 — Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc., will present a performance of their work titled “24/24.” The group promotes new music activities in the Bowling Green community. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 16 — Violinist Harvey Thurmer is the next performer in the Guest Artist Series. Thurmer is active in the promotion and recording of new music. His recording of Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragmente” with soprano Audrey Luna, available on the Ars Moderno label, represents the first recording of this monumental work by American artists. The performance will begin at 8 pm in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical ArtsCenter. Free Jan. 18 — Visiting Writer Clifford Chase will read from his fiction. Author of “Winkie” and “The Tooth Fairy: Parents, Lovers, and Other Wayward Deities (A Memoir),” Chase teaches at Wesleyan University. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 18 — The Guest Artist Series presents Li-Shan Hung on the piano. She made her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Hall in 2003 and was invited to present a second Weill Hall recital in 2005. The recipient of numerous music performance prizes, she has performed and taught around the world. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19 — BGSU presents EAR | EYE: Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art in conjunction with the Toledo Museum of Art. The performance series explores the relationship between contemporary music and art through performances in front of contemporary works of art, featuring BGSU doctoral candidates in music. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free Jan. 22 — The Guest Artist Series presents Sandra Shapiro on the piano. Shapiro has an active career as both performer and teacher throughout the United States and Europe, and she appears as a soloist in recitals and orchestras and acts as both a recording artist and chamber musician. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 23 — Percussionists arx duo will perform as part of the Guest Artist Series. With a repertoire ranging from established masters to today’s newest compositional voices, arx duo has worked closely with composers such as Alejandro Vinao, James Wood and Gaudeamus Prize-winner Ted Hearne. Always seeking opportunities to bring percussion to a wide variety of audiences, the group has given concerts, outreach performances and master classes at universities and conservatories in Japan and the United States. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free


KKK history in Wood County unmasked by BGSU prof

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When the Ku Klux Klan took root in Wood County in the early 1920s, the members wore the traditional white robes and hoods, but there was little secrecy about their activities. There was no need to conceal their hatred since the membership roster included many local politicians, businessmen and ministers. Every Ohio county in the 1920s had an active Klan group, according to Michael E. Brooks, author of the book, “The Ku Klux Klan in Wood County, Ohio.” “Wood County is not particularly unique in having a history of the KKK,” said Brooks, a historian who teaches at BGSU. “What is unique is that the records survived.” Included in those records is a membership ledger that was reportedly rescued from a burn pile in 1976. The ledger, which is included in Brooks’ book, reads like a “Who’s Who” of Wood County, with familiar surnames recorded from every community. Brooks explains that economic uncertainty in the 1920s was one of the most significant factors in the rise of the reborn KKK in Ohio. Newspapers told of historically high unemployment rates, declining farm incomes and sluggish postwar economic growth. Membership records in the Center for Archival Collections at BGSU show that nearly 1,400 members paid dues to the Wood County KKK in 1924 and 1925. Once accepted into the Klan, the new members would be fitted for robes and hoods. Measurements would be taken at the local KKK office, and the information would be submitted to the national Klan headquarters for tailoring. No women or children were allowed. A 1927 phone book lists the KKK as having an address at 182½ S. Main St. in Bowling Green. “They didn’t have to sneak around at night. They could parade around in their robes,” Brooks said. “It was fashionable to be in the Klan.” The Klan was welcomed into many local churches during Sunday morning services. Many of the local ministers were members of the organization, like Rev. Rush A. Powell of the United Brethren Church in Bowling Green. Powell, a charter member of the Klan, told his congregation that he stood for the same principles as those held by his hooded guests – against criminal activity, undesirable immigrants and a decline in morality. Recruitment during church services was common. “The extent to which that was going on was very surprising,” Brooks said. Churches were used to add to the “moral legitimacy” of the group. According to records, nearly 40 percent of the Protestant clergy in Wood County were KKK members. People with political ambitions also were not afraid to add the Klan to their resume. “It helped get people elected,” Brooks said. In the 1920s and 1930s, Klan members in Wood County served as mayors, county commissioners, county sheriffs, county judges, county prosecutor, police officers, and village marshals. Also on the list of Klan members were school principals, superintendents and school board members. The KKK used large outdoor open rallies as recruitment tools. The gatherings often included band music, food concessions and games. Klan members, wearing their robes and hoods, would also make school visits. The prearranged visits often used ritual and ceremonial activities, with the Klan presenting gifts like flags and Bibles. Klan chapters purchased athletic sweaters for local high school sports teams, possibly…


