Monday, March 21, 2011
What is your favorite Tennessee Williams play? I truly miss my 4Ws Colleagues!
Tennessee Williams - The Clarion Ledger
Tennessee Williams Centennial Celebration
Thursday, December 2, 2010
But it is not easy to listen to Wright in 2010, especially for people who cling to hope as they desperately seek to confirm the goodness of mankind. They do not hear the soothing platitudes they need for comfort. Skeptics and cynics, however wrongheaded they might be, stand a better chance of hearing Wright’s demands for a truth, for making justice more palpable, and for the purging of guilt. Yet, it is inevitable that all must listen to Wright, or at least overhear what he is saying, because his spirit haunts the world in a quest for peace.
Fifty years ago, Hoyt W. Fuller was able to find a small measure of peace and to mitigate his grief by remembering Wright “has spoken with eloquence and with all the power of his great overburdened heart that which he felt so deeply” (550-51). Fuller concluded his meditation on Richard Wright with a modicum of hope: “Richard Wright was an American, tugging at the conscience and the submerged sense of reason of America, and American should be proud to have produced him. Perhaps someday a more mature America will embrace her rejected native son. Perhaps that time will come “(555). Unlike Fuller, we are suspicious of America’s conscience and sense of reason, beholding them as quite remote possibilities. We have greater anxiety about America’s capacity to remember.
Thus, the word perhaps opens cautionary dimensions. Perhaps those for whom Wright is more a living presence than a canonized writer, those who will to learn from Wright’s works the dignity of critical reflection and the great suffering that integrity demands -----well, perhaps they will succeed in persuading others of the unending importance of Wright’s visions, questions, and ideas. Perhaps they will fail. We can take consolation in the fact that they shall not fail and succeed simultaneously in a future of unarticulated designs. Perhaps the sheer force of uncertainty is our best assurance that the most essential qualities of Wright’s intelligence and foresight will not just vanish in the twenty-first century. Even from another world, Mississippi’s native son has audible authority in the world we inhabit.
Jerry W. Ward, Jr.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The institute began at the Mississippi Archives. Dr. Harrison provided a historical overview, which left each participant bubbling with excitement. The tour of the archives and viewing Eudora Welty's handwritten notes made the experience even more exciting. Dr. Ward enlighten the participants in spite of the technologically glitches. The trip to Natchez and the pit stop at The Forks in the Road caused thoughtful personal recognition and influenced the mindset of many of the participants. Dr. Peggy and Dr. Noel discussion on Eudora Welty helped to provide many ideas for teaching students to appreciate Eudora's works. Hearing Eudora actually read her works confirmed many of the participants analysis of several of her works. Dr. Colby helped the participants process Tennessee Williams by including pedagogy and literary analysis of Tennessee's plays. Finally, Dr. Graham ended with Margaret Walker Alexander at Jackson State and the Mississippi Archives.
Each participant left the reunion with a newfound spirit, encouraging them to be an educator and research scholar all over again.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Some of her publications include:
How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature by Margaret Walker (1990); Conversations with Ralph Ellison (1995); On Being Female, Black and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992 (1997); Teaching African American Literature: Theory and Practice (1998). Fields Watered With Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker (2001), Conversations with Margaret Walker (2002), The House Where My Soul Lives: The Life of Margaret Walker (work in progress).
Check out these following sites that she is affiliated with:
The Project on the History of Black Writing - She is the co-founder.
Langston Hughes National Poetry Project - She is the director.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Posted with LifeCast
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Richard Wright, Daemonic Genius: A Portrait of the Man, A Critical Look at His Work (1988)
On Being Female, Black, and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992 (1997)
The Ballad of the Free (1966)
Prophets for a New Day (1970)
October Journey (1973)
For Farish Street Green, February 27, 1986 (1986)
This Is My Century: New and Collected Poems (1989)
Note: I pulled this list from the Mississippi Writer's Page. If I left out something please leave a comment and I will add it to the list. Happy Reading ~ Maggie
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Golden Globe nominee to portray Stella in ‘Streetcar Named Desire’
CLARKSDALE – When English actress Ruth Wilson takes center stage as Stella in “Streetcar named Desire” in London this summer, she’ll be remembering Clarksdale’s Cutrer Mansion, Moon Lake, and Mississippi Delta plantation homes.
To immerse herself in the world of Tennessee Williams, this raven-haired beauty and Golden Globe nominee, traveled here to experience the playwright’s childhood home and its influences on his famous plays.
