A Deeper Sense of Place (updated)

Hi everyone — just wanted to give you and update on my upcoming class in late August. We’ll do some writing exercises and discussion, we’ll talk about ‘reading like writers,’ and then do some in-depth, craft-based readings of a few great travel and place pieces. My list of writers, so far: John Jeremiah Sullivan, Annie Dillard, Tom Bissell, Terry Tempest Williams (and others.)

Also, at the suggestion of two former students, I’ll have some practical writing-life material too (encouraging stories, as well as horror stories, from the the freelance world, publishing, etc.) I’ll talk about a whole bunch of stuff that I would never even think about posting to this blog, including some things that will make your ears fall right off when you hear them.

In other news, for the first time since hiking the Pacific Crest Trail,  I consumed a piece of prickly pear cactus. This time, it happened right in the middle of  downtown Santa Cruz, where I attended the Festival del Nopal, otherwise known as the Cactus Eating Festival. The festival was fun, but I thought the cactus was disgusting. So slimy! So insipid! So hard to chew! Maybe I’m too close to the subject matter to give you an objective assessment. On the good side, someone took the time to remove all the little prickly things — a huge improvement over my last experience.

Meanwhile I’ve chosen the two things I’m going to read at SJSU — one that is part of a long work in progress, and a small stand-alone piece that’s going to be published really soon.

And, finally, thanks for all the Cactus Eaters emails that keep flowing into my inbox. Each one is appreciated. (For some reason, I am getting quite a few of them lately.)


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