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Literary License Newsletter heading

November, 2001


An evening devoted to poetry will feature these poets:

Regie Gibson, author of Storms Beneath the Skin (EM Press) and winner of the individual competition in the 1998 National Poetry Slam, has read, lectured and performed at schools, universities and theaters in six countries on two continents. He has just completed a poet-in-residence term at Antioch College, Ohio.

He is a co-writer of the New Line Cinema film Love Jones. He has toured with the Chicago Mask Ensemble, performing poetic adaptations of common myths from around the world.

Mike Kadela is the author of 1 Hundred Hiccups (due out from EM Press in December) and was a member of the 2000 Chicago Mill National Poetry Slam team. He has recently performed at the University of Wisconsin and Lewis University.

George David Miller's book of poetry is Children of Kosen-Rufu. He has also written five philosophy texts, including Global Ethical Options: Peace, Value, and Wisdom (Weatherhill) and The Educational Philosophy of Daisaku Ikeda (Rodopi).

In 1997, the Carnegie Foundation honored him as Illinois Teacher of the Year. He founded the Scholars Academy at Lewis University, where he teaches philosophy.

Richard Frisbie

If Charles Dickens wrote that "she lived at the top of the house, in a pretty large room, from which she had a glimpse of the roof of Lincoln's Inn Hall" one can expect that such a room existed, and that Dickens had seen it.

Linda Putnam demonstrated this with an illustrated lecture on Charles Dickens' London at the Oct. 9 SMA meeting in the Chicago Athletic Association. Even more than most writers, Dickens set the stage in his books with accurate descriptions of his own surroundings.

She said all of his works except A Christmas Carol are filled with references to sites that can still be identified.

"Often thought of as a journalist," Dickens liked to walk 10 to 14 miles at a time, observing the London scene with a practiced eye and storing images for use in his fiction.

It wasn't just that Lincoln's Inn Hall still stands, the scene of the notorious Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit in Bleak House. An important public building might be expected to last.

But many obscure sites can also be precisely identified. Some can still be visited. Others have been recorded in old photos and drawings, which Putnam flashed on the screen.

Mr. Snagsby, the law-stationer in Bleak House, loved to "walk in Staple Inn in the summer time, and to observe how countrified the sparrows and the leaves are." Staple Inn, built in 1570, still has a leafy courtyard that affords a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the London streets.

Putnam gave numerous other examples of real sites immortalized in Dickens' works, including Mr. Snagsby's office and Mrs. Jellyby's house from Bleak House and Mr. Casby's House from Little Dorrit.

A Dickens researcher for 20 years, Putnam has worked at the Dickens House Museum in London and conducted a "Dickens Tour of London," which encompassed both the literary sites and places associated with Dickens in real life.


A member recently asked, somewhat timidly I thought, whether Literary License might be interested in news of her upcoming lecture series.

The answer was yes, yes.

We are delighted to spread news of your new books, your book signings, your speaking engagements and other activities.

These items are interesting to your fellow members and friends.

What's more, since this newsletter goes also to local literary editors, it helps polish your literary reputation at least a little.

The recommended method of submitting news is by E-mail to

(Note: this is a new E-mail address for the editor.)

Or fax it to 312/255-9865, a new fax number.

Please avoid sending news in your handwriting. I can't scan handwriting into my computer for editing.

And I may not be able to make out the correct spelling of the name of your book.

The postal address is: Richard Frisbie, 445 W. Erie St., Suite 104, Chicago, IL 60610

Richard Frisbie

Mixed Media

For those of us who think we could be the new Conan Doyle or Christie, Barbara Gregorich is presenting a course next spring (April 28 to May 3) at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C.

"Writing the Mystery Novel" will focus on creating a hero, a crime and a victim, with an exploration of plots and characters, publishers, markets and publicity.

For details call 800/365-5724.

And while you are waiting, you can purchase "Swinging on a Gate," her husband's first CD of traditional American and Celtic music performed on the hammered dulcimer and percussive guitar. For information call 312/715-0414; E-mail to

Surviving Neanderthals

"It's man vs. Neanderthal in the mountains of Iberia...only one will survive..." Read all about it in The Night of the Eleventh Sun, the latest in Steven Burgauer's sci-fi adventure series.

