Today at work I Googled my co-author Jim Hole's name to see if there were any new reviews of his latest book, What Grows Here? Volume Two. I found a couple, but way more interesting was the link found at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. The syllabus for their Master of Liberal Arts programs includes a quote from a piece Jim and I wrote for last year's issue of Spring Gardening. Here's the relevant excerpt from the syllabus:
LBS 511: Topics in Literature and Language: The Writer in the Garden
Special Instructor Linda McCloskey, Dept. of English firstname.lastname@example.org
MW 6:30 - 9:50 p.m.
In his essay, "The Art of Interpretation," Jim Hole states, "Even the most modest garden is a work of art in its own right, if you've imbued it with your own personal vision." In this course, we will explore the garden in literature as both literal and symbolic, including each writer's personal vision and expression of his or her relationship with nature, from the Biblical Garden of Eden through the secret garden of children's fiction to the contemporary garden essay. Emphasis will be placed on the connection between personal reflection and universal meaning. Students may investigate interdisciplinary depictions of the garden in painting, sculpture, film and history as well. A visit to the gardens at Cranbrook is planned as part of the course. Students will learn to hone their literary/personal essay writing skills, and garden essays will be gathered to produce a collection at the semester's end. Course requirements also include regular attendance and active participation in class discussions. Required texts:
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. (The Modern Library Classics
Roger Evans, The Writer in the Garden.
Jane Garmey, editor, The Writer in the Garden.
Jamaica Kincaid, My Garden (Book)
Bonnie Marranca, American Garden Writing: An Anthology.
Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education.
Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden.
I'm so psyched. I know it's silly, but I really feel like this helps validate the work I've been doing for Hole's. Sure, it's likely that the instructor was just searching for something reasonably quotable for the syllabus description, but it's still darn cool that she picked something I wrote. Woo woo!