The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Friday, April 24, 2009

East & West Texas History

The East is East and the West is West and the twain shall meet.

The West Texas Historical Association will meet jointly with the East Texas Historical Association February 26-27, 2010 in Fort Worth.

Américo Paredes Literature & Letters Award

UT's Center for Mexican American Studes awards Ana Castillo, a Chicago native, the first quadrennial Américo Paredes Literature and Letters Award for her contribution as "an individual whose creative and scholarly contributions have had a significant impact in the field of Mexican American studies."  Castillo is a poet, novelist, essayist, and short story writer.  Arte Publico in Houston published one of her many books, Women Are Not Roses, 1984
 Read more at   and

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Story Corps - National Day of Listening Nov 27

 Story Corps states its purpose "Our mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening. Since 2003, over 45,000 everyday people have shared life stories with family and friends in our StoryBooths. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to our broadcasts on public radio and the web. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind."

Some of its stories from Texas are online in their  blog "StoryCorps Facilitator Weblog,"  .  Listen to some Texas entries:
  • A picture show: the West Texas frontier, posted on May 1, 2008, from Abilene, Texas

  • Southern sisters from Brazil, posted on April 18, 2008, from San Antonio, Texas

  • Women leading Texas, posted on March 26, 2008, from San Antonio, Texas

  • A Walk in the Clouds, posted on February 28, 2008, from San Antonio, Texas

  • From the open road, posted on February 10, 2008, from San Antonio, Texas

  • The Shiloh Community: A Landmark School and a Deadly Study, posted on January 27, 2008, from Tuskegee, Alabama

  • Austin, TX, posted on October 15, 2007, from Fort Worth, Texas 
  • Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Texas in World Cat

    World Cat


    World Cat is an online database of over 10,000  library catalogs – books and other things.  Older librarians may recall the OCLC (Ohio College Library Center) catalog operation; well, World Cat is its descendant.   Its content is beyond enormous.  It is not a substitute for checking your local library for various reasons, but it's an interesting place.




    For instance, at the homepage, a simple search for the word "Texas" brought 794,604 entries in 2.29 seconds.  Remember that the searched word does not automatically bring entries on the subject, but all sorts of contexts.  A typical entry is


    by James A Michener

     Book : Fiction - Language: English  

    Publisher: New York : Random House, 1985.

    View all editions and formats

    An advanced search allows you to control for keyword, author, title, subject, ISBN, format, publication date, content, audience, and language.  A search for < keyword: Texas; format: book; Content: fiction; Audience: juvenile; and Language: Spanish >, finds 10 entries, e.g.

    El Llanero Solitario : historia de un rural de Texas.

     Book : Fiction : Juvenile audience Language: Spanish  

    Publisher: Bilbao, España : Editorial Fher ; Racine, Wis. : Wrather Corp., published by arrangement with Western Pub. Co., 1967.


    Click that title and you find UT-Pan American has the book.  (Other titles have scads of holding libraries.  If you have an account, the libraries nearest you will be at the top of the list.)




    There are many other search options, but it is useful to know that you can build and save bibliographies of your selections.  You can create a World Cat account.  It is free and easy.  Once you have performed a search, you can click each title you wish on your list, save it to a list which you can name yourself, and, voila, those titles are saved, as in an account I opened to keep titles on African Texana for children and teenagers.  That account is at where you can see several sub-categories and that I have copied them into a single list called Skywriting.


    Monday, April 13, 2009

    National Poetry Month

    Larry Thomas 2008 Poet Laureate
    Poetry Society of Texas
    Borderlands: Texas Poetry Journal
    Descant: Fort Worth's Journal of Poetry and Fiction
    REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters

    Newspaper staff cuts

    In March and April, Belo (Dallas Morning News) and Hearst (regarding the San Antonio Express- News and the Houston Chronicle) announced staff cuts of 12-15 % of their respective employees.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Lou H. Rodenberger Rests

    Dr. Lou H. Rodenberger passed April 9.  Her presence in Texas letters is widely recognized.  She was one of the frist woman to receive a Ph.D. in English at TAMU.  She became regent at TWU.  I most recently read her biography of Jane Gilmore Rushing a remarkable inquiry.
    The posting at Molcie's Literary Corner carries her obituary.  It begins "Dr. Lou H. Rodenberger died peacefully April 9 at her home north of Cross Plains. Her funeral is scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday April 11 at the First United Methodist Church in Cross Plains. The service will be conducted by Rev. Dr. Robert Monk and Rev. John Woody.

