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COLUMN FIFTY-NINE, MAY 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

THANKS

Subject: Re: [AGALIST] COLUMN 58
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 00:05:11 -0000
From: "Jordan Green" <dickeee59@hotmail.com>
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com  

Al,

Immense thanks for putting my poem on the web. It bolsters my confidence. I
hope the poem is worthy of the audience that is your gang of mavericks. I
hope it's good enough for the City of New York. I'm glad you've straddled
journalism and the rough edges of bohemia.  

Yours,

Jordan  ##

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ANYBODY HEARD FROM KAY?

 

Subject: KaJA (Kay Johnson
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 00:38:55 +0100
From: rudiec@ms.com
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com  

Hi

I was on your site through a google search for the Beat Poet Kay Johnson. My father was in the Beat Hotel in Paris with Kay and met her father, the architect Kiesler.  My dad is not too hot on the internet but was interested to see what was on the net that related to some of the poets and artists he had met during this period.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any mention of Kay in the article 'the Beat Papers of Al Arnowitz' - would you or the author of the article have any info or related links which might be of interest?  Is she still alive? I think she may well be in her 90's by now. I'd be most grateful for your assistance

Yours

Catherine Rudie

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THE GREATEST!

Subject: Re: [AGALIST] COLUMN 58
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 11:00:30 -0700
From: "Merilene M. Murphy" <peazritr@mediaone.net>
To: <info@blacklistedjournalist.com>  

dear Al!  you're the greatest!  i know i must have said this to you before because it comes so easily to my mind when thinking of you.  this issue is jam packed & i haven't gotten through it all but will.  i just wanted to write right now & tell you job well done.  with love ~ merilene  ##

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A DEATH IN KENTUCKY

Subject: Fwd: James Still dies at 94
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 12:01:26 EDT
From: Tappingmyphone@aol.com
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com  

this in today's Courier. blessings from Kentucky.

Ron

The Courier-Journal

Metro

Sunday, April 29, 2001  

Author James Still, known for love of Appalachia, dies at 94
Wrote acclaimed mountain novel 'River of Earth'  

By JUDITH EGERTON

An Appalachian voice of simple eloquence and poetry is silent.

Former Kentucky poet laureate James Still of Hindman, Ky., died yesterday afternoon at Hazard Appalachian Regional Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 94.

Still, an Alabamian by birth and an Eastern Kentuckian by choice, wrote the critically acclaimed novel "River of Earth." He was also known for his short stories, poetry and children's books, including "Jack and the Wonder Beans."

When it was published in 1940, "River of Earth" shared the Southern Authors Award with Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again."

Still's stories and poems have been published in the nation's most prestigious magazines, among them The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The Yale Review and The Saturday Evening Post.

Still's two best-known poems are "Heritage," which was read as part of a eulogy for Appalachian author Harry Caudill and during a memorial service for Governor Bert T. Combs, and "Those I Want in Heaven With Me Should There Be Such a Place," which Still read during a party at the Hindman Settlement School near his home to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Mike Mullins, executive director of the school and a friend of Still, said
yesterday that the author brought "more prestige to the school than anything else. We knew that he was a treasure."  

Mullins said, "I'm sitting here trying to figure out how it's gonna be without him."

Author George Ella Lyon of Lexington described Still as "a very cosmopolitan man living down there in Knott County."

Lyon said yesterday: "He had a perfect ear. He could convey so much of character and place without using the sort of dialect that's graphically depicted. He did it in the rhythm, the word choice and the metaphors; not by using apostrophes and strange spellings.

"The beauty of his language and the fact that he wrote in so many genres was really a model for me," Lyon said, describing Still as a poet, novelist, short-story writer, children's writer, and "a collector of folk ways and mountain speech."

Although Still never achieved the literary recognition or celebrity status of his contemporaries Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, his work is greatly admired and continues to attract readers.  

Kentucky writer Wendell Berry has called Still a "nearly perfect master of the short story," and said Still belongs "in the company of the best writers of all places and times."

Writers praise Still's spare, naturalistic style, which accurately captured the rhythms and unique glossary of mountain speech. His central theme related to the value of heritage and proper stewardship of the land is one that resonates with contemporary readers.

Still's stories are richly detailed observations of the people and land of Eastern Kentucky. They are touching stories of hardship and loss, but also warm, gently humorous stories of family relationships.

English professor H.R. Stoneback of the State University of New York called Still "a master stylist" in a 1990 article for Kentucky Review, in which Stoneback, an expert on Hemingway and William Faulkner, said Still's "River of Earth" ranks with the finest works of Sherwood Anderson, Faulkner, Hemingway and Mark Twain.

Over the years, Still, a modest man who loved to cook and garden, became friends with many notable authors, including Katherine Anne Porter and Robert Frost. But his closest relationships were with the people of Knott County and the neighbors near his two-story log house at Dead Mare Branch, particularly the teachers and students of the Hindman Settlement School. . .  ##

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