The US Represented Weekly Update


Hello USR readers,

The volume of our work continues to reflect our diversifying audience. In “How to Find Gratitude on Aisle Four,” Jerome Parent notes, “A game I play with myself is figuring out the hunters, gatherers, and farmers. Taking after our ancestors, people act out different roles of acquiring food at the store.” In Sandra Knauf’s novel, Zera and the Green Man: Chapter Eight, Zera returns to Ute Springs: “As they drove into town via Ute Avenue, Zera took in the familiar landmarks: brick and clapboard buildings lining the streets and hilly side roads, the town clock, cast iron streetlights that looked a hundred years old but were actually installed during the previous summer. Townspeople worked in flower-filled yards, walked down the sidewalks, visited with neighbors. She found herself smiling, and couldn’t stop.” Emily Dickinson’s “Wild Nights–Wild Nights!” shows the poet’s passionate side, while a Sappho fragment speaks with lush imagery.

Eric Stephenson’s “Ten Reasons to Grow a Garden: A Conversation with Sandra Knauf” points out that “Nothing tastes as good as a vine-ripened, backyard-grown tomato. Or a pepper, or cucumber, or anything else. And nothing is fresher than the food we gather from going out, harvesting some lettuce, and having that salad a half-hour later.” John Ruskin’s discussion on J.M.W. Turner’s  painting The Slave Ship is one of the finest impressionistic analyses in English Literature, and Fight with Cudgels by Francisco Goya shows the heartless absurdity of mankind at its worst. Mandy Solomon’s “Sympathy for the weeds” offers deference to some uninvited guests but says,

“But bourbon tells me
to toss you in the pile
where Christmas trees
rot festively.”

Kelsey Gregg’s “Florida’s Invasive Serpent: The Burmese Python” underscores the foolishness of introducing invasive species into the American landscape. In “Joel Salatin (America’s Libertarian Agrarian Intellectual) Reveals His Writing Secrets,” Sandra Knauf discusses the writing process, as well as a broad range of topics, with an accomplished author who examines the “big picture of America’s food,” to include “agriculture, ranching, the food industry, our government, our culture.” Jerome Parent’s “May All of Your Wishes. . . .” explores the notion of charity, or lack thereof, in American culture. David LaPlant’s “The Everglades: Addressing Florida’s Water Crisis” notes, “Despite environmental renewal efforts from volunteers and many federal restoration plans, the Everglades requires continual attention to reverse the effects of over-population while maintaining healthy water quality and levels.” 

In Emily Badovinac’s novel Deep Red, Q says to Marlo, ““You are meant to BE. You are meant to become. Become more than they ask. Become more than you think you have been or ought to be. You don’t have faith in yourself, because you don’t know yourself well enough to understand what you’ve lost. You don’t know how your emotions can benefit you, because you’ve been trained to believe that emotions are a liability.” Jake Reed’s “Oklahoma’s Solid Waste Problem” argues that “Illegal solid waste dumping continues to contaminate Oklahoma water sources for communities and farms while destroying the landscape and creating a breeding ground for diseases.” Demosthenes states, “The easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different.” DeLyn Martineau’s “Finding the Key” is the inspiring story of a young man named Cody who turned his life around as the result of some sensible guidance, and he now returns the favor tenfold. Eric Stephenson’s “The Psychic Vampire” profiles a prevalent character type. Jeff Cleek’s Dick and Rosie takes on the issue of child labor, and Jonathan Swift deconstructs vanity as it relates to unwarranted self-importance in writing.

As always, thank you for being a part of our rapidly growing community, and please keep being who you are.

The USR Staff