Closer Readings +

The Pilgrims are Coming! The Puritans are Coming!

Poster from American Experience: The Pilgrims
On Tuesday, November 24, and again on Thanksgiving night, the long-running PBS series American Experience will broadcast The Pilgrims.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Celebrating the Language of Place in Hopi Culture

Image Hopi planting corn
In my culture, we sing songs to show our happiness…We believe that when we sing songs, we are sharing our feelings of happiness with nature. Since the corn plants are also our children, we sing to the corn, too. Our elders tell us that when we sing to our corn children, we make them happy. When they are happy, they grow better.I was also taught that wherever there is singing, there is life. So when songs are sung, they too are born, just like people.—Ramson Lomatewama, Hopi poetRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

Sherwood Anderson’s Grotesques in “Winesburg, Ohio”

Leftover apples on a tree in winter
Though Winesburg accumulates external facts—streets, stores, town personalities—as it gropes along, its burden is a spiritual essence, a certain tart sweet taste to life as it passes in America’s lonely lamp lit homes. A nagging beauty lives amid this tame desolation; Anderson’s parade of yearning wraiths constitutes in sum a democratic plea for the failed, the neglected, and the stuck. —John Updike, “Twisted Apples,” Harpers Magazine, March 1984Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Global Encounters for National History Day 2016

Sikh patrol passing through a village. From "The New York Sun," January 10, 1915
Last month we investigated how to find and use high-quality resources to help you start "exploring" your 2016 NHD project. This month we’ll focus on “encounters”. As NHD's Education Director, Lynne O’Hara,  notes in her very helpful introduction,Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Academy of American Poets Forum 2015

The Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets
For the past ten years as the leaves begin to turn in mid-October, poetry lovers from all over the country have converged on New York City for the Academy of American Poets annual Poets Forum. During the event-filled weekend, the public is invited to hear chancellors of the academy, and acclaimed poets, present readings and converse on the state of the art.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings