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Newport: A Writer's Beginnings Kindle Edition
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|Length: 198 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael Hogan is a fine writer who brings his deep love of language not only to his poetry to also to this book of prose. He carries on the Irish tradition of vivid storytelling here, but not simply to develop plot or character but to discover how the stories of his childhood and adolescence have made him the man he is today. Yet readers will also recognize themselves--regardless of whether their own stories are similar or different--evolving from the situations of early life into the larger awareness of our ways of being in the world.
Hogan takes us back to the days when Newport was also the base for Cruiser-Destroyer Fleet Atlantic and Thames Street's cobblestones echoed with the footsteps of sailors and Marines, fishermen and sail makers, all mingling with local merchants and school kids. He shows us the Irish-Catholic solidarity of the enclave known as the Fifth Ward, where the Gas House Gang toughs operated alongside Colonel "Pop" Flack, noted tennis coach, who introduced working class youngsters to a different kind of leisure activity. In this post-war world of the Fifties and early Sixties (before the Newport Bridge was built), the island city was isolated and accessible only by ferry. It was still known internationally for its Naval War College, America's Cup in yachting, and the Officer Candidate School. It boasted the Eisenhower and later the Kennedy Summer White House. But there was also the fogbound coast and abandoned properties of the rich who no longer wished to maintain vast estates and servants. There was the depressed tax base and potholed streets, the ruins of Fort Adams and half-flooded tunnels which boys could explore at their risk.
Although the young writer was to meet both Eisenhower and Kennedy, what was more important was the isolation and the incremental growth of imagination. As Robert Frost reminds us in his famous poem: "A boy's will is the wind's will/And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“Yet this is not about Michelangelo or David, but about the gift of seeing the figure in the stone, seeing the narrative in the blank page, seeing your life pure and whole, as you... Read morePublished on July 13, 2014 by Daniel Soberanes
"Had my parents wished me to become a poet, they could not have planned it better." Growing up in Newport, as Hogan tells it, was an experience that overwhelmed the senses. Read morePublished on August 5, 2013 by Sofía Benitez
Newport: A Writer's Beginning.
As a longtime resident of Newport, I found it delightful and filled with memories that I could equate with my own.
In "Newport -- A Writer's Beginnings," Michael Hogan turns his gaze on the complex forces that made him what he is. Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by Elaine Halleck