Earl returns in Tom Lambert’s second book

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Despite the big tell at the end of his first book, “Living with Earl,” Tom Lambert is not done with his quirky character. The first book, a series of vignettes that started as Facebook posts, told the story of a character very much like Lambert and his relationship with a convivial stranger who dresses and acts like Mark Twain. Tom refuses to call him Mark or Sam, for Sam Clemens, Twain’s given name, instead calls him “Earl,” since the character described himself as “the Earl of prose.” The book is a breezy read, with veins of humor and wisdom, and it takes a heart-felt turn in the end. Lambert said after the first book he heard from people who wanted to know what happened to Earl. Lambert posted a couple letters from Earl that whetted readers’ appetites. He now has the sequel “Dying with Earl” in hand, and ready for purchase. On Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. he’ll celebrate the new book with a reading and reception at the Wood County District Public Library. Lambert hit on the title before he really got down to work on the second book. Not only was it a play on the title of the first book, Lambert said, but “I thought the premise would be fun to ride.” As “Dying with Earl” begins, Earl has found his way down in Florida where he meets colorful characters as is his wont and gets entangled in their affairs. Tom’s misreading of one of his letters leads him to head down to Florida. The change in locale doesn’t alter the relationship nurtured in Bowling Green. Tom and his friend end up lighting out on a road trip. As with the previous book, Lambert is working with donors to get it placed in Veterans Administration Hospitals around the country. Lambert, 71, said he’s surprised he ever wrote a first book, never mind a second. He was a poor student in high school, he said, though he later audited classes in writing at Bowling Green State University and received encouragement. “Everybody has a book in them,” he said. “Everybody has a story to tell.  Don’t wait. If you’re waiting to get it perfect, you’ll never get it done. Get it down and then go back and polish it.” As for himself, Lambert still is writing every day. His work may take a new direction, he said, or as the end of “Dying with Earl” indicates, there may be some life yet left in Earl.    


Author J.D. Vance looks to his Mamaw for solutions to Appalachia’s ills

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The great stabilizing influence in J.D. Vance’s life was his grandmother, Mamaw. The best-selling author of “Hillbilly Elegy” told an audience at Bowling Green State University Wednesday that she always seemed to know what he needed. When she could barely afford her prescriptions, she still made sure he had the calculator he needed for high school math. Mamaw knew he needed “a little discipline and firm hand to not succumb to bad influences” as so many others in his family and community already had. When he started hanging out with an adolescent who was just getting into the drugs, she told Vance if he kept hanging out with him, she would run the kid over with her car. Her model helped him as he enlisted in the Marine Corps, served in Iraq, got through Ohio State in two years and landed at Yale law school. Vance visited campus last night as the summation of the Commons Read program. His memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” had been selected. In introducing Vance, President Mary Ellen Mazey spoke about how the book reflected the hard work, sense of place, patriotism, and humor, despite the frequent heartbreak, that marks Appalachian culture. She noted that her home state of West Virginia is the only state that is entirely within the region. “As I grew up in Appalachia, my mother would always tell me we were so poor we didn’t know we were poor, so it didn’t matter.” Vance is also an example of what American education can do, she said. Then as “a fellow hillbilly,” Mazey invited Vance, “to come on up and tell them what it’s all about.” Vance rose from tough young life growing up in Middletown, Ohio. When at Yale he took the Adverse Childhood Experience quiz, which measures how difficult one’s childhood is. He scored a 7 on a scale of 10, as did other members of his close family. His girlfriend, now his wife, scored 2 as did an uncle who’d been more successful. He struggled to adjust at Yale. “It was like my spaceship had crash landed, and when I got out nobody was like me.” For the first time, he felt out place. Still he could fall back on his late grandmother’s sense of resilience. “Mamaw had to overcome a lot worse in her life.” That, he said, is the key to helping communities like his. “We have harness that courage and resilience, that firmness packed with love,” Vance said. “That’s the secret for addressing a lot of these issues.” At Yale, he was aware that he was the rare case of someone who could overcome economic adversity. Vance, 32, decided to study the issue. He found that about half of those born in the 1980s can expect to earn more than their parents. In the 1940s, 90 percent could expect to earn more than their parents. The economic opportunity that allows for that is not equally distributed. Children growing up in San Francisco or Utah or Oklahoma have better chances than those growing up in Appalachia. Where someone is born, Vance said, should not determine what their prospects in life are. Why so many children in certain places are getting trapped economically is “the fundamental question facing this country,” he said. “If we…


