Word play
Clear a Place for Good
New Poems 2006–2012
Hans ostrom, professor of English and African American studies
pages, softcover
Congruent Angle Press
Available at
Hans Ostrom’s “How To Write a Poem” opens with the line “First, clear the area of crit-
ics.” I’ll simply put on my reviewer’s hat and say that this collection of more than 100
poems is a delight of astute observations, whimsical stories, and stark realities told in a
variety of poetic modes, forms, and voices.
The poems are populated with famous people, from Duke Ellington and Langston
Hughes to Neil Armstrong and Gertrude Stein. Wild animals and inanimate objects also
inspire the poet, as do dirty laundry, rhinos, a compost heap, bears, insurance, were-
wolves, and crickets. Ostrom gets intimate with his reader as well—but leave it to the
English professor to be conjugating erotic verbs—in the “tense present”—in his head
during a pun-filled amorous encounter.
Greg Scheiderer
Eden and the
And Other
Stories of My Life
Marian Edna
Glessner ’66
pages, softcover
Marian Glessner celebrated
her 93rd birthday in April
by publishing these stories.
While a few are short fiction
or poetry, most are autobio-
graphical snapshots of her
interesting life.
The title story, “Eden and
the Siege,” recalls Glessner’s
return to the Pine
Ridge Reservation, the site
of Wounded Knee in South
Dakota. She had attended
Gordon Bible College and
served in a missionary posi-
tion on the reservation 30
years before, and made her
only return in the midst of
the high tension that would
eventually lead to the oc-
cupation of the town. Other
stories touch on growing up
during the Great Depression,
marriage, children, and pets.
Glessner says that pub-
lishing these stories, many
of which she had written
long ago and filed away in a
green metal box, is the ful-
fillment of a lifelong dream.
Her daughter, Jenny, tells us
that Puget Sound alumni
and parents receive a 10 per-
cent discount on the book
when it’s ordered from Use
A Cold Frosty
Rosin in the Aire
with Denise Glover, visit-
ing assistant professor of
comparative sociology
Audio CD
Rita Records
Rosin in the Aire’s eclectic
sound is based in main-
stream bluegrass while high-
lighted by enjoyable forays
into progressive ’grass (such
as the opening track, a
lively interpretation of Eddie
Adcock’s banjo instrumental
Turkey Knob”), old-time
classics (notably their ver-
sion of “I’ve Endured”),
early country (Jimmie
Rodgers’ “Peach Picking
Time in Georgia”), and
even pop evergreens (“Just
Because” and “Bei Mir Bist
Du Schon”). Among the
album’s high points are
three selections from the
soundtrack of the docu-
mentary film
Big Water Run-
ners of the Colorado River:
Natalia’s Waltz,” “Bonny At
Morn,” and the album’s title
track “Cold Frosty Morn-
ing.” Glover is the band’s
mandolin player.
Bluegrass Unlimited
Dead Man
with Philip Cutlip ’88,
Audio CD
Virgin Classics
This contemporary and
controversial opera by Jake
Heggie, first produced on
the stage in October 2000,
tells a story based on the
book of the same name
by Sister Helen Prejean,
her memoir as counselor
of a death-row prisoner in
Louisiana’s Angola State
Prison. On this recording,
which has received superb
notices, Joyce DiDonato
plays Sister Helen, Cutlip
is Joseph De Rocher, the
condemned murderer,
and Frederica von Stade is
DeRocher’s mother.