The Death of the Mile-High Club

Commentary: Regardless of how you try to sugarcoat the flight experience, planes have functionally become flying buses — and the only people who would consider having sex on public buses are invariably on their way home from serving 18-to-24-month prison sentences for crystal-meth possession.

Update: Spring/Summer/Fall 2007

Friends and vagabonders, 2007 promises to be a busy year of traveling, writing and teaching for me. Having returned from Cuba and the Dominican Republic this spring, I will head for Europe this summer, where I will teach writing classes in Russia (at the Summer Literary Seminar in St. Petersburg) and France (at my annual workshop…

The Dangers and Joys Of Travel Writing: a Q&A

As I think I’ve mentioned before on this blog, college students researching journalism, travel literature, and Americans abroad interview me quite frequently. I rarely see the final result of these academic research projects, but I always find the interview process interesting — and hence I will share some of these interviews in coming weeks. I’ll…

The Last Antiwar Poem

Literary criticism: 50 years on, Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” reads like a drug-addled, homoerotic variation of “Jackass.” If we aspire this year to recognize the anniversary of a Ginsberg poem that still seems relevant and challenging, we should fast-forward ten years to 1966, when the iconic Beat poet penned “Wichita Vortex Sutra.”

Update: Fall/Winter 2006-2007

Friends and vagabonders, 2006 has been a busy year for me, both in terms of traveling and writing. The spring months found me in the Dominican Republic, and summer took me to France (to teach my writing class; see below), Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. Recently, I’ve had articles appear in Outside (“Just…

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