Among the sites she viewed were St. George’s Episcopal Church, the Cutrer Mansion and Clarksdale’s historic district where the spent his childhood, the Stovall and Anderson plantations, Uncle Henry’s Place on Moon Lake, and miles of green Mississippi River levees, farmland, and cypress brakes.
Wilson’s performance in the Masterpiece Theatre television series “Jane Eyre” earned her four Best Actress nominations including a Golden Globe. In a BBC Best Actress viewer poll she was rated second.
The role of Stella’s sister Blanche Dubois is being portrayed by Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz, who won a 2006 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the movie, “The Constant Gardner.”
“This visit to Clarksdale has been invaluable,” Wilson says. “For me as an actor, it is very important to fill my body and mind with sense memories.”
“So on stage when I talk about Belle Reve (the Cutrer Mansion is generally regarded as the ancestral home of sisters Stella and Blanche in “Streetcar”) or Moon Lake, I have an immediate and natural reaction to those places, those people,” she says.
“It is a way for me to immerse myself in the world of the play; I can literally hear, smell, feel, and see those places, those people,” she continues.
Wilson says Moon Lake was particularly interesting because of its isolation from Clarksdale.
“Being surrounded by a fast flowing river gave it a romanticism and sereneness, but also a deep sense of danger,” she says.
“You could understand why Tennessee depicted it as a place of wild freedom and danger,” she continues.
To learn more about the South, Wilson began her travels in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved on to Savannah through Alabama, and Mississippi to New Orleans.
“What was common about people from the South and what I loved was not only the wonderful generosity, but also incredible humor,” she says.
“You all have such quick minds, but slow mouths; it is the Tennessee (Williams) way of speaking – funny and sharp but rhythmic and languid; it is completely unique and completely beautiful – I hope I can re-create some of that,” she said.
“The more I read of Tennessee’s work, the more poetry I find. He had such a beautiful and rhythmic way with words. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to put voice to them,” Wilson adds.
Wilson says “Streetcar” opens July 28 in London at the Donmar Theatre that is currently producing “Hamlet” with Jude Law.Other actors have spent time in Clarksdale researching Tennessee Williams plays including English actress Frances O'Conner who played Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in London and actors from France who performed in "Orpheus Descending."
Clarksdale’s 17th Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival will be held Oct. 16-17 and will continue its focus on the playwright’s Delta plays including “Spring Storm,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Summer and Smoke,” “Orpheus Descending,” and others.
A “Stella” shouting contest is a popular component of the festival’s Student Acting Competition. For additional information and updates, view http://www.coahomacc.edu/twilliams.
Photo cutlines: English actress Ruth Wilson, a Best Actress Golden Globe nominee, visits Clarksdale’s historic Cutrer Mansion to experience sites from the world of playwright Tennessee Williams for her portrayal of Stella in the play, ‘Streetcar Named Desire.’ Giving her a tour of the mansion that is generally regarded as Belle Reve, the ancestral home, of Stella and Blanche in ‘Streetcar’ is Lois McMurchy, director of the Coahoma County Higher Education Center.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Ah, parting is such sweet sorrow, but I left yesterday with a summer full of reading ideas. Thank you Maryemma for the stimulating session full of new terms for this inspired librarian. For those in attendance and for those who regretfully missed, I made a reading list based on the book titles or authors thrown into the conversation yesterday. If I miss one, please leave a comment and I will add.
No one will forget Vija Lee's moving book talk on Kneebaby by R.S. Cannon! Thank you for having the courage to share with us Vija.
Books entering yesterday's conversation because they are similar in nature to Jubilee include,
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
and slightly over-top, Fairoaks by Frank Yerby.
Too Similar to Jubilee!?!
Roots by Alex HaleyTragic Mulatto is a new genre I cannot wait to explore this summer. It reminds me of the tragic young adult books of the 60's and 70's. In this genre, someone would die because the main character committed a moral sin such as drinking and driving, having a baby out of wedlock, or experimenting with drugs.
Passing and Quicksand by Nella Larsen
Comedy, American Style,
Short Story The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Want to discover more about Jessie Fauset and Dorothy West? I found this read which carries a bonus author Zora Neale Hurston!
