Letters for April 26, 2001

Poetry could save literature

Re “Diva of Verse” (RN&R, April 5):

I took a poetry writing class from Gailmarie Pahmeier in fall ‘93, thinking I would slap a few paragraphs on a white page and call it done. I was wrong, and the class proved deliciously challenging.

In spring 1995, I took [a class about] women’s literature from her, which she co-taught. She’d be thrilled to know I did finally read Sue Miller’s The Good Mother (now a huge Miller fan), and my copy of the anthology Circle of Women is thoroughly dog-eared.

I wish I had a dime for every $100 bill I wasted in the journalism program at the University of Nevada, Reno, listening to old misogynists pontificate about the appalling state of journalism in America (without a clue how to fix it)—but I wouldn’t trade a minute spent in Gailmarie’s class discussing iconoclastic short stories and prose.

It’s typical media snobbery to assume that poetry is secular, artsy-fartsy nonsense. In fact, it may be what saves contemporary literature and even transforms it.

Melinda Murphy
via e-mail

Time for full disclosure

Re “Painting a Lonely Nevada” (RN&R Art of the State, March 29):

As long as we’re airing my poor judgment/foibles (read “mistakes") so publicly, allow me to disseminate my charges as they exist (existed):

Reno, 1996: “Driving with fictitious plates” and “no insurance"—failure to appear. Guilty, time served.

Reno, 1997: “Destruction of property"—failure to appear. No contest, time served.

Reno, 1999: “Destruction of property"—failure to appear. No contest, 60 days suspended, restitution.

Santa Fe, N.M., 1996: “Fugitive from justice,” “possession of heroin.” I will be pleading not guilty and taking it to the jury, where, rest assured, I will prevail.

Shakespeare used cocaine and cannabis. Pollack was a drunk. I used to lean into the wind, but I never spilled a drop.

Thanks, RN&R, for another great review.

Greg Allen

Keep out the sensationalism

Re “Painting a Lonely Nevada” (RN&R Art of the State, March 29):

It was nice to see a review of local artist Greg Allen. It is true; his paintings have a dark, humorous and even somewhat dark or tragic twist to them. They also capture a silent, barren beauty often ignored in traditional paintings of Northwest Nevada. His style is truly unique and inspired.

The fact that the police showed up with outstanding warrants to arrest the artist himself at his opening is somewhat dark and ironic!

But, Mr. Boegle, was it necessary to write what his felony warrant was for? Did you ask Mr. Allen if it was OK to publish this information? Does it matter to you what his reputation as a local artist is or what he would like it to be?

It’s nice that you took the time to review his work and to publicize the fact that there’s going to be a benefit, but please, Mr. Editor, the next time you wish to sink to a sensationalistic, gossipy level, consider whose career and reputation you might be damaging.

Antonia Parker

Editor’s note: Yes, it was necessary to report what charge the felony arrest warrant was for. Allen was arrested at his opening, something that everyone in the arts community knew about; it would have been irresponsible not to report that he was arrested. As for reporting what the arrest was for, we had to include that, too, as the readers of the review would have wondered about it—and possibly assumed things far worse than what the case really was. Incidentally, the RN&R did let Allen know as a professional courtesy (through Gallery Cui-ui) that we would be including the fact that he was arrested in the review before it ran. —J.B.

Double the reviews, double the fun

Re “Gonna Be Famous” and “The Game of Life” (RN&R Theater, April 12):

Congratulations! Kudos! Bravo! ENCORE! In this era of franchise journalism, the RN&R staff and theater reviewers show both courage and concern in regards to the arts with their publication of two, count ’em, TWO full-length reviews of local theater in the April 12 issue. More incredible still, one of the reviews got only a “good” rating, which means the reviewer probably wasn’t hounding the editor to run her review.

Brian Frishman
Theatre Director
Sage Ridge School