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Teaching the Next Generation – A German Saturday School in the U.S.

By Christoph Strobel

It’s Saturday morning ten after nine. After a half hour drive, my two daughters and I pull into the parking lot outside a school that is situated in an affluent Boston suburb. We are among over 400 students (ranging from age 4 to 17), their parents, and about 40 faculty and staff members. Every Saturday morning, this building serves as the German Saturday School Boston (GSSB), founded in 1874 by the Boylston Schul-Verein.
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Every Story Tells a Picture or How to Vignette

By Maryann Henck

Angelia Velosa & Cristopher Gomez, Door 95 in the Rua Santa Maria – The arT of oPEn doORs/Projecto aRTe pORtes abErtas, Funchal, Madeira; Photo credit: Maryann Henck

In the age of social media, it’s the image that rules. Instagram is the perfect example: It not only feeds some people’s insatiable need to document and offer glimpses into their private lives but also caters to a certain audience’s desire to consume and experience these slices of life vicariously. Instagram refers to the images posted as “stories,” a designation that fits in perfectly with the proverb: Every picture tells a story. And stories are almost always subject(ed) to interpretation. In the case of these Instagram picture stories, often the only clue is a brief caption or hashtag.

But what if the focus were to be shifted and that proverb were to be reversed? Read more »

We Need a Break or We’ll Break or Why to Vignette

By Kai-Arne Zimny

 

”Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Fritz Perls

 

In an age of never-ending parallel conversations, screens and second screens, and an even more interesting story just one swift move away from your fingertips, the most natural and humanly intuitive things suddenly don’t come easy anymore. It’s not easy to just go for a walk. To feel the earth give way under your feet. To listen to the wind whispering cold gibberish into your ears. To feel the sun on your skin, that warm yellow massage of light. To smell the green of the trees, to gratefully breathe in what they so lovingly breathe out.

Since our feet are already in ‘vignetty’ waters, let’s go for a dive!

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Findians: A Journey to Distant Cousins

By Dagmar Mißfeldt

In their 2016 book, Fintiaanien Mailla, three Finnish women take readers on a journey into unknown territory. Meeri Koutaniemi (photo journalist), Maria Seppälä (journalist and documentary filmmaker), and Katja Kettu (bestselling author) introduce us to Findians, a group of people who practically nobody has heard of, at least until now.

Between 1860 and 1940, approximately 400,000 Finnish emigrants left their homeland for North America in search of a better life. They mainly settled in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. 400,000 is an amazingly high number, especially when one considers that Finland only had a population of about three million people in 1900. In their new homeland, the Finnish came in contact with the Ojibwa people. Relatively quickly, the indigenous people and the Finns noticed that they had much in common:

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An Interview with Award-Winning Author Jayne Anne Phillips

By Sabrina Völz

Photo credit: Elena Seibert

After participating in an inspiring writing workshop with Jayne Anne Phillips as part of The 15th International Conference on the Short Story in English in Lisbon this past June, Jayne Anne kindly agreed to answer a few questions for the ASB. The resulting email interview gives our readers a glimpse into the many roles that Jayne Anne plays and her take on creative writing in a post-literate society.

 

Sabrina: Please use three adjectives to describe yourself.

Jayne Anne: Three words: these might change day to day, but today I’d say: Determined. Questioning. Hyper-sensory aware.

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Improving Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

By Maria Moss

f course the title is facetious: I certainly don’t want to – even if I could, which I can’t – improve one of the best and most anthologized poems in the English language written by one of the greatest lyrical voices of all times. What I ‘do’ want to do, however, is write about a teaching tool that initially sends shivers up every student’s back: continuing a poem, using the same rhyme scheme and meter. Once they’ve mastered the task, however, they’re quite proud of themselves – and rightfully so.
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