Hitchhiking to Bolivia (with Collin Stewart)

We’ve been enjoying updates from 2010 English alum Collin Stewart’s Hitchhiking to Bolivia blog.  The title isn’t a metaphor.

A sample:

A great hunk of rusting grey and spluttering metal was already swaying away from its stop.  A goat was standing on top of it, tethered to the rack, and would crash hard onto its side with every slightest bump.  I sprinted up the road yelling and the van put on its brakes.  The goat did a faceplant into the roof.  I came around the van to the side with the sliding doors to see about 40 people and about 80 eyes, all fixed on me from inside this 16 passenger van.  I was hustled inside, crouched double and facing everyone, with the gear shift in a precarious position between my legs.

Another sample :

His Photos are Good, Too.

Go take a look.

(And send us a note if there’s an article or blog or other alumni- or Enlgish-related anything out there you’d like us to consider posting on this blog.)

Student Film and Animation Contest Winners

1st Place: English major Ryan Graves’s short film “I Wonder.”

2nd Place: Art major Darrien Mack’s video for Ruby Parasols, “Grasshopper.”

3rd Place: Art major Cody DeJardin tied himself for third with “One Wish” and “Dropping In.”

And while we’re at it, you can take a look at last year’s winners.  (2nd, 3rd, and audience choice all went to current English majors, by the way.)

(1st) Kyle Kim’s “Closer
(2nd) Ryan Graves’s “Walcmune
(3rd) Garrett Young’s “Severed Hooves of Roquath
(Audience Choice) Jacquie Wheeler’s “Mo-Mo

Update Us

UPDATE on the UPDATE: Oops… The form’s not quite working yet.  We’ll post the link again when we get it up and running.

The new departmental update form is now live, here.  (There’s also a link over there in the blog’s right-hand column.)  Give us an update on what you’ve been doing.  We’d love to hear from you.

This Week: The Leonard Oakland Film Festival

The 3rd Annual Leonard Oakland Film Festival takes place this week.

Day 1

Leonard Oakland Film Festival 2011 (Movie #1)

  • Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

Movie No. 1: Favela Rising.  From the Favela Rising site: This documentary film tells of  “a man and a movement, a city divided and a favela (Brazilian squatter settlement) united. Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, Anderson Sá is a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro’s most feared slum. Through hip-hop music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.”

The first night of this annual festival opens with the short film “Five Feet High” and Rising. The film, directed by Peter Sollett, is about a 12-year-old boy growing up on New York City’s Lower East Side.

Day 2

Oakland Film Festival 2011 (Movie #2)

  • Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

Movie No. 2: I’ve Loved You So Long.  From the film’s site: “Léa (Elsa Zylberstein) and Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) are sisters. The film begins with Léa, the younger sister by fifteen years, picking Juliette up at the airport. We soon realize that the two sisters are almost complete strangers to each other. Juliette has just been released from prison after serving a long sentence. Léa was still a teenager when Juliette, a doctor, was sent off to prison.  Léa contacted Juliette when she was released and suggested that Juliette come to live with her. Juliette had no particular desire to see her sister again.”

The evening opens with the short film “Tackle Box.” Directed and produced by Matthew Mebane, the film, based on a poem by Patti White, is about an elderly couple who fished the Low Country waters for decades and what happens after one of them dies.

Between the short and the feature, English/Journalism student Morgan Feddes will talk for a few minutes about her experiences studying at the LA Film Studies Center.

Day 3

Leonard Oakland Film Festival 2011 (Movie #3)

  • Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

Movie No. 3: Norman. This will be the West-Coast premiere of Norman, a new feature film starring starring Dan Byrd (Cougar TownHeroesAliens in America), Emily VanCamp (Brothers and SistersEverwood), and veteran actor Richard Jenkins, with a soundtrack by Andrew Bird.  Norman was filmed in Spokane, and directed by Jonathan Segal. It is the story of a troubled high-school kid who pretends to be dying of cancer as he confronts problems with his new girlfriend and terminally ill father and struggles with his daily existence. This is the movie’s regional premiere, and the filmmakers will be on hand for a post-viewing discussion.

