Happy Spring Break to all! Now, if only mother nature would cooperate... As we go forth into a week of some well-deserved rest, here are two articles that are definitely worth reading.
In the February 10 issue of The New Yorker, there is a very interesting article by Rachel Aviv about the battle surrounding the herbicide atrazine (I hope I am not the only one a little behind in my magazine subscriptions). This article touches on several issues important to both our local and writing communities. Atrazine "is applied to more than half the corn in the United States." Unfortunately, there is evidence that atrazine seeps into the water supply in high quantities and may cause birth defects in humans. Another theme in the piece is the relationship between academic, political, and public discourse communities. While academics and public health officials put forth their arguments in little-read scientific journals, the corporation that produces atrazine uses public relations firms to bring its message in support of atrazine directly to the people.
In a more uplifting vein, Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger published a piece about AWP and the current publishing scene. Seattle, also known as "God's Country," hosted the AWP conference last week. To quote the article's author Paul Constant, "Books will always find a way."