Sunday, March 21, 2010

A New Voice at Open Letters!

Regular OLM readers will notice a change this morning! No, nothing’s changed in our March issue, which is still on glorious display for all the world to read and enjoy (I was re-reading Laura Kolbe’s wonderful piece on Chekhov’s brother this morning – I highly recommend it). And nothing’s changed with Jeff Eaton’s marvelous cover photo ‘Snoverkill,’ although in many parts of the U.S. it feels as bygone now as it felt relevant at March’s beginning (that’s the single neatest feature of March, as a month). And your daily entertainment hasn’t changed in Lisa Peet’s antic, unpredictable signature blog Like Fire, or in the regular highfalutin’ complaints of that Walt Whitman guy, or in my own periodic musings and abusing here at Stevereads.

But you’ll all notice that the blog-roll has been expanded! A new name has been added to the players who will regularly strut and fret upon this stage in their efforts to delight and provoke you (and, to be honest, delight and provoke themselves too): please join me in welcoming Rohan Maitzen and her blog Novel Readings to the Open Letters ‘family’ of blogs.

Rohan is a professor of English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia (and she was not, as some of you –and you know who you are – will no doubt initially guess, a shield-maiden during the siege of Minas Tirith)(although that would be kinda cool…), and that’s what makes her writing so amazing: it bears none of the deformities we’ve come to associate with academic prose – far from it! Her prose – and the delightful ongoing discussion that is Novel Readings – virtually sings with an open-minded, jargon-free love of inquiry, of discussion, and most of all, of reading. Popular literary essays (like the kind we work to provide you at Open Letters) have been called the world’s most influential ‘unofficial university,’ and Rohan excels at that kind of essay (as her pieces for OLM amply prove) - but she’s also an emissary of sorts from the world of the official university, and one of the most fascinating ongoing threads of Novel Readings are her dispatches from that world.

Open Letters is proud to have her joining us, so bookmark Novel Readings, comment liberally, and of course, enjoy!

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