Joyce Hinnefeld


Sunday, September 26, 2010


Stranger Here Below launched successfully on Friday, at our wonderful local independent bookstore, the Moravian Book Shop (oldest continuously operating bookstore in the U.S.!). It was a wonderful evening for me--so nice to look out on the smiling faces of so many friends, seated there amongst the children’s books. I’m grateful to all who came out to support me and the book, even in the midst of all the Celtic Classic traffic!

Now I’m gearing up for events in Brooklyn (at WORD, on Thursday, Sept. 30) and in Clinton, NJ (at the Clinton Book Shop, on Friday, Oct. 1). More details on these events at the Events page of the book web site.

And I’m also reading and responding to student poems, trying to get the word out about urging Pennsylvania state legislators to enact a meaningful severance tax on natural gas drilling (along with other Friends at Lehigh Valley Quaker Meeting), looking into Chinese and Chinese-American poetry for a class I’m teaching next semester, and eagerly awaiting my daughter’s return from a friend’s sleepover birthday party. And it’s only Sunday!

This is what’s called a full and rich life, I know; I’m working hard to see it that way. Actually, the only part that’s hard work is the natural gas drilling business. That’s hard, and deeply worrisome to me. If you want to learn more, start with Sandra Steingraber’s excellent work recently in Orion magazine. And if you live in Pennsylvania, please get in touch with your state legislators soon, and urge them to make every effort to protect the state’s natural resources--particularly its water--or, at the very least, to ensure that the companies involved can’t simply wreak havoc here and then leave the mess for us to deal with.

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