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Steve Taylor
Posted on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 06:25 pm:   

Mr. Bishop:

Are you working on a new novel? Brittle Innings was a favorite. I am hoping you're going to have another one out soon.
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Jack Dann
Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 08:53 pm:   

Hey, Mike, been a while.

How's it going in Georgia? Don't know if you knew that I'm based in the country now, on a farm overlooking the sea at the southernmost tip on the east coast of Australia. Keeping a place in Melbourne. Working on this big James Dean novel, so I haven't been travelling...won't until I get it finished and turned in.

Cheers, pal,


--JACK DANN
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Mike Williams
Posted on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 12:07 am:   

Wilson's Promontory? Isn't that national park...as I dimly recall from student days: driving down from Sydney with two "kidnapped" freshmen and tied them to a tree at the top of a hill there.
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Jack Dann
Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 10:58 pm:   

Dear Mike,

Yeah, Wilson's Prom is a national park. It's one of Australia's best kept secrets...a really beautiful place. I can see the Prom as I type this.

Cheers!

--JACK
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Anne S
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 01:56 am:   

You lucky thing.

I know the Prom really well. For years a group of us went down there every winter and rented out the old cabins. Wild nights with occasional wild weather, wonderful walks, wombat spotting in the evenings.

We basically gave it up when they built those new cabins - too expensive these days. We sally down to Cape Otway these days.
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Jack Dann
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 11:08 pm:   

Dear Anne,

Yeah, it's lovely country. I keep thinking I'm living in a postcard. Let me know next time you guys are in the neighborhood, and we'll go to the pub for a meal and a beer.

Cheers!

--JACK
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Anne S
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 01:38 am:   

Jack,

Will do if I'm ever in the neighbourhood.

Anne
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michael bishop
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 12:03 pm:   

Dear All,
I'm sorry that I haven't responded to previous messages up at this site, but I'm not used to dealing with message boards. All the way back in early February, Steve Taylor asked if I had a new novel in the works. In fact, I have a mainstream novel searching for a home right now, and I have a story collection, *Brighten to Incandescence: 17 Stories*, coming in June from Golden Gryphon Press. I also want to thank Jack Dann for saying hello. My best wishes to Jack and to the others who've checked in at this site, and, again, my apologies for failing to reply before now. I'm teaching a poetry-writing class at nearby LaGrange College, and that has consumed most of my time here of late. Sincerely, Michael
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Jeff V
Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   

Hi, Michael. Imagine--being productive rather than posting messages on message boards. Good to have you here, though. What is the mainstream novel called, if you don't mind me asking? I think you mentioned it when we were at LaGrange, but memory's like sieve.

JeffV.
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 04:33 am:   

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for asking. The mainstream novel is called, perhaps a little too tenditiously, *An Owl at the Crucifixion*. It's set in 1980 in a small fictional Georgia town, which I call Chinaberry, before the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic. It's told by a man in his thirties looking back on the year when he was sixteen and the son of a Methodist pastor. The book's crisis hinges on his discovery that the young man who teaches drama at his high school and the youth Sunday school class at his church is gay. The narrator is straight, but the Bible from which his daddy preaches condemns homosexuality in terms that seem to have nothing to do with the narrator's apprehension of the soft-spoken, kindly, and community-oriented teacher whom the church and the school both move quickly to dismiss from their premises. As you can see, this novel is a real departure from me -- in terms of emphasis and approach, if not in style and philosophy. And, hey, my memory's like a sieve, too. I have to consult my own books to dredge up the names of characters of my own creation!

Mike
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Keith Ferrell
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 08:18 am:   

How wonderful for the students at LaGrange to have the wondrous author of "And Strange At Ecbatan..." and all the others for a teacher. Prod them toward hard work with your Macleish and with effort and guidance they'll return to you poetry than can be Marvelled over.

(Sorry)
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Michael Bishop
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 11:51 am:   

Dear Keith,

Thanks for checking in -- good to hear from you -- and for referencing my poetry-writing class at LaGrange College. I should tell you that I almost always begin with a poem of Macleish's called "Ars Poetica" ("a poem should not mean / But be") which incorporates wonderful examples of T. S. Eliot's idea of the "objective correlative," to wit: "For love / The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea," and "For all the history of grief / An empty doorway and a maple leaf." I hope I'm quoting these lines correctly, but the students almost always get the point, and I have seven very good students who are in fact producing good work, from villanelles to haikus to prose poems to elegies written in stanzaic patterns of their own devising. Again, thanks for dropping by.

Mike

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