Posts Tagged ‘Young Adult Lit’

One Conference, Two Papers

We are slowly breaking away from a cold spell that enveloped us this past weekend.  Rumor has it that some people had snow up in the hills that surround my home.  However, today, I woke up to thunderstorms and a  forecast that is going to bring us warmer weather.

I am in the middle of a week of projects.  I’m trying to wrap up some lingering assignments left from the semester.  I am also trying to finish up two conference papers. Yep, in a few weeks, I will be heading to the Working-Class Studies Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, where I will be presenting two papers on two different topics.  I’ve presented at conferences before, but never back-to-back presentations.  Should be fun.  And challenging.

The first paper is about Leonard Kress’s chapbook The Centralia Mine Fire and the metaphors placed within his collection about a fast disappearing way of life.  Regular readers will known about my interest in Centralia, and I have researched and discussed how other poets, including Karen Blomain and Barbara Crooker, have said about Centralia in their poems.  But this is the first time I have taken on Kress’s wonderful chapbook, which is now out of print, but you can read it here.

The second paper is about the depiction of The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in two young adult books: Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix and Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch.  I have always said that when I have more spare time (ha!) I would like to complete an annotated bibliography of young adult books that look at working class histories and/or issues.  (As always, if you have recommendations, please let me know!).  I know these two books are not the only books that describe this important historical event, but I believe they are a good place to start.

So, June is around the corner, and these last days of May will be dedicated to finishing old projects and starting some new ones!

June, Oh June

So far, my summer has been a series of self-imposed deadlines — some of them having to do with poetry, such as sending out submission packets and working on the poetry unit of my summer creative writing class.  But, I haven’t got a whole lot of new poems written.  To say that I’m in some sort of writing funk may be an understatement.  I am, however, hoping to change all that when I take off on Thursday to attend the annual Chautauqua Writers’ Festival.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism by Michael Cart.  (This book is part of a future project where I hope to write a paper regarding working-class issues in young adult literature).  Cart offers an excellent history of young adult literature, so much so, that I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for my teen Harlequin/Wildfire/Sweet Valley High/Sunfire days.  He talks about the ups and downs of the young adult literary world including brief discussions about where young adult literature is going.  For those of you who may feel a twinge of the same sort of nostalgia I’m feeling, check out this cool website, (which is not affiliated with Cart — I just like it)