Meeting Fiction Writer Erik Rangno and Poet Cami Zinzi: Coverage on ACTC’s 17th Annual Conference in New Haven, CT

By Your Salonniere

April 14th through April 17, 2011 the Associated Core Text and Courses held their 17th Annual Conference “The Quest for Excellence: Liberal Arts and Core Texts” sponsored by Yale and co-sponsored by Augustana College, Boston College, and College of the Holy Cross, in New Haven, Connecticut, and your Salonniere had the honor and pleasure of presenting at one of the panels.

At the conference, I met fellow writer and Orange Coast Community College English professor Erik Rangno, whose story “The Front Yard” was not only recently published but also covered as a favorite of Rio Liang’s in his salon post “Santa Monica Review Spring 2010, Part II.” Meeting Rangno and sharing the review on his story was an absolute thrill and encourages us here at the salon to keep on keeping on with this here blog.

Your Salonniere also had the pleasure of meeting poet and English teacher Cami Zinzi, based in Connecticut, who recently published her chapbook A Welcome Roughness by All Rivers Press. Here’s a taste of her poem “Judith Slaying Holfrenes” based on an oil on canvas painting by Artemisia Gentileschi. Zinzi exhibits some electrifying ekphrasis:

Artemisia, is this the image that sustained you

as you tried to fight off Tassi

bored by his envy

on the rumpled sheets you painted so well?

I imagine you holding your brush

steady as a dagger

as Judith and her maid Abra emerged

from the deafening darkness

to exact the revenge you wanted.

For more reflections on how it all went down in New Haven at the conference, you can check out posts at your Salonniere’s site “Write-up on ACTC’s 17th Annual” and “Examining Constructions of Otherness: More Reflections”

Here’s an excerpt from the first post:

ACTC focuses more on critical and scholarly work though some of the panels centered on best practices and pedagogy. The panel “Core Images, Part II: Learning, Examples, Practice” brought together art historians and art professors who urged the use of art as a vital source for discussion and inquiry. Tatiana Klacsman from Augusta State University and her presentation “The Iliad in Teaching Art History within a Humanities Framework” covered how culture and values can be analyzed and evaluated through Greek artifacts. Mona Holmlund from University of Saskatchewan discussed approaches to indigenous art, especially in contrast to the Western canon with her presentation “The Challenges of Integrating Indigenous Knowledge with the Western Canon.”

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