Cameron’s Comics turns the page with shop in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jonathan Smith said he was something of a nerd when he was a kid. He loved Calvin and Hobbes and Mad Magazine. When Smith’s wife died three years ago this coming February, he needed something that he and his son, Cameron, could do together. Before then Smith traveled a lot selling and racing quarter-scale race cars. Reading comic books was just the thing. Together they’d travel to different shops in southern Michigan and Toledo, checking out what was available. That bonding experience blossomed into a store selling comic books and named after Cameron, 16, which opened in Adrian, Michigan, last year. The success of the Cameron’s Comics & Stuff took Smith, 42, by surprise. At first, he worked days at a factory and ran the store at night. But he found he could quit his factory job and devote himself to the store. Now Smith has opened a second Cameron’s Comics at 175 N. Main St. in Bowling Green. The shop officially opened Friday with a ribbon cutting. Over the weekend, Smith said, customers flocked to the store. Many were pleased to have a store devoted to comics and related literature, toys, and games back on Main Street. Though the store is open, it’s still a work in progress. More merchandise is coming in to fill the shelves that Smith built himself. He also plans to put a game room in the back. The main wall has the comics on white shelving. “They’re presented on white because they’re art,” he said. While he carries Marvel and DC, his stock goes deeper than that, extending to publishers including Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly, Image Comics, Silver Sprocket, and Alterna. The shop also has games including the Magic: The Gathering and Catan as well as action figures and other toys. “We have our own flavor,” he said. Smith said he’s taking a slower approach to stocking the BG store. In Adrian he dove right in with games, but found there wasn’t much interest. He’s finding games have more traction in Bowling Green. He also has a studio for recording podcasts set up so he can record his own podcast “Two Beers and a Pull List.” The studio’s available for rent. Smith said he decided to expand to Bowling Green because the area lacks a comic book shop, and with a college age population, he felt that left a hole in the market he could fill. “With all the nerd culture coming to the forefront, it’s kind of cool to be a nerd.” Opening weekend seems to have met his expectations. With a lot of college age shoppers in as well as older buyers. “In Adrian, college students don’t spend money,” he said. “Down here it looks like they do.” On Monday morning, Anna Watson came in with Andrew Haver to pick up “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2” He had seen it when he was in over the weekend, and told her it was here because she’d been looking for it. Haver was in high school when R & B Newsstand and Games was the local hub for comics fans and gamers. During that period Ground Zero Comics was in business across the street. Both he and Watson were pleased to see Cameron’s open up….


