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Literary License Newsletter heading

October 1998


A new feature being added to the SMA website is an on-line speakers' bureau. It works like this. You send in a list of the topics about which you can claim expertise. This information is posted on the Internet. Program chairmen, editors and others look you up and offer fat fees (we hope) to speak or write about your favorite subjects. Unlike some commercial services of this type, there's no fee to the author. SMA doesn't screen anyone or do any follow-through. We just post your information on our worldwide electronic bulletin board and hope something works out to your benefit.

Many SMA members have already posted their biographies and pitches for their books on the SMA website, which lists all members and makes available back issues of Literary License. NorthStarNet, a major website maintained by the North Suburban Library System in cooperation with 46 of the larger public libraries in the northern and western suburbs of Chicago, has now linked their Regional Resources page to our website.

To participate in the SMA speakers' bureau or to add or expand your biography, contact the SMA Webmaster, Ray Hanania, 15139 S. Windsor Dr., Orland Park, IL 60462. Phone: 708-403-1203. Fax: 708-403-3380. E-mail: Submit the information you would like to add to the website in precise and specific language. In the email, the subject line should read "SMA Speakers' Bureau Entry."

If you want Literary License to spread news of your activities, pay attention. After about Nov. 15, send it to Richard Frisbie at 445 W. Erie St., Chicago, IL 60610. E-mail is the best way to send news: Second best is typed copy sent by fax or mail. (No change in fax number: 312-458-5333). Authors who scribble their news on miscellaneous scraps of paper are taking a chance that the editor won't be able to read key words, or will misspell the titles of their books or, being tired late at night, just give up on it.

Research Abroad
Marilyn J. Chiat of Minneapolis reports that she has been on the road promoting her book, America's Religious Architecture: Sacred Places for Every Community (Wiley). It's a lavishly illustrated tour of 500 of the most historically and culturally significant U.S.

Religious Landmarks.
I was featured on (National Public Radio's) Sunday Morning Edition, plus interviewed on a number of radio stations and for newspaper articles etc. Most recently I have had an article published in ARTS: Art in Religion and Theological Studies and one is forthcoming in Faith and Form. I was also featured in several journal articles, including the Minnesota Preservationist. I am currently engaged as a consultant on a public television series, Country Spires, inspired by my book and produced by Pioneer Public Television with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. At this moment she's engaged in an extended trip to research religious art and architecture in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. The research is funded by the Minnesota Humanities Commission and the Minnesota Historical Society.

Third Novel
Mica Highways by William Elliott Hazelgrove will be out in November from Bantam Books. It's the novel (his third) that Hazelgrove wrote before Hazelgrove persuaded the trustees to let him work on a fourth novel in the attic of Ernest Hemingway's family home in Oak Park. That novel, Hemingway's Attic, is still in process.

Play Published
V. Glasgow Koste's play, Stranger, has been published in the Indiana Theatre Journal.

Facts Behind Film
The new edition of Out of Isak Dinesen: Karen Blixen's Untold Story (Afterword by Anne Born) by Linda Donelson, member of SMA from Iowa City, has been getting exciting reviews that also will interest anyone who has read Out of Africa or seen the movie.

Kirkus: Donelson has committed herself to separating the facts of Blixen's life from her self-created myth. In the course of her narrative, Donelson, an M.D., succeeds in debunking with alacrity and insight some of the commonly held assumptions about Blixen's medical history. She doubts, for example, that Blixen's later physical ailments were the result of syphilis (contracted from her husband during their first year of marriage). More likely, they were caused by the arsenic she took for years as a tonic. The discussions of Blixen's physical state and frequent bouts of depression are concrete and convincing....The biography brings to light a wealth of detail about her African experiences.

The Women's Review of Books: Linda Donelson's intent in this engrossing retelling is to return the depth and color of reality to a rich and finally tragic story...imbued with a strong affinity for Africa and for her subject...she carefully documents a narrative that is eminently readable and empathetic, perhaps because of the power of her conviction that she is telling the true story of a flesh and blood woman with whom other flesh and blood women may identify... Out of Isak Dinesen is a meticulous account of the ups and downs of the marriage...The famous romance of Karen and Denys Finch-Hatton, the British aristocrat and sportsman, is here given substance missing in Isak Dinesen's own memoirs as well as in other biographies...Our understanding of one of the foremost writers of the century is immeasurably deepened.

January Magazine: The character [Meryl] Streep portrayed wasn't a fictional someone. Rather, she was a living person who breathed adventure at a time when women most often didn't. Out of Isak Dinesen is one woman's story, but it is also a beautiful portrait of Africa at the beginning of this century and the political and environmental influences that affected it. Midwest Book Review: An important new biography and the first to present Karen Blixen to a broad general impressive and intimate biography that has both broken new ground and corrected previous errors concerning the life and work of a major literary figure.

On Writing for Children
Valiska Gregory will be among the featured speakers at the Butler University Children's Literature Conference Jan. 30, on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis.

The program will include a variety of workshops and sessions for teachers, librarians and writers/illustrators. On Jan. 29, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library will host a pre-conference gala which is open to the general public and will include book sales and autographing by featured author/illustrators. For information send SASE to Butler University, Children s Literature Conference, 4600 Sunset Ave.; Indianapolis, IN 46208.

Poems for Year 2000
Mark Perlberg writes: My third book of poems, The Impossible Toystore, has been accepted for publication in 2000 by Louisiana State University Press. My two previous books are The Burning Field (William Morrow), which carries a jacket blurb by Mark Van Doren, and The Feel of the Sun (Swallow/Ohio University Press), which has a blurb from the late William Stafford, a Midwestern poet if there ever was one. I should add that I have been a judge for the Poetry Award given by the SMA for five times and am a founding member and was a longtime president of The Poetry Center of Chicago.

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