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

Monday, June 29, 2009

Beautiful Photography - Best of Texas

the Best of Texas group icon   Ok.  I've been keeping a secret.  One method I use to freshen my mind (also called an open barn by some), is to open an RSS feed I have for a special Flickr account.  Flickr, as you probably already know, is a major photographic storage site, a really big buncha pics.  Well, some are good, others are great.  One of the sites is called BEST OF TEXAS where a group of 500 excellent photographers contribute, or pool, their images.  Membership is restricted.  I wanted to see their images regularly so I opened a free Flickr account and started an RSS feed.  Now, when I'm lethargic from a week of 100 degree temps or a month of snow drifts, I just open my RSS feed list and click the "Best of Texas."  The images are not for your casual use; most of the photographers are professional and expect a bit of renumeration for their work.  But just seeing the images re-charges my batteries.  See more at

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paul D. Ruffin - Texas Poet Laureate - 2009

    Paul D. Ruffin is the current Texas Poet Laureate.  He is the Texas State University System Regents' Professor and Distinguished Professor of English at Sam Houston State University.  At SHSU, Ruffin founded and still serves as editor-in-chief of the Texas Review, an international literary journal, and he founded and serves as editor of the literary book press, the Texas Review Press
Ruffin's written about a thousand works, most of which are poetry, but also includes some novels, short stories, and essays.  See for a sampler.  And he collected some awards along the way.  Texas is advantaged by his presence.  His critical attention paid to William Goyen, a fine Texas author now gone, is keenly appreciated.
Originally from Alabama, he has written an autobiographical work, "Growing Up in Mississippi Poor and White But Not Quite Trash," which will be interesting reading when it's published.  For more about Ruffin go to
For a list of our poets laureate go to

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Color of Lighting - Jiles

Paulette Jiles new novel, "The Color of Lightning" enjoys a review in the New York Times.
Published: April 10, 2009
The review begins:  "The hero of Paulette Jiles's third novel is a historical figure, a freed slave whose journey into the Texas Panhandle to rescue his wife and children — abducted not by slave traders but by Indians — derives from oral histories supported by a few traces of documentation. The novel begins in 1863 and ends in 1871, a few years before the local Indians were subdued and confined to reservations, and the great southern buffalo herd was annihilated, forever changing the land."

Judy Alter on Texas Small Presses

Judy Alter on "Texas' small publishing houses feel the pinch of a slow economy" from the Dallas Morning News, April 19, 2009.  She begins her considerations as below, on three notable publishers:  Wings Press, Cinco Puntos Press, and Blooming Tree Press.
"The drumbeat of bad news from New York publishers, including declining sales and layoffs, has been constant this year. But what about small independent publishers in Texas? For the most part, they feel the pain, too.
Wings Press in San Antonio was founded in 1975 by Joanie Whitebird and Joseph F. Lomax. When they died, the mantle of publisher fell on Bryce Milligan, who runs the press as a one-man operation: publisher, editor and designer. The press publishes multicultural books, chapbooks (small book or pamphlets), CDs, DVDs and broadsides."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Texas Poet Laureate - Morton - 2010

Karla Morton Karla Morton - Future Texas Poet Laureate of 2010
This Denton poet has published in a variety of journals, including Southwest American Literature, descant, Amarillo Bay, Concho River Review and the annual Texas Poetry Calendar. 
She authored the volume Wee Cowrin" Timorous Beastie.  She reads widely in public events and has been taped for some television.  This Aggie graduate is married and has a couple of teenagers.
See her at
Michael Price is telling business leaders in Fort Worth about Morton elevation.
Morton next year in 2010 will replace Paul Ruffin the 2009 Laureat (see posting on June 28 for Ruffin.

Cool Jazz, Western Literature, and Wind Power

At Texas Tech just last week amid a conference on wind turbines (there's a lotta hot air in West Texas), one presentation had an unusual title by Michael Borshuk, Texas Tech University, Department of English,
Cool Jazz, Western Literature, and Wind Power: A Metaphor for Energy

Pluma Fronteriza

Out of the El Paso region comes "Chicano Literature Latino Literature - Pluma Fronteriza," a blog on the title's topic.

Self-described as:  "Raza Literature from the Borderlands. Raza Literature from Cd. Juarez, Las Cruces, and El Paso. Chicano Writers. Chicana Writers. "Pluma Fronteriza" has become one of the most widley distributed publications in the history of Chicana(o) literature. Founded in 1999, PF showcases Chicano(a) and Latino(a) writers from the El Paso, TX/Cd. Juarez, Chih, Mex/Las Cruces, NM tri-state region. This region has created the largest geographic niche in the genre."

Some previous posts include

          A $ for your food thoughts

          Haylee Landford has an interesting scribbler's outlet and maybe a way to make a few bucks or enhance her real estate role.  Writing for selected webpages, Haylee has three items of related interest on separate sites that currently were pulled in though my RSS feeds.  See these brief essays