Monday, February 13, 2012

Link Corral: The New Yorker's Great Face Transplant Article; A Postmodern Reading List; Volunteer at Split That Rock Poetry Festival

This topic may make you squeamish, but I thought the article about face transplants in the current New Yorker was one of the best pieces I’ve read in a long time.  Here’s the opening of “Transfiguration” by Raffi Khatchadourian:

“God took Dallas Wiens’s face from him on a clear November morning four years ago. If you ask Wiens, he will say that it was neither an accident nor a punishment; it was simply what had to happen. At the time, he was trying to paint the roof of the Ridglea Baptist Church, just off Route 30, in Fort Worth. He was twenty-three, and suffering from the complications of being young and living a life of trouble, heartache, and restlessness. Describes the accident during which Wiens’s head hit a high-voltage electrical wire. Electrical burns can have an oddly mercurial impact on the human body. They can devastate tissue immediately, or they can have no effect at all, or they can have a delayed effect. The period of limbo can last days, and during that time doctors must wait for each cell in the affected area to “declare itself ” living or dead. Soon enough, the cells throughout Wiens’s face began declaring themselves dead in a steady cascade, laying waste to skin, muscle, and bone.”

Read more (though the article is not free unless you’re a subscriber):


Flavorwire’s list of “ten essential postmodern books”:

“Yesterday, Dalkey Archive released a new edition of William Gaddis’ postmodern masterpiece, The Recognitions, the book that Jonathan Franzen called “the ur-text of postwar fiction.” The new edition reminded us of our undying love for postmodern literature — the chaotically playful, the metafictional, and the experimental alike — and inspired us to check out a few books missing from our collection, so we’ve put together an essential postmodern reading list for devotees both old and new.”

Read on…and discover if you’re as lame as I am about getting to some of these books.  Does it count if I’ve heard of them?  (And, hey, why only one female author?)


A volunteer opportunity with DC’s Split That Rock poetry festival:

We're in the final stretch for organizing the 2012 Split This Rock Festival and we need your help to make this work! Please consider volunteering during the Festival from March 22nd to March 25th. Some of the roles for volunteers include:

Venue Czarina: Set up rooms according to the needs of the session, including posting the correct sign for current session. Check that all attendees have valid festival passes. Answer questions and help guide participants to appropriate rooms. Assist the session coordinator as needed. Ensure that all rules of the venue are observed. A cell phone is required for this position.
Register/Check in: Responsible for cash handling/taking credit card info, checking student IDs, coordinating with organizers to hand over cash box when sales close. May help with signups for open mics.  
Info/Press/T-Shirt sales: Work alongside registration/check-in volunteers, to sell t-shirts and festival publications, hand out press packets/passes, and answer questions as needed. Responsible for cash handling/taking credit card info, coordinating with organizers to hand over cash box when sales close.

We are hosting three brief, fun volunteer training sessions to prepare you for your shifts! This is a great chance to meet our team and fellow poets & organizers. We ask all volunteers to please attend one of the following sessions:

Thursday, March 8th from 6 - 7pm @ Split This Rock Office, 1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600 - Washington, DC 20036
Saturday, March 17th from 10:30 - 11:30 am @ Split This Rock Office   
Thursday, March 22nd from 9:30 - 10:30 am @ Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th Street  - Washington, DC 20009

If you are coming from out of town and can't make one of these sessions, please let us know.  We're happy to accommodate you!

Volunteers who work two or more 2.5 hour shifts will receive a free pass to the festival and a free Split This Rock 2012 t-shirt.  Plus you'll meet wonderful, fascinating people and be a part of a movement of poets working for a better world.

To volunteer or for more information, contact our Volunteer Coordinator Kaitie O'Hare at


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.