It’s a small misnomer to label this new book by MacArthur "Genius" fellow Lydia Davis a collection of stories. Many of the pieces are a paragraph long, some less. And Davis doesn’t often follow a story from one place to the next. There are certainly no cliff-hanger endings.
Cornstalk—The Alibi's editorial staff voted the Cornstalk Institute the “best nonprofit you've never heard of.” The South Valley organization provides experiential education and prevention programs to local middle and high school kids. We're talking everything from ropes course training to outdoor adventuring to organic gardening. A fundraising event for Cornstalk is going on this Saturday, June 16, from 11 a.m. to midnight. Tickets are $30 (two for $50) and include live entertainment by Burqueños such as Daddy Long Loin and Damien Flores as well as out-of-towners like New York's Emory Joseph and Tucson's Greyhound Soul. There'll also be a silent auction for a Fender Stratocaster signed by both Robert Cray and Eric Clapton. The institute is located at 3011 Barcelona SW. Tix are available at Bookworks and Natural Sound. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have to admit that the term “folk music” gets under my skin, but it’s still the best broadly recognizable label for noncommercial music created in a communal environment. The word “folk” might be annoying, but it signifies a crucial aspect of cultural experience for ordinary people. Participation and sharing becomes more important than competition and wanky virtuosity. Tradition and social conscience get higher marks than mass market fame and fortune.
In the early ’90s, when I was teaching writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango, I discovered a slim book of short stories in Maria’s Bookshop with the marvelous title The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Not only did the collection live up to its flamboyant name, it made me an instant and unrepentant Sherman Alexie fan. The man not only stood myths—Native American and otherwise—on their heads, but managed to show the humor and pathos in both reservation life and our country’s sorry mistreatment of its first occupants, all in the same breathtaking stroke.