Guest post by: Mary Rechner
Author of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women, Mary Rechner appears at the Wordstock Festival as part of the conversation Banned on Sunday, October 9 at 2pm on the Wordstock Community Stage.
The Wordstock panel I’m moderating is called “Banned” and features YA writers, Ellen Hopkins and Jonathan Hill and Nancy Sullivan, Madison High School librarian and President-Elect of the Oregon Association of School Libraries.
I’m excited to be on such a dynamic panel! Hopkins writes her hugely popular novels in verse, Hill is a graphic novelist, and Sullivan runs a vibrant library (along with a killer poetry slam team) at one of the most culturally diverse high schools in the state of Oregon.
The conversation is sure to be compelling. No writer wants to be banned, but writers who are surely have good company: Whitman, Orwell, Shelley, Twain, Lawrence, Flaubert… the list goes on.
During the panel I hope to learn:
- Are there any benefits to being banned?
– Does it up street cred?
– Do more kids want to read you if you make their parents nervous?
– Does the occasional banned book brouhaha serve to keep books culturally relevant?
– If books weren’t ever banned, would it mean nobody cared?
These days, in addition to reading work by Hopkins and Hill, I’m reading my usual mix of classic and contemporary.
Classic: Herzog by Saul Bellow
Contemporary: A Simple Machine, Like the Lever, by Evan P. Schneider, the publisher of Boneshaker, A Biking Almanac.
Also, I’m working on a new book of linked stories. The working title is Living and Dying on the East Coast. You can read one of the stories in the New England Review.
More info about Mary Rechner is available at http://www.maryrechner.com/
Additional information on Banned conversation members available here:
Nancy Sullivan: http://schedule.wordstockfestival.com/attendees?s=Nancy+Sullivan
Jonathan Hill: http://schedule.wordstockfestival.com/attendees?s=Jonathan+Hill
Ellen Hopkins: http://schedule.wordstockfestival.com/attendees?s=Ellen+Hopkins