    Dr. Molcie Lou Halsell Rodenberger was born September 21, 1926 in Okra, TX to Austin Carl and Mabel Falls Halsell. She attended schools at the many schools where her parents taught in West Central Texas. She started high school in Cross Plains but graduated from Anson as Valedictorian. At age 16 she entered Texas State College for Women graduating with a BS degree in Journalism in 1943. She worked for the Kerrville Times before becoming the English and Journalism teacher at Levelland High School in 1947. There she met and married Charles A. Rodenberger Sept. 3, 1949."  Read more of Charles' elegant statement:

    Hubbing Texas with Murrah

    Hmmm,  Hubpages is new to me.  Apparently, after establishing a free account, you write articles on just about anything and then you add it or upload it to the website.  Each individual posting or uploading is called a "Hub."Aside from the joy of being in print you can get paid some amount if visitors to your Hubs click on the advertisements.
    Searching for the word < Texas history > brought 870 entries, both words appearing in diverse settings.  Search for "Texas history" (i.e., within the quotation marks) brought 56 enties.
    J. D. Murrah, author of some Texas history books, has over a hundred Hubs and most are Texas history.  The first one I stumbled upon was on Texas history and home schooling.  

    UNT Texas History Symposium - Native Americans

    Texas History Symposium at UNT to focus on state's Native Americans

    What: "Enduring Frontiers: Indians in Texas" -- The 2009 Texas History Symposium at the University of North Texas. Featuring addresses by Dr. David L. La Vere, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Dr. Rodney Stapp, chief executive officer of the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas.
    When: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 18 (Saturday)
    Where:   Room 122 of Wooten Hall, located one block west of Welch and Highland streets (1121 Union Circle)
    Cost: $25, or $35 after April 13 (Monday). Registration forms are available in the symposium brochure at No registration will be available on the day of the conference.
    Contact: UNT Department of History at 940-565-2288 or

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Western Nature Essay

    Texas Christian University Press' Literary History of the American West has wonderful 10 pages on "The Western Nature Essay since 1970."  It begins
    "1970, the year of the first Earth Day and of several important pieces of

    environmental legislation, makes a logical starting date for a summary

    of recent trends in the western nature essay. In truth, though, the "Environmental

    Decade" saw no startlingly new developments in western nature

    writing; what happened was that the theme and concerns of the genre,

    as they had evolved for almost a century, now became public themes and

    national concerns. Indeed, as Paul Brooks has argued in Speaking for Nature

    (1980), the work of such writers as John Muir, Mary Austin, Enos Mills,

    and Joseph Wood Krutch may have been a major impetus to the environmental

    awakening."  Read more (the whole book's online) at

    Dobie and Others Museum Exhibit

    Home  The Brazos Valley Museum, over College Station way, mounts an exhibit on Texas Writers and J. Frank Dobie, circulated from Humanities Texas.

    Texas Nature Project

         The Texas Nature Project, at Northpoint Ranch out around Mason, self-describes itself "Texas Nature Project offers one-semester, for-credit internships for qualified students of all majors enrolled in one of Texas' accredited four-year colleges or universities. This integrated learning experience is especially suited to students who are seeking ways to live their lives with meaning and make a positive contribution to the world. Texas Nature Project students are enthusiastic learners and find joy and inspiration in the camaraderie that comes with being a member of a community of scholars."  Read more at Seems attractive in idea and goal.

    Bump's Nature Writing at UT

    Over to the Forty Acres on the Colorado, there's a Jerome Bump who taught a course in Nature Writing back a few years ago, maybe still is.  The course is described at  Although some of the links are dead some lead to interesting options, including a tour of outdoor sculptures on the campus

    Southern Nature Project

    The Southern Nature Project's writers of note can be arranged by state, see Texas at
    The Texans who write and think about the Southern landscape include

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    Austin Postcards - Weaver

       Casey Weaver and his friends have hundreds of historical Austin postcards and some photograhs and essays.  He's mounted them on his website

    Dorman Winfrey Rests

    Dorman Winfrey died March 27, 2009 at the age of 84.  Winfrey served, among his many contributions, as State Librarian for over twenty years.  See the Austin American Statesman article " Longtime state librarian called devoted historian: Winfrey authored several articles and books about Texas history" by Joshunda Sanders at and the Henderson Daily News at 
    As a minor footnote to is remarkable career and life, Winfrey was important to the Texas Parlor's host during the 1970s.  My first job at TSLAC was in the Genealogy Dept. on Saturdays.  Thereafter he eased my transferral to several different posts through which I became aware of the broader view of Texas bibliography.  While this writer was still a student at UT, Winfrey offered essential encouragement to me toward the UT Library School "Indexing and Abstracting" class project of indexing of the TSLAC's "Texas State Documents" monthly checklist.  Then he then saw to it that it was permanently funded by the Legislature at the next biennial budget of TSLAC.  Winfrey was a fellow of graceful vision and practicality.  He left behind him a legacy of Texas history, Texas archives, and classical music.  Winfrey is now buried in the Welch Cemetery at Henderson, not far, he pointed out to me, from my hometown of Marshall.  I'll stop by there on my next trip home.  In the meantime I'll listen to and watch Toscanini conduct Verdi's "Hymn of the Nations" on Youtube at