BGSU marks Jerome Library’s 50th year

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Fitting for a library that doubles as a work of art, Jerome Library will unveil a new piece at its celebration of the 50th anniversary. The program will start at 4 p.m. Friday. There’ll be short presentations on the history of the library as well as a presentation by Librarian Amy Fry on the mural. Then a piece by sculptor and book artist Vince Koloski, that draws inspiration from those murals, will be unveiled. The eight-story tall building with six floors of abstract art running up both the west and east faces first opened in 1967. Dean of University Libraries Sara Bushong said she’s been assured by the artist Donald Drumm that the designs have no hidden meaning. Bushong said that at the time, students “either loved it or thought it was the most atrocious thing they’d ever seen.” Now it’s hard to imagine campus without it. While the mural has been a constant landmark on campus over the past 50 years the services within it have evolved. When it was built it was devoted mostly to stacks of books. Now every one of its floors have been repurposed, sometimes several times over, Bushong said. The change is most evident on the first floor. “The goal is to have the first floor to be a very student services focused,” she said. The floor hosts the Learning Commons, Student Athletic Services, and, most recently, the Collab Lab. And, she added, “we’re still circulating books, which is good.” A member of the accreditation team for the architecture program commented that he was “impressed with how many people were coming in the building,” Bushong said. “There’s a lot of reasons to come here.” The library has about 450,000 visitors a year, that’s students, faculty, community member, and tour groups. The library went up in the midst of a university building boom. With its step down entrance and the dramatic murals, it was intended to add contrast to the flat landscape, Bushong said. Like any 50-year-old structure it has shown its age. The battle against leaks has been ongoing since 1967. Recent work on the roof over the first floor has solved problems on the first floor, though areas around the base of the tower, still cause leaks on the second level. And the library was not constructed with the ensuing digital age in mind. Bushong said that internet service is available throughout the building, but on some corners of the first floor cell phone service is spotty. Several years ago as the university was starting on its master plan, Jerome’s fate hung in the balance. “We had to decide whether the building was worth keeping,” the dean said. “We decided it was.” That’s meant a steady program of work on the building’s intricate inner workings. Bushong, who grew up in Bradner, remembers the building in its early years. Her father, Nick Ezzone, did graduate work at BGSU, and she would sometimes come to campus and visit the library with him. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education at BGSU from 1976-1980 and remembers the building not having changed much. When she and her husband, Brian Bushong, returned to the area in 1983 so he could join the Tower Brass, she had a hard time finding a…


Winter Wheat plants seeds of literary harvest

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The seeds for Winter Wheat were planted at Bowling Green State University back in 2001, and the writers have been harvesting the benefits annually ever since. Abigail Cloud, who is coordinating this festival, said: “The basic metaphor is sewing the seed for later harvest.” Winter Wheat begins Thursday, Nov. 2, and runs through Saturday night when the participants will gather at Grumpy Dave’s for an open mic. The weekend will include workshops, panels, talks, and readings. Between 200 to 300 participants are expected. Winter Wheat is free and registration is open throughout the weekend. For more information and schedule visit http://casit.bgsu.edu/midamericanreview/winter-wheat/ Cloud said she’d just arrived at BGSU in 2001 when Karen Craigo set about organizing the first gathering.  “She had been wanting to do a community event for a while,” Cloud said. The event welcomes back graduates of the Creative Writing Program as well as students and faculty from schools around the region and as far away as California and Texas, and writers from the local community. “It’s a good town-gown outreach,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to have a banner event for creative writing.” This year Winter Wheat is convening in conjunction with the meeting of the International Symposium for Poetic Inquiry. This is the first time the symposium is being held in the United States. Faculty colleague Sandra Faulkner, the host, suggested the arrangement and Cloud readily agreed. Winter Wheat adds value for those traveling from abroad. Last year a meeting of student editors convened at the same time. Winter Wheat differs from other writing conferences by including time for writing. “There was a recognition when we started that a lot of times when we leave comforting environment of workshops at school, we stop making time for our work. So we’re offering that time to produce something new. … It gives us a chance to dig back in and do some new writing on specific topics or explore where we haven’t had a chance to explore before.” The gathering always includes readings by faculty and graduates. Theresa Williams is both. She will present her work in graphic novels on Thursday night. On Friday evening, alumnae Colette Arrand will read from her novel “Hold Me Gorilla Monsoon.” Poet and, playwright and scholar Mary Weems will present Saturday afternoon. Kimberly Dark will speak Friday as part of the ISPI. And on Friday afternoon the first director of BGSU’s MFA program Howard McCord will join Joel Lipman and Jane Piirto,  for So Speak the Elders: Historical Roots of Poetry in Northwest Ohio in the 1970s and 1980s: A Poetic Inquiry. There are workshops covered “the widest range possible,” Cloud said. They include writing dialogue, including for funeral scenes, yoga for writers, writing comics, and writing inspired by art. Cloud said the sessions are mostly new from year to year. Some are perennials such as Lawrence Coates; Saturday session on Brainstorming the Novel. Cloud said she moved that to a larger room to accommodate demand. The conference has definite advantages for BGSU’s Creative Writing program. “I have received compliments from other institutions that have applauded the way we keep in touch with alums through Winter Wheat,” Cloud said. And it fosters connections with other regional schools. That’s good for students in the BFA program who are considering to move on to an MFA program. “They’re…


