November 2009

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Classical Minnesota Public Radio will broadcast Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food and Gratitude on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. Minnesota Public Radio’s John Birge will host two hours of reflections on the meaning of gratitude and the blessings of Thanksgiving through words and music. The program includes John Updike reading two November poems and “To a Skylark.”

In the Twin Cities, tune in to 99.5; Minnesotans elsewhere can access the Minnesota Public Radio website to find the station closest to them.

The board of The John Updike Society has decided to propose two panels for the 21st American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco, May 27-30 2010. “Updike Abroad” was suggested by two members separately, and the board also approved their paper proposals. But one more Updike scholar is still needed to present on this panel, and another to moderate. A second panel on “John Updike and American Pop Culture” is completely open, with three panel spots and a moderator to be filled. And of course the second business meeting of The John Updike Society will be held at ALA. There will be much to talk about, as the board has been moving forward on a proposal to hold the Society’s first conference in October 2010. And Jim Schiff is moving forward with The John Updike Review, so there will be plenty of opportunities for members and other Updike scholars to share their work. The conference will beheld at the Hyatt Regency in Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, which is near waterfront walking/jogging paths, the ferry to Alcatraz, and a cable car stop. It’s also a short walk through Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf from the hotel.

Those wishing to propose a paper should send a brief abstract to James Plath (, who will disseminate it to the board for review. Those wishing to moderate should also contact Plath.

UPDATE: The “Updike Abroad” panel has been filled, and we look forward to presentations by members Kevin Frazier (Finland), Judie Newman (England), and Sylvie Mathé (France). We still have three panelist seats open for the “John Updike and American Pop Culture” session, which will be moderated by Sally L. LeVan of Gannon University.