Authors and Artists

Summer 2020

Books

In April, Loving Healing Press published Hiking the Grand Mesa: A Clementine the Rescue Dog Story, a children’s book written by Kyle Torke ’88. The book is second in a series of children’s adventures. It follows two young boys and their dog as they explore the unique environment of southern Colorado’s mesa country. Hiking the Grand Mesa is Torke’s seventh published book.

In April, Princeton University Press published How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons From a Renaissance Education by Scott Newstok ’95. In the book, Newstok cites great writers from the past and present and urges readers to think more deeply, learn more joyfully, and write more efficiently. The book stems from a convocation speech Newstok gave in 2016, in which he encouraged students to strive for “a level of precision, inventiveness, and empathy worthy to be called Shakespearean.”

Art

Black and white triptich of figure walking through a wooded snow scape with red scarfGinny Olson Richardson ’68 held a one-person retrospective art show in Tucson, Arizona, in January. The 94 works featured were mostly figurative and included landscapes, people, and performance pieces. All proceeds benefited Parkinson Wellness Recovery Gym.

Cover of High LineIn November 2019, Pat Irwin ’77 released two records. The first, Wide Open Sky, is a series of duets with fellow composer and friend J. Walter Hawkes. Irwin’s second project, High Line, is by the band SUSS, an ambient country quintet of which Irwin is a member.

Spring 2020

Art

Robert Sparks ’90 is the author of multiple episodes of the podcast 365 Days of Astronomy. This podcast was launched in 2009 as part of the International Year of Astronomy and posts daily content from its community of podcasters. Sparks’ recent episodes feature information on the National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, where he is a science education specialist.

Samuel Sellers ’00, aka Rabbi Darkside, released his first self-produced album, A Skeleton at a Typewriter, in December 2019. Written and produced by Rabbi Darkside. Cover photo by Tafadzawa M. Chiriga. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Willie Green.

Music major and baritone Thomas Meglioranza ’92 has made a new recording of Franz Schubert's song cycle, Die schöne Müllerin. He’s joined by his longtime collaborator, pianist Reiko Uchida, who on this recording plays a Viennese fortepiano built in 1829 by Anton Zierer.

Ella Williams ’18, aka Squirrel Flower, released her debut album, I Was Born Swimming, in January. It includes country and rock songs and covers moments of her life from birth through her time at Grinnell. It’s available in multiple formats from Polyvinyl Record Co.

Books

With Athena Itonia: Geography and Meaning of an Ancient Greek War Goddess (Brill, 2019) Gerald V. Lalonde, Benedict Professor Emeritus of Classics, offers the first comprehensive history of the martial cult of Athena Itonia, from its origins in Greek prehistory to its demise in the Roman imperial age. This will be an indispensable volume for all interested in the social, political, and military uses of this ancient Greek religious cult and the geography, chronology, and circumstances of its propagation among Greek poleis and federations.

When critics and scholars write about films from the blaxploitation movement — such as Cotton Comes to Harlem, Shaft, Superfly, and Cleopatra Jones — they emphasize their importance as films made for black audiences. Consequently, Lisa Alexander ’97 points out, a film like the highly popular, Oscar-nominated Blazing Saddles — co-starring and co-written by Richard Pryor — is generally left out of the discussion because it doesn’t fit the profile of what a black film of the period should be. This is the kind of categorical thinking that Alexander seeks to broaden in Expanding the Black Film Canon: Race and Genre Across Six Decades (University Press of Kansas, 2019).