Abby Dockter recently interviewed me for the website Essay Daily. We talked about transportable culture, rumination, and the joys and challenges of being a “fusion medievalist.” That’s Abby’s coinage, but I am adopting it!

Read the interview here:

http://www.essaydaily.org/2017/03/digesting-texas-and-other-pursuits-of.html

I was honoured to be asked to judge the nonfiction category of Sonora Review’s 2017 contest. The winner was Easton Smith’s fine essay, “The Pace of Death: On Illness and Borders in the Sonora.” I look forward to seeing it in print!

You can read more about the contest here:

https://sonorareview.com/2017/06/19/announcing-the-2017-contest-winners/

Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl passed away yesterday. Politico.eu has an article I wrote a few years ago about Kohl’s impressive gastronomic urges:

http://www.politico.eu/article/appetite-and-iron-clad-stomach-for-success-helmut-kohl/

I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with Zócalo Public Square in the past — look here and there — so I was pleased to be asked for a book recommendation for their summer book list. My pick was Michael Schulman’s Her Again, a biography of Meryl Streep.

Read more here:

http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2017/05/30/quench-curiosity-zocalos-summer-book-list/books/readings/

I’m thrilled to share this thoughtful new review of Rumba Under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi, written by Jenny Drai for Drunken Boat:

https://medium.com/drunken-boat/rumba-under-fire-the-arts-of-survival-from-west-point-to-delhi-edited-by-irina-dumitrescu-36098f4f8f00#.o3asgbwww

You can buy a hard copy of Rumba Under Fire or download the ebook free at Punctum Books. Donations to this wonderful publishing house are most welcome!

View story at Medium.com

I’m happy to announce that I have a new essay up at Longreads:

Swan, Late: The unexpected joys of adult beginner ballet

It’s about the culture of perfection in ballet, how I fell in love with the art form despite myself, and the surprising benefits of doing something in which it is impossible to become excellent. I also interviewed a number of dance teachers, read a lot of ballet memoirs, and took quite a few dance classes, so it was probably the most fun to research of all of my essays.

Steve Mentz has included Rumba Under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi in his 2016 Reads of the Year at the Glasgow Review of Books. I’m thrilled at this sensitive response to the book!