Tag Archives: roger rosenblatt

Rosenblatt to return in Week One 2014, again with his distinguished friends

When Roger Rosenblatt first visited Chautauqua Institution in 1985, he gave two 10:45 a.m. morning lectures and a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle roundtable lecture in three days.

Twenty-nine years later, Rosenblatt has not slowed down. He will return in Week One of the 2014 Season for the fourth “Roger Rosenblatt and Friends”-themed week, which has alternated every other season since 2008.

Currently a distinguished professor of creative writing at Stony Brook University, Rosenblatt is a decorated journalist, celebrated playwright and memoirist and the author of 14 books.

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Dame Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton answer questions from the audience Friday morning in the Amphitheater. Photo by Greg Funka.

Andrews, Hamilton discuss importance of hope in children’s literature

Themes of heroism and hope may seem too simple for today’s literature, but they are still a priority in children’s books.

Dame Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton had a conversation with Roger Rosenblatt during Friday’s morning lecture about the importance of hope in children’s books and their experience collaborating with each other to write books.

Andrews’ love for literature came from her father, who loved to read literature, to read to her and to make her read. It inspired her, and she passed her passion on to her own children.

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Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Collins shares thoughts on shift in methods of writing poetry

If Billy Collins were a child today, he would not be drawn to poetry.

Collins’ earliest memory of writing was from when he was 10 years old. He sat in the back seat of his parents’ car as his father drove down the highway. On the East River, a sailboat went by. Collins had a literary reaction to the sight and asked his mother for a piece of paper.

The idea that he could write poetry himself appealed to Collins.

“It italicized your isolation,” Collins said. “It gave your isolation a kind of nobility or a cause, so I’m not sure if poetry would have the same appeal to me today.”

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Renowned poet Collins joins Rosenblatt, presents for CLSC today

Billy Collins doesn’t care if everybody reads poetry — he just wants a lot of people to read his.

Collins, the former U.S. poet laureate, said people who don’t read poems either stopped after high school or never picked it up in the first place. But after writing hundreds of poems and winning prestigious awards, he’s convinced there’s still an audience.

Collins will present a “reading with commentary” of his book, Horoscopes for the Dead, at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy. He will also appear on the morning lecture platform as Roger Rosenblatt’s guest at 10:45 a.m. in the Amphitheater.

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Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author, talks with Roger Rosenblatt at the Ampitheater on Wednesday. Photo by Adam Birkan.

Wolitzer discusses women in writing, humor advice

Audience members erupted into laughter time and time again as Meg Wolitzer and Roger Rosenblatt exchanged witty remarks during Wednesday’s morning lecture.

The humor and wit seeded throughout the conversation demonstrated Wolitzer’s philosophy on its use in novels.

“Humor in a novel has to exist the way humor in a conversation exists,” she said. “It comes out of character.”

Between the jokes and laughter, Rosenblatt and Wolitzer discussed female authors, decisions writers make and character development in novels.

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Chautauquans listen to Roger Rosenblatt and Retired Bishop John Shelby Spong exchange views of grief and absence during an hour-long discussion held in the Hall of Philosophy Monday afternoon. Photo by Lauren Rock.

Rosenblatt and Spong discuss grief, ‘Kayak Morning’

At 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, writer Roger Rosenblatt and retired Bishop John Shelby Spong gathered in the Hall of Philosophy to discuss Rosenblatt’s new book, Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats.

His second book on grief, Kayak Morning chronicles Rosenblatt’s effort to navigate his emotions after losing his daughter, Amy. Two and a half years after her death, Rosenblatt took up kayaking, finding a man alone in a boat to be an apt metaphor for his experience.

Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education, introduced Rosenblatt and Spong and intermittently read excerpts from Rosenblatt’s book, followed by questions about grief, writing and loss.

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Rereading Montaigne’s last essays

Two months after the al-Qaida attacks on the World Trade Center, Michael Dirda, editor of The Washington Post’s “Book World,” wrote to ask a number of writers, including me, to write about our favorite “comfort” books — ones we returned to in times of stress, “if only for the balm of the familiar and beloved.” I was glad to accept the invitation, not least because of that word “balm.” In the wake of the devastation, I had gone back to Michel de Montaigne’s Essays; the contrast they offered, I noted in my journal, had felt like “balm for the soul.”

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The torturous, wonderful life of the fiction writer

There are a few things I’d like to say about writing fiction, a subject I’ve been thinking obsessively about for as long as I can remember. I’ve been asked to keep this to under a thousand words, and I promise to do so. My essay will be like one of those abridged classic novels––those versions that children sometimes read: “All happy families are alike. But Anna Karenina’s family was different. They had some problems. Look out, Anna, here comes a train! The end.”

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