Monday, December 13, 2004

From the Miami Herald: Art's warm eccentricity is poetry of `Ice Glen'

At its best, art inspires, provokes, illuminates. In playwright Joan Ackermann's Ice Glen, a poet's art does all that and something else: It warms and restores grieving souls.
. . .

Denby (Carlo Albán), a developmentally disabled young man whose parents were killed in fire, brings both sunniness and mild chaos into the household. And the attractively disheveled Sarah Harding (Stacia Rice) wanders the sun-dappled woods, communing with nature and one particular bear, turning her experiences into exquisite poetry.

The catalyst for change arrives in the person of Atlantic Monthly editor Peter Woodburn (Brian Goranson), who has been given three of Sarah's poems by novelist Edith Wharton. Captivated and moved by the work of a woman he regards as an undiscovered genius, Peter is determined to publish the poems. But Sarah, the woodland wanderer with the dirt-brushed face and leaves entangled in her hair, will have none of it; the words, she says, are hers, and they are private

Sunday, December 05, 2004

From The Times (London)
Directions: Books of the week
Anthony Sattin

The Cruise of the Vanadis by Edith Wharton (Bloomsbury £16.99)
Literary discoveries often come about through luck — a chance find of a bundle of papers in an attic or an auction catalogue. Claudine Lesage made hers in the municipal library in Hyères, southern France, where she found an unpublished typescript describing a journey made by the American writer Edith Wharton.

Wharton is best known as the Pulitzer-winning author of novels such as The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth, but she also wrote about her travels — In Morocco, an account of a journey made at the end of the first world war, has just been reissued (Tauris Parke Paperbacks £8.99). There was no account, however, of Wharton’s first venture into the Mediterranean, in 1888, when, at 26, Wharton, with her husband and some friends, sailed from Marseilles to Algiers, where they chartered a yacht.

Sailing through the Mediterranean spring, they visited Tunis and Malta, went on to Sicily and Corfu, cruised through the Cyclades to Rhodes, then back through the islands to Athens and on along the Dalmatian coast.