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Newport: A Writer's Beginnings by [Hogan, Michael]
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Newport: A Writer's Beginnings Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 198 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MICHAEL HOGAN is the author of twenty books, including The Irish Soldiers of Mexico, which was the basis for an MGM film starring Tom Berenger and an award-winning documentary on the St. Patrick’s Battalion. His writing has appeared in the Paris Review, The Harvard Review, the Bloomsbury Review, the American Poetry Review and dozens of textbooks and anthologies. His book Winter Solstice: Selected Poems 1975-2012 has been praised by Sam Hamill for writing that ”bears the weight of hard-earned experience together with the sweet light of an open and generous heart.” Hogan is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Alden Dow Creativity Fellowship and the Colorado Humanities Fellowship. He lives in Guadalajara, Mexico, with the textile artist Lucinda Mayo and their dog Molly Malone.

Product Details

  • File Size: 469 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: January 12, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006X43FT0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,218 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By Waid Woodruff on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those who are familiar with Dr. Michael Hogan, the professor, the author, the friend, be assured that A Writer's Beginnings is not a book to miss. Should you be among the unfortunate, and not know Professor Hogan or his works, then take the time to read his story. Yes, it is his story, a time seemingly of innocence, the period of the `Fifties and `Sixties. Nothing is the same today, so what you will read will transport you to the age of Eisenhower and Kennedy, the island of Newport, when it was accessible only by ferry, the age when it was safe to explore strange places. Read and relive your youth vicariously in this book, regardless of gender. I did, and though I am from southern California, I felt I was 3000 miles to the east, walking alongside young Mike.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Newport: a Writer's Beginnings is a mostly meditative but sometimes action-packed collection of essays by prolific author Michael Hogan reviewing his years growing up in Newport, Rhode Island, then a small community divided between the very wealthy and famous and the ordinary families, especially the Irish Catholic middle-class families like his own. He recounts the structure of his childhood Sundays: church, a big meal with the family, an afternoon drive in his father's newly-polished station wagon, and finally some valued time alone to read or think. One essay elegantly recalls his experience as an altar boy assisting in the Latin mass, absorbing the language and the music that he has continued to value throughout his life, even though the Church has changed to using the vernacular. Other essays recall lessons learned in response to friends who turned cruel and violent or as a result of playing high school football until he was seriously injured and realized he would likely be "pursuing a career which would likely be one in which I would use my mind." Finally, Hogan concludes with "Everything in the World is Waiting," an exploration of his summing up the role of his mother as he reflects on her death at age 93, a recognition of the experience of Michelangelo in creating the sculpture of David out of a block of marble, the reflections of poet William Stafford, and Hogan's own path as a teacher.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Hogan's book is a history lesson about an Irish American boy's journey through the gentle period of the 50s and 60s in the unique setting of Newport, Rhode Island. He takes us past the Summer White House waving at President Ike, and recreates the rich traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, which he rejects. While he rejects the basic tenets of the Faith, he laments the loss of the Latin liturgy like a true believer. He brings to life a period and traditions now lost, from a Sunday roast to the family rosary. Each story is little book unto itself, but my favorite is the story about his grandfather's resentment of the Church because of its opposition to the Irish Revolution, and his refusal of the Last Rites. Even he, while refusing the Sacraments, stood in the back of the Church while attending Mass. This is a must read for everyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is both a unique introduction to a fantastic and historic city, and a colorful writer's memoir. Michael Hogan's Newport is a bit racier than the tame offerings most travel writers give us today of the City by the Sea. The mansions of the Gilded Age are here, the breathtaking scenery of the Cliff Walk, the Ocean Drive and Narragansett Bay--but there is so much more.

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.
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