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About Ronald W. Kenyon
Born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky, Kenyon graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied English, French, Spanish and political science. He was awarded two Hopwood creative writing awards and his one-act play, Manson, was produced. He pursued graduate studies at Stanford and St. Lawrence University and was certified as a French-English liaison interpreter by the U.S. Department of State in 1990.
Ronald W. Kenyon spent over half a century living and working in France, Washington, D.C. and Saudi Arabia.
As a free-lance Paris-based photographer, Kenyon's works received numerous awards and publications in France. Sixty-five of his photographs of Asir Provence, Saudi Arabia, were exhibited in 1980 and a selection was published in 2020 as Asir: The Unknown Arabia.
In 1995, as liaison officer, Kenyon accompanied composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard and his band on a month-long tour of seven countries of Latin America sponsored by the United States Information Agency. He documented the tour in an essay, "Labios de Fuego," published in Statues of Liberty: Real Stories from France, in 2015.
Ronald W. Kenyon relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida, in 2015 where he continues writing, publishing and lecturing.
Frank Cerabino, columnist, The Palm Beach Post
The cast of characters in these seventeen stories of fascinating Floridians includes the living and the dead, the famous and the infamous—murderers, imposters, royal pretenders, a supermarket cashier, a housekeeper, a homeless former crack addict rescued by an anonymous benefactor, the woman who was elected chief of the Seminoles, a Jordanian Cordon Bleu chef, a chess champion who founded a city and the first two Jewish senators. Even John Lennon makes an appearance.
A road trip across the state results in the shocking revelation that, in the 1920’s, Seminole children were prohibited from attending either “white” or “colored” schools, but ends with an unexpected surprise: the Seminole Tribe of Florida, grown wealthy by the profits of its casinos, now owns the worldwide Hard Rock Café chain
Some of the essays involved extensive research, often sparked by an apparently trivial observation; thus the story of the phony count and the fake countess begins when I noticed a sign with an inappropriate ampersand and leaps around the world to France, the former Belgian Congo, Yemen, the Emirate of Sharjah and Tangier.
The people in this book are Floridians, all, and some were even born in the Sunshine State. Yet most are transplants like me, native-born Americans migrating from elsewhere in the United States or immigrants fleeing Hitler’s Germany, Castro’s Cuba and the poverty of Guatemala. Each of them—each of us—possesses Real Stories to tell, and in this book the reader will discover some of them.
The author has conducted extensive research to paint a portrait of Monville and place him in the context of the political, social and artistic movements at the end of the 18th century.
The pages of this book are populated with Monville's friends and acquaintances. The reader will discover princes and paupers, playwrights and prostitutes, philosophers and pirates, ambassadors and actresses, feminists and Freemasons. The author also focuses on the Americans living in Paris at the end of the 18th century—including four future presidents of the United States—who traveled in the circles Monville frequented.
Many celebrities were Monville's guests at his sumptuous Paris townhouse or at his country estate, the Désert de Retz, at Chambourcy, with its unique Column House, considered "the most interesting building of the eighteenth century."
The text is enhanced with three engravings of the Désert de Retz by Constant Bourgeois dating from 1808. A hitherto unpublished poem by Beaumarchais dedicated to Monville is included in an appendix.
This new edition incorporates additional anecdotes from the life of Monville, recounted by his contemporaries and unpublished for over a century. The index has been expanded to twelve pages and the bibliography now contains over three score references.
Praise for the first edition of Monville: Forgotten Luminary of the French Enlightenment
A reader in the United States: “The ironic last sentence was perfect. One thing for sure is that I'm even more determined to visit the Desert because of the book. What an incredibly interesting man and what a life."
Readers in France: “Je voulais vous dire toute mon admiration pour le travail fabuleux que vous avez effectué ainsi que pour la qualité de cette œuvre que je parcours avec le plus grand intérêt.”
“Votre livre est pétri de tendresse pour la France.”
A reader in the United Kingdom: “You are giving me lots of micro-biographies of people I'd never heard of and therefore ought not to be interested in; logically I should be bored stiff, but in fact not at all. Don't know how you do it but the damn thing is highly readable!”
A reader in Mexico: "I finished your wonderful book yesterday and I am truly delighted. I really adored it! It was like a trip in Time and Space. I could imagine myself in those places with the people you talk about."
I just led my usual life, visiting friends, going to the cinema and museums, enjoying all the food and drink I missed in America, wandering around and rediscovering the infinitely interesting neighborhoods of Paris and taking care of personal business.
But since I am a writer, I wrote every day and, being a photographer, I could never resist capturing an ephemeral image "à la sauvette"—on the fly. It was only when I returned to Florida that I realized there was enough material for a little book, the Trip Report you now hold in your hands either in paperback or on the screen of your Kindle.
The subjects of these sixteen essays include painters—Pissarro, Vermeer and an American impressionist named Henry Rodman Kenyon—movies, the presidential election between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, French ale, motorcycles and the usual unexpected encounters with total strangers.
It's is an idiosyncratic, affectionate and highly personal glimpse of Paris in 2017.
