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“…and if we live the lie, let’s lie in trust…”

“The Green Knight is everything you love about King Arthur, but with a twist.” That’s the tag line Comcast is using to advertise streaming rentals of writer-director David Lowery’s visually sumptuous new movie. The angle surprised me: I didn’t know Arthuriana still sells. My sense was that the Arthurian boom peaked in the late ’90s … Continue reading “…and if we live the lie, let’s lie in trust…”

“I’ve willed, I’ve walked, I’ve read, I’ve talked…”

Build your brand! Optimize your keywords! Like, review, subscribe! Writers now believe they have to carry on with this nonsense. Maybe some must, even though for most of us the returns are minimal and the requisite skills aren’t always inborn. Much good writing goes unread because a poet or novelist lacks the hucksterism of a … Continue reading “I’ve willed, I’ve walked, I’ve read, I’ve talked…”

“Night is day, and twilight’s gone away…”

When the pandemic began, friends asked me what insights I could glean from studying and writing about the Middle Ages for as long as I did. “Nothing,” I told them, which remains true. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that we’re living through an apocalypse—not necessarily in the religious, end-of-the-world sense, but in the literal … Continue reading “Night is day, and twilight’s gone away…”

I Have Started for Canaan: The Story of the African American Town of Sugarland

I don’t have romantic notions about what writers do—but every so often, our work has profound implications for neighbors and friends. In January 2019, I met two great-granddaughters of the founders of Sugarland, a town established by former slaves immediately after emancipation in rural Montgomery County, Maryland. My new friends were tenacious historians who had … Continue reading I Have Started for Canaan: The Story of the African American Town of Sugarland

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