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 what was happening on the white side of town. Page noted he started out as “colored,” and has been a Negro, black, African-American, before now being a person of color. His family, he said, was “po’” because, according to his father, they were too poor to afford the “or.” But, he added, “ we were rich in spirit.” Page, 70, said he’s told Vance that save for the difference in age and race, it could be his story. But there were differences. Unlike Vance who chronicles a difficult family life, Page said his family was boring, a quality he’s come to appreciate as he’s gotten older. Like Vance’s grandfather, Page’s family moved north from the south to work in northern industry. Page’s people were part of the Great Migration that brought blacks north by rail seeking an escape from the segregated south and seeking greater opportunities. And Page remembers the lure of the railroad, looking down the tracks imagining an escape from Middletown. He succeeded in large part because of what he learned there.  He wanted to be an astronaut but his vision, “being four-eyed” ended that dream. But he was also captivated by seeing the reporters during a whistle stop in the 1960 campaign by then presidential candidate Richard Nixon. Others watched the vice president; Page had his eyes on the press. The high school newspaper advisor Mary Kindell recruited him for her staff. “Bless her heart, she saw some talent in me.” He did it to meet girls, but he found “I was pretty good at it. I enjoyed it.” He liked meeting people. He liked telling stories.  “What was important was somebody had faith in me.” When he won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1989, a former classmate called him to write a profile, and that sent Page back to the yearbook where he discovered Mrs. Kindell had written: “Remember me when you win your first Pulitzer. Don’t forget.” He looked up her number and called to remind her. She said he always had faith in him. He went on to Ohio University where, as he told…


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 the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology at Western Kentucky University, will speak about “Appalachian Cultural Landscapes” at 6 p.m. Nov. 2, also in 1007 Business. Vance will be on campus Nov. 29 to discuss his New York Times best-seller, “Hillbilly Elegy.” To register for Page’s talk visit registration.


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 band will perform traditional repertoire and new compositions by the world’s leading composers, conducted by Dr. Bruce Moss. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets in advance are $3 for students and $7 for adults and available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling 419-372-8171. Oct. 15 – The Sunday Matinee Series presents “Bedroom, Parlor and Bath” (1931, U.S.A., 85 minutes, directed by Edward Sedwick, with Buster Keaton, Charlotte Greenwood and Reginald Denny), with an introduction by film historian Dr. Jan Wahl. It very well may be that Buster Keaton’s greatest achievements lay in the silent era when he was allowed to control the making of each film. Yet his was a genius that could not be entirely diminished, even by the bosses at MGM. Keaton was able to adapt to this new medium, so now we were able to hear the unique voice that went with the clown’s body. The screening will begin at 3 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 17 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “Seconds” (1966, U.S., 106 minutes, directed by John Frankenheimer) with an introduction by William Avila, doctoral student in American culture studies. “Seconds” is about a middle-aged banker who makes a Faustian bargain to get a new life and becomes (after cosmetic surgery) a painter, played by matinee-idol Rock Hudson. A dystopian slow-burner, “Seconds” is must-see for James Wong Howe’s striking cinematography. Like “Stagecoach,” the film belongs to the collection of films archived in the National Film Registry. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 17 – Music at the Manor House presents Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble. As part of the Manor House’s BGSU Tuesday Evening Concerts, the ensemble will perform a variety of musical genres. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Toledo Metroparks Wildwood Manor House, 5100 W. Central Ave., Toledo. Free Oct. 18 – The 38th annual Bowling Green New Music and Art Festival kicks off with an ARTalk by Michael Fox on “Subjectivity in a Data-Driven Culture.” A 2013 BGSU graduate, Fox is a Los Angeles-based artist researching the use of natural aesthetics…