If you want to meet Strong Arms, leader of the clan, go to Barnes& And in case you missed it, one of Burgauer's previous volumes, The Grandfather Paradox, is number 13 on the sci-fi best seller list. So much for unlucky numbers.

Stormy Seas

Safe Harbor, Joanne Koch's play about a family of Greek Jews who survive the Nazi occupation of Salonika, will be given a staged reading with music at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, at Congregation KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago.

The free performance takes place on OHI Day, a Greek holiday marking the 1940 refusal of the Greek prime minister to surrender to Mussolini.

Koch's play had its first performance at the Organic Theater in 1999. Chicago's Greek Orthodox Diocese and the American Jewish Committee co-sponsored a performance in October 2000.

The story of the Algava family, who emerged from hiding in October 1944 to find that they were among only 1,200 of Salonika's 55,000 Jews remaining alive, is being developed into a film.

Writing As Therapy

Michele Weldon has just published Writing to Save Your Life: How to Honor Your Story Through Journaling (Hazelden Publishing). It explores writing as "a path to healing and self-awareness" through something Weldon calls "scribotherapy," which assists the writer in finding something specific that needs to be discovered.

The book was developed by Weldon from her successful writing workshops. For her efforts, Weldon has received many awards. She lectures at Northwestern's Medill School.

Author-Illustrator on TV

Eric Rohmann, author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor book, Time Flies, will appear on the Library Cable Network beginning Oct. 11.

Through the end of the month, he'll discuss illustrating for school age children and their families

The show will appear on Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove and Channel 24 in Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Skokie and Wheeling.

Great Lakes Sequel

William F. Keefe of New Buffalo, Mich., has published his 25th book, Created for the Ages: A History of the Mariners' Church of Detroit.

Founded in 1842, the church has become a "symbol of compassion and strength for the seafaring community" and an "expression of Detroit itself," Keefe wrote.

Several of his previous books have dealt with aspects of life on the Great Lakes.

Boo Again

A revised edition of Haunted Wisconsin by Michael Norman and the late Beth Scott has been published by Trails Books, Black Earth, Wis. It was their first collection of ghost stories.

The new edition includes several new tales of haunted happenings in the Badger state, plus revisions to stories published in the original 1980 edition.

Norman and Scott also wrote Haunted Heartland (Warner Books), Haunted America and Historic Haunted America (both from Tor/Forge).

Norman is soloing on two new collections of ghost stories to be published by Tor/Forge over the next few years. He is currently on leave from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls where he teaches journalism.

Cult of Salesmanship

Casey Fredericks writes: "My non-fiction satire on the business world, Selling & Being Sold: The American Cult & Culture of Salesmanship, has now appeared from 1stBooks Library and is available as an E-book or in soft cover."

The cover blurb summarizes the book as follows: "Selling is the universal and defining activity of contemporary America. We are all involved with it: no less as educators, healthcare providers, government officials, or workers in the new service economy than those with the formal job title `salesperson.'

"Selling is the central ritual of our lives when we are job seeking or looking for dates. In larger patterns, the cult and culture of selling establish our place in the cosmos and determine the biorhythms of our daily lives and annual calendar. In detail, this book will tell you all about selling: how it's done, who does it, its impact on our individual lives and the working world, and its effect on culture at large.

"You will also share a comic travelogue with the author as he has adventure upon adventure as a consumer, businessman, writer - and salesman - alternately preying upon his fellow consumers and being preyed upon in turn while surfing the many diversified subcultures of today's America."

Instant Book

William Hazelgrove is organizing a literary reaction to the horrors of Sept. 11.

The plan is to obtain essays from established authors to create a book that would be available in a few weeks, with all proceeds to go to relief efforts.

Among the 40 writers who have already contributed pieces are Dave Barry, Roger Ebert, Carl Hiaasen and Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Details from Hazelgrove at

Boatload of Fun

Candace Fleming's newest book for ages four to eight, Who Invited You?, involves cheerful swamp critters filling up a boat one at a time.

"Clever...deliciously droll," said Publishers Weekly. "Kids will be caught up in the zany visuals and rollicking rhythm of this natural read-aloud."

From Atheneum with illustrations by George Booth, the well-known New Yorker cartoonist.

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