Hear the melody in this book of sermons,
My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban by Latifa
Slave: My True Story by Mende Nazer
Charles W. Chesnutt Stories, Novels and Essays by Charles W. Chesnutt
Brer Rabbit, Uncle Remus, and the 'Cornfield Journalist': The Tale of Joel Chandler Harris by Walter M. Brasch
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
1.) Why does Wright borrow the title from a hymn?
2.) What aspects of Southern life were threatened by cooperation between black and white Communists in the 1930s?
4.) What is the nature of the new faith that Aunt Sue learns from her sons Sug and Johnny-Boy?
“If in the early days of her life the white mountain had driven her back from the earth, then in her last days Reva’s love was drawing her toward it….”
5.) How does the white mountain function as a metaphor? What does the passage reveal about Aunt Sue’s conception of self?
6.) Why does the sheriff not hesitate to brutalize an old black woman? What does his action reveal about racial hatred?
7.) Is Aunt Sue’s reaction to her beating similar to or different from Reverend Taylor’s reaction to his whipping in Fire and Cloud? How does gender function as a determining element in their responses?
8.) What does Aunt Sue’s suffering and ultimate sacrifice for her son Johnny-Boy suggest about a woman’s determination?
Visit Mississippi 4Ws Writing Institute:
Friday, May 1, 2009
Beth Bunce, 4Ws participant and Northwest Mississippi Community College (NWCC) English instructor, will provide 1-hour CEU credit for a week-long class discussion on Tennessee Williams for educators!
Look what you have done Colby!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Walker writes about the importance of the Black Code to regulate the movement of slaves in her book, Jubilee. The Black Code, also known as the slave code, monitored the movement of slaves and helped enforce the laws of slavery in the South. Here are a few resources to refer to when discussing the Black Code. How do you think you would address the topic of Black Codes in the classroom?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
My cigarette glows
Monday, April 13, 2009
Having students chose one of Margaret's poems and write a literary analysis essay is a great way to incorporate her works in the classroom. I found an essay on Margaret Walker on the Modern American Poetry website. You may find this essay helpful to use in the classroom.
I'm very excited to see a new book on our shelves titled Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen by Philip Dray. Dray was in the running for a Pulitzer Prize for his work, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, that won two other awards that year. This book features the the lives of 16 black southerners who tried to change the government; woefully, they were out numbered by corruptible white congressmen during the Mystic Years of Reconstruction.
I have not read it. I gave the library copy to one of our history teachers and she brought it back raving. She said, "It is readable history!" That leads me to believe not all history is readable. ~Maggie ;D
Located on the campus of Jackson State University, the Margaret Walker Research Center "houses" records of the past to preserve the African-American culture. The center has an oral history collection database available online. Welcoming records, personal papers, and other important items related to African-American culture, the center also has items belonging to Margaret Walker. We were very privileged to have the opportunity to view Margaret's first journal, given to her by her father, documents written and typed by her, one of her favorite hats, and her typewriter. Dr. Harrison provided us with a tour of the amazing facility. Ironically, Maurine was able to discover that her field trip to Jackson State University with her students has been documented and added to the archives of the Margaret Walker Research Center. The pictures were taken at the center.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Help me get the word out, 4Ws! I am currently participating in Celebrate the South Blog Tour honoring poet Patricia Neely-Dorsey of Tupelo, Mississippi. I have her new book of poetry titled, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia: A Life in Poems, if anyone wants to read it and share with their classroom. I would like the book back afterwards to place in the library collection. Here is my contribution to the tour. ~Maggie
Visit Pat at her blog or purchase her book through Amazon.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I did it! I did a Tennessee Williams rewrite!
My plan was to write about poetry this week, but then I looked at the calendar and freaked. My column's deadline is Wednesday at 12 p.m. and Welty's birthday is Monday. The newspapers tend to stagger my appearance with The Southern Reporter running the next day, Thursday, and The DeSoto Times-Tribune running two weeks later. The other three papers run Book Talk in the following week's edition.
It was either write it today or skip it all together. I decided to follow in Williams' footsteps and rewrite the post from Monday. I thought of Williams while in my panic. I remember Colby telling us he would rewrite over and over until he got the response he wanted from the audience. I want to provide the 4W readers with information. I want newspaper readers to pick up a book, any book, even if it is to throw at me!
Here is this week's Book Talk...Duck! ~Maggie
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Teaching David Walker in the secondary classroom maybe somewhat difficult. Using this teacher resource can help you in teaching the history behind David Walker.
Here are a list of other resources: