Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Parker J. Palmer: Reinvention and the Inner Life of a Writer, Teacher, and Activist

On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old, is Parker J. Palmer’s bestselling dispatch from the front lines of creative aging. Palmer, who turns 80 on February 28, has developed significant followings in the worlds of education, leadership, and spirituality; and it was included by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat as one of ‘The Best Spiritual Books of 2018.’

Palmer reflects on his unconventional career path in these pages, as well as in previous classics such as Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, and The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (which had a 20th anniversary edition published in 2017).

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19 Eclectic Books for 119 Years of Borges

“The fact is that each writer creates his precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.” – Jorge Luis Borges, Kafka and His Precursors, 1951, in Selected Non-Fictions, page 365; 2000, translated by Eliot Weinberger

August 24 will mark the 119th anniversary of the birth of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. As with last year and in some previous years, I like to honor his life with a post that ideally captures his spirit in some way. This year I call attention to 19 books, all published long after his 1986 death; many containing new translations, added introductions by important writers, or new artwork:

The Aleph and Other Stories, Introduction by Andrew Hurley, 2004
The Book of Imaginary Beings (Classics Deluxe Edition), illustrated by Peter Sis, 2006
The Book of Sand and Shakespeare’s Memory, 2007
Borges at Eighty: Conversations, 2013
Brodie’s Report, 2005
Collected Fictions, 1999
Everything and Nothing (New Directions Pearls series), 2010
Ficciones (Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics Series), Introduction by John Sturrock, 1993
Jorge Luis Borges: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations (The Last Interview Series), 2013
Labyrinths; With a new introduction by William Gibson, 2007
On Argentina, Introduction by Alfred MacAdam, 2010
On Writing, 2010
Professor Borges: A Course on English Literature, 2013
Selected Non-Fictions, 2000
Selected Poems, 2000
Seven Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, 2010
Seven Nights (From lectures on Buddhism, The Kabbalah, blindness, and more; delivered in Buenos Aires in 1977), 2009
The Sonnets (Dual language edition with parallel texts), introduction by Stephen Kessler, 2010
This Craft of Verse (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures), 2002

These books have much to offer to both dedicated Borges followers, and new fans of his incomparable work.

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The Leonard Cohen Economy

Leave it to The Economist, and specifically the Schumpeter management column, to find the intersection between Leonard Cohen and entrepreneurship. The February 25th Enterprising Oldies explores, in a neat package, why all of us (no matter where we are chronologically in adulthood) may have to explore entrepreneurship and other forms of self-employment at some point in our working lives.
As we think about how to diversify our portfolio of work experiences, it’s worth digging deeper into how we can apply some of the life lessons of the 77 year old Cohen, a singer/songwriter/poet/novelist who was inducted into the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

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W.S. Merwin, Peter Drucker, Scranton (and Me)

When I heard that two-time Pulitzer Prize winner W.S. Merwin had been named the new Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress, I thought of our shared roots in Scranton, Pa. I was born and raised there and Merwin lived in the city from ages 9-14. His connection was covered by the local media, including the Times-Tribune and neighboring Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre.  Last year I blogged about the city’s transformation, and I returned for the first time in a year and a half two months ago, when I was one of the featured authors for the inaugural event Jewish Authors of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Online Aftermath of the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Although it’s been over for nearly a week, you can still find lots of material online to vicariously experience the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is billed as the largest of its type in the world. Edinburgh is a lovely city, and I’m sure it was a great setting for this 17-day celebration of the written and spoken word.  There has been considerable coverage before, during and after the event in the British media; such as this September 1 report on and another, Scottish-centric one on the same day from the [Aberdeen] Press and Journal. Among the hundreds of authors featured this year were Garrison Keillor, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Karen Armstrong, Alexander McCall Smith, Tracy Chevalier, Margaret Drabble and Richard Dawkins.…

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal, George Watsky and Mieka Pauley at ALA

On July 11th, the day of my book signing at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago, I met three highly interesting people who were also either signing or performing: Amy Krouse Rosenthal, George Watsky and Mieka Pauley. I had never met them before, and had not even heard of George or Mieka. When I found out that Amy would be at the Chronicle Books booth that morning, I knew that I wanted to meet her, as I had enjoyed her book, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I had a nice conversation with her after she finished a signing for one of her children’s books.

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The Guardian Hay Festival: Next Best Thing to Being There

It’s back to today for a double-treat: its extensive, ongoing coverage of the Guardian Hay Festival in Wales, running from May 21-31, as well as The Book that changed my life, in which Nicole Jackson interviews 28 festival participants, who each provide a paragraph on their crucial reading. The event is primarily literary, but features a wide array of public figures: authors, poets, comedians, architects and politicians.  There is also Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The main page has a considerable amount of video and podcasts, as well as blogs and articles about the festival.…

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David Whyte: Poetry, Business and Beyond

David Whyte has for many years been a great example of living in more than one world. He is a successful poet, author, speaker and business consultant. Check out Colleen Smith’s insightful profile/interview, David Whyte’s nonprosaic world, in the Denver Post. She was writing in advance of his appearance at a bookstore in Boulder, Col., promoting his latest book, The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self & Relationship. You can read selections from his poetry on his site, which has quite a bit of interesting material. Whyte’s quote ending the Denver Post story is instructive, as it contrasts the hard times we are living in, with the value provided by poets: “I often think of poets as makers of identity, so these are good times for poets, who speak not only for the individual, but for society and for the future at the horizon about to appear.”…

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