Rebecca Day (left) of the Crazy Daysies and Joshua Knight (right) celebrated their formal engagement with a party in late May.

Notice to our readers: Taking a brief ‘vacation’ from IAS

Posting new content has been impossible this week, and I’ll likely not be able to post again until next week. I’m taking a brief vacation for a very good reason. Our daughter is getting married. At our house. The wedding is small—around 50 guests or so. As mom of the bride, I am focused right now on things like decorating, the ceremony, feeding our guests, and trying to figure out who drinks what beer or wine.

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Cain't Never Could band at Porchfest 18

Porchfest 2018: Gem of a festival in North Florida

The first time I went to Porchfest in the Springfield community of Jacksonville (FL), I was in awe of everyone coming together to share music and admiration for the unique homes. Porchfest is a free event. People can stroll the wide streets and hear music on porches throughout the neighborhood. Food trucks, kids’ activities, and a big mix of musical styles await those who come out for the 2018 festival. 

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laptop graphic IAS

For Jennifer Reeser, Web conferred blessings on perspective and more

Part 3 of 3 What was the world of poetry like before most Americans gained access to the Internet? For one thing, fewer poets were published. In order to get into a print magazine, your work was vetted by an editor. Universities controlled most public readings. In one sense, you had to be known to the ‘knowns’ in order to climb the ladder of publication and rewards. Although much has changed since that time, much remains the same. 

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Photo circa 1940 by Marion Post Walcott for US Government project. Bayou in Schriever, LA. (US Library of Congress)

The making of the incredibly versatile Jennifer Reeser

Pt. 2 of 3 Jennifer Reeser, in case you missed the first article in our series about her, is no ordinary writer. Exceptional poet, widely praised translator, essayist, and reviewer, Reeser has long refused to confine her intellect to one form or genre. Years ago, a famous poet’s son who became an accomplished writer told how his father “made his head.” As with everything, seeds of one’s future are sown at a very young age.

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Cover of Reeser's collection 'The Lalaurie Horror'

Ghost tours and voodoo—nothing off limits for Reeser’s poetry

Pt. 1 of 3 Let’s face it. Poetry can be boring. On the other hand, poetry can be exhilarating when the writer dares to tread on murky ground. Jennifer Reeser does the latter. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and in her own collections, and you never know what subject she will tackle next. A master sonneteer and expert at other forms as well, her poems fall flawlessly on the ear. Among those I found extremely interesting is Reeser’s collection The Lalaurie Horror, described as a “poetic ghost tour” of a mansion once owned by an alleged female serial

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Photo of Loretta Lynn’s childhood home in Kentucky. (Credit: HiB2Bornot2B)

Loretta Lynn keeps on keeping on despite inaccurate news

Country music icon Loretta Lynn is recovering at home after what her daughter Peggy described as a “horrible stomach flu.” Lynn missed an awards ceremony in mid-October, and that led to all sorts of speculation among media. Lynn’s daughter had some advice for media. 

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Haunted House US Route 50 Cambridge MD

Clown bans, cultural appropriation, and imagination mark Halloween

Halloween is approaching, and the natter class is having the customary argument about which costumes are offensive because the wearer might be culturally ‘appropriating’ someone else’s heritage. Yet millions of US children and adults of all cultural persuasion will dress up on October 31 and hit the streets or parties to celebrate. Halloween is traditionally silly. Taking the award for silly is a city whose officials have banned clown costumes. 

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'Bohemian Rhapsody' promo poster from Foxmovies.com

Freddie Mercury film will engulf you, courtesy of ScreenX

I’ve made no secret of my excitement about the forthcoming biopic about Freddie Mercury. Now there’s another bit of news because the film won’t be shown in a traditional way. Courtesy of ScreenX, viewers will be engulfed in images of the iconic vocalist/composer/songwriter for Queen.

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Kent and Brent Smedley Eternal Odyssey

In Jax, two talented musicians definitely on an ‘Eternal Odyssey’

Jacksonville’s best kept secret is the city’s diverse music community. From rap to country to blues to metal to everything in between, this sprawling Florida city has an abundance of musicians doing live music every night of the week. Now two Jacksonville musicians, brothers Kent and Brent Smedley, have announced a new album due out from Combat Records, part of the EMP Label group, in early 2019. For both these musicians, music has indeed been an ‘Eternal Odyssey’, the namesake for their new musical endeavors. 

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El Plomo mummy copy photo Jason Quinn

A brutal headline rekindles a poem I will never forget

Each night I take about 30 minutes to read news before I go to bed. For some reason, this usually relaxes me, a fact that confounds my husband. Last night, the opposite happened. I read a news story about a murder, and the details are permanently impressed on my memory. The story was about the killing of a baby. 

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