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Garrison Keillor “stunned” by Edward Hoagland’s “best book yet”!

Beloved radio host Garrison Keillor announced recently that he will be retiring in 2013, and had some outstanding praise for Edward Hoagland’s Sex and the River Styx in an interview with the AARP about his decision.

Calling Sex and the River Styx Hoagland’s “best book yet”, Keillor – owner of independent bookstore Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota and long-time host of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion – praised Hoagland as “the greatest prose stylist of our time”.

Here’s an excerpt from the article, which can be found in full at this link.

AARP: Why would you say we need poetry? Why should we read it?

Keillor: I would never tell you you need poetry, but if we were eating dinner together and you said something disparaging about poetry, I might look you in the eye and recite “A Blessing” by James Wright or “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver or “Since Feeling Is First” by E.E. Cummings, and you would be moved by the straightforward musicality of it. Composers keep trying to set these things to music, and there’s absolutely no need to — true poetry IS music. You would be touched by the music of our ordinary American English.

AARP: Does age give you an advantage in writing it? Finding meaning in it?

Keillor: Good Lord, no. The advantage is with youth, as in most things. They have the energy and bravery and pizzazz, they go slamming around, and we old coots tiptoe along the edge. But we have high hopes. And there are exceptions to the rule. I’m reading Edward Hoagland’s latest book, Sex and the River Styx. He is one of the greatest prose stylists of our time, he is 78, and this is his best book — great God, I am stunned at this accomplishment. And Robert Bly, closing in on 90 and writing beautifully and more humorously than ever. And Donald Hall, likewise. I’m 68, and I am cheering for my elders.

Learn more about Edward Hoagland and Sex and the River Styx in our bookstore now.


Dear Humans: Listen to Ben Kilham. Signed, The Bears.

When it comes to fatal human-bear encounters, too often it’s the bear who ends up on the losing end. The most recent story occurred in Thetford, Vt., where a hungry bear with slim pickings began seeking out food in town. After unsuccessful attempts to thwart the bear – known to bear rehab specialist and author […] Read More

Reimagining Restoration as a Radical Act

Finding ways to manage “invasive” species as we’ve come to know them has sparked a vigorous debate within conservation and restoration communities, as well as farmers, gardeners, and permaculturalists.In her thought-provoking book Beyond the War on Invasive Species, author Tao Orion urges us to rethink and reimagine restoration as a way to break out of […] Read More

Trust Your Unconsciousness: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas on Writing

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is a New York Times-bestelling author, traveler, and astute observer of the natural world. In Dreaming of Lions, a paperback edition of her memoir, Thomas pens a powerful new afterword and a selection of photos from her extraordinary life is included. Below is an excerpt from her chapter about writing, and her […] Read More

Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you.Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and all […] Read More

Recipe: Pascal Baudar’s Basic Wild Kimchi

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well. Read More
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