I continue to see Great Egrets, Green Herons, and Great Blue Herons along the Curtain Pole Road section of the Tennessee Riverpark. Ospreys continue to be active at Chickamauga Dam, fishing early in the day. Some lovely flowers are blooming at Renaissance Park. Observation is mor comfortable early in the day before the heat moves in (7 to 9 AM).
The Porch Writer’s Collective of Nashville continues to offer a weekly writer’s prompt. The Porch will release their list of online fall classes for writers next week. For sign up information, look at their web page: https://the-porch-writers-collective.square.site/
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology offers an online Bird Photography class with Melissa Groo. They also have a Nature Journaling and Field Sketching class.
Rattle Poetry gives poets an opportunity to address current events with “Poets Respond.” Poets may submit poems written during the current week and the poems will be reviewed within the week. The winning poets will present their poems online during the Sunday YouTube program “Poets Respond.” Following these presentations, others who submitted work can participate in an online open mic. Rattle Poetry also offers a weekly Ekphrastic Challenge. Submission guidelines for Rattle are available through Submittable.com
The Chattanooga Writers’ Guild continues to offer a program on the second Tuesday of each month online. The August program is an open mic via zoom. The Guild offers additional programs, including a weekly Ekphrastic poetry challenge. Any member of the Chattanooga Writers Guild Facebook Group can participate.
The following is from the submissions page of The Sun
The next time you have work that’s ready to submit, why not send it to us?
The Sun is a reader-supported ad-free magazine. We’ve been described in many ways: celebratory, fierce, unflinching, thoughtful, truthful, dark, darkly funny, tender. Contributors tell us that after their work reaches more than 70,000 engaged Sun readers, they often hear from old friends and new admirers. To save your time and ours, we suggest you take a look at The Sun before submitting. We’ve provided some samples below. Several years ago, they published an interview on the Nature of Writing with National Book Award winner, Barry Lopez.
The following is from the submissions guidelines page of Orion magazine.
The editorial impulse of Orion lies at the nexus of ecology and the human experience. The magazine distinguishes itself from the din of common culture through its depth of inquiry, commitment to interdisciplinary thought, and an emphasis on insight and imagination alongside a big-picture approach to problem-solving
This review appeared in my column, “Nature’s Bookshelf” which was a regular feature in The Hellbender Press of Knoxville, Tennessee several years ago. I have gathered the columns into a booklet, also titled Nature’s Bookshelf. Hellbender Press is a publication of the Foundation for Global Sustainability.
Saints at the River ISBN 0-8050-7487-2
Reviewed by Ray Zimmerman in The Hellbender Press
Volume 7, Issue 7
“He was dying, and the farm was dying with him.” Maggie, the protagonist in Ron Rash’s novel, observes her father and his farm while visiting her home in South Carolina. Maggie is a newspaper photographer, sent to her hometown to report on the attempt to recover the body of a girl drowned in a wild and scenic river. The body is trapped in a hydraulic, a powerful eddy under a rock. The river is unwilling to give up its dead.
The focus of Maggie’s visit home is a hearing in which various parties debate the best course of action for recovery of the body. Many local people believe that a dynamite stick, tossed into the eddy, will free the body. Luke, a kayak enthusiast, is so in love with the river that he envies the dead girl, cradled in its arms.
Mr. Kowalski, a captain of industry from another state, is the dead girls’ father. He favors construction of a temporary dam to divert the water while his daughter’s body is recovered for proper burial. Meanwhile, a real estate developer is closely watching the proceedings to see if any precedent setting violation of the river’s wild and scenic status takes place.
Like the wild river and the surrounding mountains, the characters are rugged and unyielding. The dynamic conflict between varying interest groups, and between Maggie and her father, builds until much of the tension in this dynamic book is released by a surprise ending.
In a way that would only be possible for a person who calls such country home, Mr. Rash reveals these personalities in a tapestry of narrative and conflict perhaps best illustrated by his comments on Billy, a minor character introduced early in the book. This small portion of the book was well received when Mr. Rash read at the Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga, earlier this year. (2005)
“Billy had a degree in agriculture from Clemson University and his family owned the biggest apple orchard in the valley, but he’d decided after college that his true calling was playing Snuffy Smith to fleece the tourists. He swore if could find a cross-eyed boy who could play banjo, he’d stick that kid on the porch and increase his business 25 percent.”
Saints at the River is Ron Rash’s second novel. It joins his volumes of poetry and short stories as he rises to the top of Southern Literature.
Ron Rash continues to write and publish prolifically. He has an author page on the Harper Collins website https://www.harpercollins.com/author/cr-103756/ron-rash/ He also has a Goodreads author page which lists major works. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24820.Ron_Rash
Billy is but one of the colorful characters Ron Rash depicted in Saints at the River. Others are briefly mentioned in my review. Pick a person you know who is similarly colorful and create a fictional character that could appear in one of your books.
Shameless Self Promotion
Now that I am finalizing my booklet, Nature’s Bookshelf I am pleased to offer free copies in PDF format. This is a collection of articles I wrote for the Hellbender Press of Knoxville, Tennessee several years ago. You can request a copy by email from firstname.lastname@example.org.