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Craig Arnold, 1967-2009

Craig Arnold, 1967-2009

Craig and I survived the PhD program at the University of Utah together — it was a terrible time for me, a program that wasn’t a good fit, and in general, an experience that taught me that academia wasn’t a good habitat for me. But Craig, Craig was maddening, a provacateur by nature, but he was also one of the truly kind people I met at Utah. His loss, which is chronicled here at the Salt Lake Tribune, is immense. He was an enormous talent, a poet just hitting his stride. There’s a lovely rememberence here by his friend Michael Hanson.

The best tribute you can give though, is, as our mutual friend Joel Long suggested, to go outside and “read a poem by Craig Arnold out loud with bravado, like a rock star.”

So today Craig, in my backyard, I’m sending up my words to you — although no one will ever read “Hot” with the same insinuating tone that you always did. It’s the best we can do, to keep the poems alive — for those of you who don’t know Craig’s work, we have two books —Shells (Yale Series of Younger Poets) and Made Flesh. There’s also the blog he was keeping of his volcano adventures: Volcano Pilgrim.

It’s a huge loss, for his family, his son Robin, his partner Rebecca, and for all of us who knew and worked with him. It’s also a huge loss for American poetry. Our only small small consolation is that they think he went quickly, and that he hadn’t been out there suffering, as many of us had feared.

Linky Round-up

Linky Round-up

Things have been a little crazy — work is work, life is good and I’m sort of just enjoying living it without the self-consciousness of blogging. But there are a few things I’ve been meaning to link to —

First off — my friend Craig Arnold, who I went to grad school with at Utah, is missing in Japan. He was researching volcanoes and went missing last week. He’s an award-winning poet (author of Shells and Made Flesh, teaches at the University of Wyoming, and has a teenaged son. It’s all very upsetting — if any of you would like to help out, there’s a Facebook group called Find Craig Arnold with info about how to help.

Sad news yesterday about Dom Deluise, author of one of my all-time favorite cookbooks: Eat This! You’ll Feel Better! I’ve blogged about my love for this book before, and in his honor, I think I’m going to have to go make his grandmother’s cake, the one I make for every occasion. It’s the perfect cake — spongy yellow genoise, split in half and filled with fruit and custard, then “frosted” with sweetened whipped cream and topped with more fruit. I’ve had men propose marriage over this cake at potlucks. It’s fabulous. So thanks Dom for making us all giggle a lot, and for giving me my favorite cake recipe.

The NY Times has a long article on how the American company Smithfield is inflitrating eastern Europe and building industrial hog farms in areas with lax legislation …

I picked up a copy of a cool new magazine about cheese called culture. I really liked it, especially as there were a couple of articles about cheesemaking, and it wasn’t entirely focussed on buying and eating cheese. It’s a terrible time to start a new magazine, so if you’re at all interested, go pick up a copy so it’ll stay in circulation.

Again at the NY Times, Mark Bittman writes about how the freezer is your friend. I am a huge proponent of home-frozen food, and was just noting the other day about how one of the first things you learn when you move to Montana is that you need to buy a separate freezer. My own take on Montana freezer culture is here, at Ethicurean.

I’ll be back later this week with cheese news, photos of the baby rooster (yes! there is a rooster) and garden news. It’s still cold and while it hasn’t snowed in three or four days, it’s still barely spring here. So not much happening outdoors yet.