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, she was just concerned with making it through the day, and getting back to her husband and three sons in Virginia. It would be a few years later when she would realize the toll the attack took on her, when suddenly found herself struggling to breathe. What she and doctors thought was an allergic reaction to nuts, turned out to be the emergence of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Torres Barden has written a book “NewYoricanGirl … Surviving My Spanglish Life,” that deals with her life’s traumas and her recovery. On Saturday, Oct.  14, from 2 -4 p.m. she will sign and talk about the book at Gathering Volumes, 196 E. Boundary St., Perrysburg. Then at 4 p.m. there will be a community conversation about mental illness with a therapist. Torres Barden was born in South Carolina, where her father was stationed as a Marine, but she was soon at home in the Bronx.  Her parents had moved there from Puerto Rico when they were children. It was a tough neighborhood, Torres Barden said. She lived in the projects, “my cement reality,” in a landscape of burned out buildings, abandoned lots. “The South Bronx in the sixties was not a place you wanted to get lost in,” she said. “I grew up in a very tough violent neighborhood in an extremely dysfunctional, but loving family.” But her mother landed a job as an executive assistant at a top media company that allowed her to move the family to Upper Manhattan, to a building with a doorman. Yet that didn’t mean young Julia was safe. At 9 years old she was walking home from school, when she was approached by a man claiming to be a police officer who needed her help finding a dog. He took her to the basement of a tenement, not more than 400 yards from her door, and raped her. He let her go. He let her live. She went home. She never told anyone. Her mother died not knowing her daughter’s secret. It wasn’t until Torres Barden was 21 that she told someone, her fiancée. “I didn’t…


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 as a textbook” costs students and families is hard to determine. Now texts come bundled with digital and online resources, which can drive up the costs. The committee did some number crunching, but it is still uncomplete. One of its recommendations for the administration is to determine these costs, and then post those numbers so they are easily accessible to students and their families. What the committee did determine was a cap on spending would result in students in majors with low textbook costs, such as the Humanities, would end up subsidizing those in majors that typically have higher costs, such as the STEM disciplines. She said that as the committee studied the issue “we discovered many of you are doing a fantastic job.” The committee came up with “a flexible menu of options” built on what’s already being done. These include use on “open source” material which is available for free, and giving grants to faculty to develop such material. The committee said the university should consider joining Unizin, a national consortium described in the report as being ““dedicated to improving education technology” including “sharing affordable content, collaborating on digital solutions.” They also advise faculty to determine as early as possible what textbooks will be required, so students have the most options to finding them. Using older editions, supplementing with new data if needed, can also save students money. The report also urges those in higher education to educate legislators and the public on the relatively small impact textbooks have on the cost of higher education. They should also sort out what gets lumped in with textbooks, including access to online sites, workbooks and other materials. In other action, the senate approved the creation of the School of Built Environment within the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering. The school would bring together the departments of Construction Management and Architecture. Wilfred Roudebush, a professor in construction management, said the merger represents changes in industry. In the past, he said, architects and those who built structures had little contact. Now as the concept of design-build has taken hold in…


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 Oct. 5 – The BGSU Trumpet Guild will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free 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 band will perform traditional repertoire and new compositions by the world’s leading composers, conducted by Dr. Bruce Moss. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets in advance are $3 for students and $7 for adults and available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling 419-372-8171. Oct. 15 – The Sunday Matinee Series presents “Bedroom, Parlor and Bath” (1931, U.S.A., 85 minutes, directed by Edward Sedwick, with Buster Keaton, Charlotte Greenwood and Reginald Denny), with an introduction by film historian Dr. Jan Wahl. It very well may be that Buster Keaton’s greatest achievements lay in the silent era when he was allowed to control the making of each film. Yet his was a genius that could not be entirely diminished, even by the bosses at MGM. Keaton was able to adapt to this new medium, so now we were able…