Spartan Bookshelf

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

American Book Award winner

In the words of current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera (who visited SJSU for Legacy of Poetry Day on May 5), the poetry collection her beckoning hands (WordTech Editions, 2014) represents “a magnificent breakthrough, a timeless-seeing collection.” The author, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Arlene Biala, ’90 Psychology, also serves as arts program manager for the city of San José’s Office of Cultural Affairs. her beckoning hands, Biala’s third published collection, received the American Book Award in poetry from the Before Columbus Foundation last year.

Promoting childhood literacy

Public libraries can help bridge the learning gap between preschool and kindergarten, according to youth services specialist R. Lynn Baker, ’15 MLIS. In Counting Down to Kindergarten: A Complete Guide to Creating a School Readiness Program for Your Community (American Library Association, 2015), Baker supplies a six-week schedule of detailed lesson plans to promote school readiness skills that can be implemented by any public library. She received SJSU’s Stella Bunch Hills Award in Youth Services in 2015 in recognition of her contributions and potential for innovation in the field.

Operation Hump revisited

In The Hump: The 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, in the First Major Battle of the Vietnam War (McFarland, 2015), Al Conetto, ’64 Industrial Management, presents the battle he fought in as one that changed the nature of the war, escalating it “from a hit-and-run guerrilla conflict to a bloody contest between Communist main force units and American commands of battalion size or larger.” Drawing on U.S. Army documents and the recollections of fellow combatants, Conetto also describes his experiences with PTSD and his return to Vietnam in the 1990s.

A poetry collection “of and for our time”

Praised by SJSU’s Professor Emerita Elsie Leach for its relevance and by poet and radio host Grace Cavalieri for the “great heart at the core of each poem,” Bringing Home the Moon (Aldrich Press, 2015) by Mary Lou Taylor, ’70 English, also drew plaudits from Willow Glen Poetry Project editor Harry Lafnear. “In Mary Lou’s poems,” Lafnear says, “we float through moments formative or formidable, touching or frightful, but all with universal appeal, lit with generous spirit and a graceful love of language.” Taylor also serves as a trustee of SJSU’s Center for Literary Arts.
061716_WSQ_webextra_IMG_01 Read a Q&A with Mary Lou Taylor.

Jody Ulate

Jody Ulate, '05 MA English, is editor of the Washington Square blog and printed alumni magazine.

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