Showing posts from March, 2016

Following the Music: Cattolica, Italy

Though I like to consider myself adventurous, my travels in Europe have generally been limited to the Rick Steves-approved tourist spots, the ones teeming with other American sightseers.   Michelangelo's cupola, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City But last summer while I was teaching a study abroad course in Rome, I let myself be lured off the beaten track, to an Italian seaside town called Cattolica.  Just south of Rimini on the Adriatic sea, Cattolica has beach resorts, charming pedestrian walkways, and restaurants like this one :     What it doesn't have a lot of is English speaking visitors. At the hotel where I stayed, my warm and welcoming hosts were thrilled to be able to practice their English on me. Claudia and Massimo at the Hotel Jupiter To be honest, I'd never even heard of Cattolica before last summer.  I travelled there only because I wanted to see a concert by MIKA, a multi lingual British pop star with a five-oc tave rang e and a

Seneca Village and Sacred Sisters: A Visit From Poet Marilyn Nelson

Photograph by Jenny Spinner I've long been a fan of poet Marilyn Nelson--of her adept use of traditional forms, her extended explorations of history and personal spirituality, her desire to reach a wide readership that includes middle- and high-schoolers and not just the usual, insular adult audience sought by most poets.   Marilyn is also impressively prolific, with two new collections published in quick succession-- American Ace : ...and My Seneca Village :  Earlier this week, Marilyn paid a visit to Saint Joseph's University, to read in our Writing Series.   Among the poems she shared were a couple of very striking newer ones from Sacred Sisters, a collaboration with visual artist Holly Trostle Brigham .  Marilyn's poems and Holly's paintings depict the lives of nuns who also were artists.  This one was first published by the Academy of American Poets in their Poem-a-Day program :  Hilaria Batista de Almeida,

Where I've Been Part 2

Where have I been lately and why haven't I been blogging?  Well, for one thing, I was writing (and rewriting) Far From Over, a digital-exclusive companion novella to  Love, Lucy .  It comes out on April 12, and I'm thrilled with the cover. Here's what it's about: Jesse Palladino is used to moving on. As a street musician backpacking through Europe, he's never in one place for long. Which is why it's so surprising he can't seem to move on from Lucy, the girl he fell for in Florence. They parted ways when Lucy returned home to start college, but every crowded piazza and winding cobblestone street reminds Jesse of the time they spent together. Now staying with a friend in Naples, he can't help wondering if it's time to pack up and move on again. But just when his mind is made up, something--or someone-- might give him a reason to stay.  I Heart Naples! Far From Over is available for pre-order now.  And please, stay tuned, as I r