MARGARITA ENGLE EXPLORES WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE AN OUTSIDER IN ‘SINGING WITH ELEPHANTS’ ~ NPR

June 1, 2022 

LISTEN

Portrait of Children's book author, Margarita Engle, 2019 NSK award winner for World Literature Today

The Cuban American author Margarita Engle explores what it’s like to be an outsider in her new middle-grade novel Singing with Elephants.

the cover of 'Singing with Elephants'

Viking Books for Young Readers

Oriol, her 11-year-old Cuban-born protagonist, leaves the island nation as her family makes the move to Santa Barbara, Calif. She’s learning English. Her playmates are the animals at her parents’ veterinary clinic. When she befriends the diplomat Gabriela Mistral, who also happens to be the real-life winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, her world opens up even more. 

Engle tells Morning Edition she wanted to imagine how it would feel for a child to live near an accomplished poet and to wonder if she could write poetry too. Singing with Elephants is told in verse.

~~~ CONTINUE READING/LISTENING ON NPR ~~~

a Buddhist parable

.

A man is shot with a poisoned arrow

The arrow piercing his flesh, the man wants answers. What kind of arrow is it? What kind of poison is it? Who shot it? What feathers are on the arrow, a peacock or a hawk?

the questions miss the point, the Buddha tells his disciple. What’s important is pulling out the arrow, and tending to the wound.

“We need to be moved by the pain of all of the suffering. But it is important that we are not paralyzed by it,” “It makes us value life because we understand life is precious, life is short, it can be over so quickly.”

soulful memoir ~ old friend of E. Boyles

.

This unforgettable father and son story confronts the legacy of the Vietnam War across two generations; “an important book that should be read by every American” (Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran and author of Born on the Fourth of July).

Craig McNamara came of age in the political tumult and upheaval of the late 60s. While Craig McNamara would grow up to take part in anti-war demonstrations, his father, Robert McNamara, served as John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense and the architect of the Vietnam War. This searching and revealing memoir offers an intimate picture of one father and son at pivotal periods in American history. Because Our Fathers Lied is more than a family story—it is a story about America.

Before Robert McNamara joined Kennedy’s cabinet, he was an executive who helped turn around Ford Motor Company. Known for his tremendous competence and professionalism, McNamara came to symbolize “the best and the brightest.” Craig, his youngest child and only son, struggled in his father’s shadow. When he ultimately fails his draft board physical, Craig decides to travel by motorcycle across Central and South America, learning more about the art of agriculture and making what he defines as an honest living. By the book’s conclusion, Craig McNamara is farming walnuts in Northern California and coming to terms with his father’s legacy.

Because Our Fathers Lied tells the story of the war from the perspective of a single, unforgettable American family.

momentariness and fluidity

.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2021-06-19-at-5.58.59-pm.png



There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.

Alan Watts

~~~

Alan Wilson Watts was a British writer and speaker known for interpreting and popularising Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York.

Art Goodtimes Kicks Off New Live Poetry Series At ArtWalk June 2nd

.

TELLURIDE… After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, live poetry is returning to town. The Telluride Institute’s Talking Gourds Poetry Program has teamed up with Telluride Arts to present an in-person outdoor reading series on ArtWalk’s first Thursday of each month this summer to be called Walking Talking Gourds. The first featured reader will be Art Goodtimes on the June 2nd ArtWalk event at 6:30 p.m. on the patio of the Sheridan Opera House’s Show Bar in the North Oak Street Park.

“We’re delighted to offer live performances again,” said Talking Gourds Co-Director

Emma Youngquist. “Walking Talking Gourds will showcase mostly local poets and

storytellers as an in-person complement to our Bardic Trails virtual zoom readings on

the first Tuesday of every month at the Wilkinson Public Library.” That series stars poets

from all over the country as featured readers