The Reluctant Prize Winner’s Speech

October 26, 2016

Do not mistake this god deep silence for disapproval or conceit. Or American arrogance, whatever you take that to be: I have come from Oklahoma with a banjo on my knee. Some people push the words out fast. They spit …

Arnold Palmer’s gratitude

September 26, 2016

 I wrote this back in 1999. Near the end of the 1960s, a Gallup poll designed to sound the depths of American cynicism turned up the interesting factoid that there was but one American who could still be considered an …

Ed Bethune talks about A Pearl for Kizzy

August 25, 2016

Stick around to the end and your monkey plays a song.

Elvis lives

August 16, 2016

Is it so bizarre to commemorate the anniversary of a star’s death? Americans have always converted dead celebrities into durable cultural phenomena–remember Jim Morrison on the cover of Rolling Stone : “He’s Hot, He’s Sexy and He’s Dead.” The people …

So You Should Never Read the Comments

August 3, 2016

SSO YOU SHOULD NEVER READ THE COMMENTS (for Jef Rouner et. al.) In his own heart, every man is pure. What discharges is like weather unbidden and deep roiling, the product of some butterfly beating its wings in La Paz, …

On Not Hating the Dodgers: a pre-Fathers Day column

June 17, 2016

I’d forgotten I’d written this. It’s from 1994 and it’s in my 1997 book The Shortstop’s Son, which you can still order online. My father was a Dodger fan. My earliest memory involves a blue and white T-shirt emblazoned with …

The Kindness by Polly Samson

May 26, 2016

The Kindness by Polly Samson (Bloomsbury, 294 pages) Reviewed by Karen Martin for blood, dirt & angels The story, although a decent enough mystery, isn’t the big deal here. It’s all about texture, sensory input, meaningful details in conversations and …

“Trump Stakes,” a poem by Johnny Wink

May 8, 2016

Sent our way this afternoon:     Trump Stakes   The Donald called me a liar when I told him That the word travel comes from a Latin word Having to do with torture.  When I suggested That, when he gets around …

An Accident

May 2, 2016

before it gets written over remember the red snowsuit and the squawky tension of the chain that held the rubber swing seat and about forty pounds of me let go into a New York sky forever for a second hung …

A conversation with Sonny Liew

April 15, 2016

I hope to run into this gentleman today at the Arkansas Literary Festival.