For the second year, the festival is also pleased to be hosting a student film and animation competition.  Winning entries, along with a selection of several other entries, will be screened Saturday, February 19, at the Robinson Teaching Theater, just before Norman.

Rock and Sling Relaunch

Whitworth is now the home of Rock & Sling, a journal of literature, art, and faith. Editors include Thom Caraway (editor-in-chief), Vic Bobb (fiction), Laurie Lamon (poetry), Julie Riddle (creative nonfiction), and Annie Stillar (managing editor). Subscriptions available to staff and alumni at a discounted rate. Visit the journal online at www.rockandsling.com.

Rock & Sling Relaunch Celebration, Friday, Feb. 11 @ 7 p.m.

The Rock & Sling Salon and Whitworth University invite you to celebrate the relaunch of the Rock & Sling literary journal with a reading at Auntie’s Bookstore, followed by a reception at Dean Davis Photography studio. The reading will feature authors Christopher Howell, Leonard Oakland, Jeff Dodd, Beth Cooley and Cathy Bobb. Reception entertainment will be provided by the Whitworth jazz trio.

Auntie’s Bookstore: 402 W. Main Ave., in downtown Spokane

Dean Davis Photography: 216 W. Pacific Ave., Suite 102

For more information, contact Annie Stillar by e-mailing astillar@whitworth.edu or calling 509.777.3253.

Podcasts of Recent On Campus Readings

Over the last couple of years, Whitworth has begun, when possible, creating audio podcasts of many on campus events, including on-campus readings by visiting creative writers.   Below we’ve included links to the available audio podcasts of creative writers reading on campus, with short descriptions.  (You can also find the whole collection of Whitworth podcasts here.)

Endowed English Reading: Author Russell Working

11.12.2010 – Russell Working reads from his works as Whitworth’s 2010 Endowed English Reader. Working is a 2000 Whitworth alumnus and has won Iowa Short Fiction Award; his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in publications including The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New York Times and the Jerusalem PostListen Listen

Alan Botsford Poetry Reading

9.24.2010 – Alan Botsford, author of two poetry collections and a book of essays, Walt Whitman of Cosmic Folklore, reads from his works. Listen Listen

Laurie Lamon Poetry Reading

4.16.2010 – Laurie Lamon, professor of English at Whitworth University, presents a poetry reading. Lamon’s poems have appeared in The New Republic, Ploughshares, and The Atlantic Monthly, among others. She has published two poetry collections. Listen Listen

Endowed English Reading: David Daniel

4.9.2010 – Poet David Daniel presents a reading. Daniel is former poetry editor of the literary journal Ploughshares and current director of the undergraduate creative writing program at Fairleigh-Dickinson University, in Madison, N.J. Listen Listen

Reading by Ann Putnam

3.2.2010 – Author Ann Putnam reads from her new book, Full Moon at Noontide. Putnam teaches creative writing and women’s studies at the University of Puget Sound. Listen Listen

Simpson-Duvall Reading: Linda Hogan

2.12.2010 – Linda Hogan is a Native American poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, environmentalist, writer of short stories, and the Chickasaw Nation’s Writer in Residence. Listen Listen

Bruce Guernsey Endowed English Reading

11.6.2009 – Poet Bruce Guernsey is a distinguished professor emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, where he taught creative writing and American literature for 25 years. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic, and American Scholar.  He has published three collections, including New England Primer (Cherry Grove Editions, 2008). Listen Listen

Laurie Lamon Poetry Reading

10.6.2007 – Whitworth Associate Professor of English Laurie Lamon, recipient of a 2007 Witter Bynner Fellowship, conducts a poetry reading. Listen Listen

Laurie Lamon at Willow Springs (And Elsewhere)

Professor Laurie Lamon was recently featured at the Website of Willow Springs Literary Magazine.  Follow the link to read a few of Laurie’s poems, along with her comments on them.

You can read more of Laurie’s work in her published collections Fork Without Hunger (2005) and Without Wings (2009).

Laurie reading and speaking online:

Podcast of Reading at Whitworth (4/16/2010)

Podcast of Reading at Whitworth (10/6/2007)

Witter Bynner Poetry Reading (3/29/2007)

Interview with Grace Cavalieri, The Poet and the Poem Series (2007)