Paris Trip Report is written in easy-to-read 16-point type and illustrated with 17 color photographs.
That real France, la France profonde, does exist. Having lived for many years in Paris and speaking fluent French, I know the country well. I love France and the French people and have written this book to share what I have learned. You can follow along as I describe my walks on sections of the 180,000-kilometer network of blazed trails crisscrossing France.
In the first nine chapters of this book I recount the experiences I have had walking in nine very distinct regions of France. Individual chapters are devoted to Auvergne, Finistère—the westernmost part of Brittany, Alsace, the Cévennes Mountains, Provence, Rouergue, the Loire Valley, Emblavez and a section of the pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela—the Way of Saint James.
Much of On the Trail in France is devoted to unexpectedly encountering total strangers, enjoying French food and wine, appreciating nature in all its beauty and fury and exploring the French—and other—languages.
I met many unforgettable characters, young and old, named and nameless. Elderly raconteurs in Auvergne and Provence. A saucy waitress in Alsace. Precocious children in Finistère and Provence. A Schoolmaster who wanted American pen-pals for his students. A bilingual lady novelist in the Gare de l’Est. Monsieur Prouff, always showing up in a different guise. A modern troubadour. Savvy businesswomen and sleepy soldiers. Students and chefs. Goatherds and dopers. A publican who was a painter. Winemakers and snail wranglers. A phony artist. Penniless pilgrims. They all pass through these pages. And I even had a brief encounter with a serial killer—without learning of his crimes until a year afterwards.
It is almost impossible to write about France without writing about food, and it is through food that we may acquire an understanding of the elusive French character that both intrigues and thwarts us. It is through food that we may grasp the meaning of one of the defining characteristics of France, the mysterious notion of terroir, which I translate as “the soul of the soil.” During my walks I ate peasant fare at rough-hewn tables and gourmet cuisine in elegant dining rooms. Steaks and game. Morels and bilberries. Snails and skate. Jerusalem artichokes. Dishes with exotic names: pounti, far, bäckeofe, kouign aman, landjäger, pommes tapées. And who can know France without knowing her cheeses? I savored Munster and Pélardons and Cabicous, tommes and fourmes and pavés.
I drank lambic apple brandy in Finistère and neya sussa wine less than a week old in Alsace. A beer brewed from buckwheat. I even tracked down a wine called Clinton.
Visitors may be surprised at the diversity of languages, dialects and cultures evoked in these pages. I met people who could shift effortlessly from French into Breton, Alsatian, Occitan or Provençal. I even discovered one of the world’s least-known languages, Welche, that has nothing to do with Wales.
On the Trail in France is a welcome guide for anyone in good health who practices recreational walking and desires to learn more about France and the French. It is my hope that these chapters will not only entertain and inform but encourage readers to venture off the beaten track to discover the human and natural treasures awaiting them.
The dictionary defines "divagation" as a wandering or a digression. Therefore many of the poems in this collection evoke the author's voyages that have taken him to forty-seven countries around the world.
Divagations is also a virtual handbook of poetic forms ranging from the elegance of the Spenserian Stanza to free verse. There are ballads and ballades, odes and ottava rima, rondels and rondeaux. Like many English-language poets, the author has a fondness for the sonnet; included is a sequence of twenty-four love sonnets. He has also included three sestinas, one in French. A long, narrative poem in blank verse recounts the adventures of one Poor Fisher, who travels to the Caribbean and attempts to establish a new religion with himself as its prophet.
Ronald W. Kenyon studied English literature at the University of Michigan and Stanford and became familiar with the entire history of English poetry, from Anglo-Saxon alliteration to the modernism of William Butler Yeats, Wallace Stevens and Ezra Pound; this entire legacy has left its mark on his poetry. The reader will also find allusions to modern Spanish-language poets, notably Pablo Neruda and Gabriel García Lorca.
Included in an appendix are extensive annotations by Catherine Jagor, a Paris-based poet who has known the author for over a quarter of a century and is intimately familiar with his work.
"After reading this collection, you will be changed, enriched and inspired." Jean-Pierre Collet, author of Le Chant du Naïf and Harmonies.
This volume consists of 101 of the slogans from the March for Our Lives written on placards, posters and banners and carried in marches in cities throughout the United States and around the world on March 24, 2018.
I am making this collection available for $10.00. The royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Everytown for Gun Safety, the non-profit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence.
The slogans are preceded by a nine-page preface.
Statues of Liberty is a collection of essays written over a period of years documenting the author's experiences and discoveries in France
Ranging from the trials and tribulations of a retired American renting an apartment from a dishonest landlady to visits to trade shows and food fairs to walks in the picturesque French countryside and the street artist Space Invader, the author's observations are always perceptive and insightful.
Inspired by Janet Flanner's "Letters from Paris" published in the New Yorker under the pen name Genêt, the author--who is fluent in French--reveals insights into France and the French that escape more casual observers.
While not intended to be a guidebook, Statues of Liberty: Real Stories from France will interest anyone who lives in France or is planning a trip to the world's most popular tourist destination.
Table of Contents:
1. Statues of Liberty
2. Apartment Hunting
4. La Traversée de Paris
7. Le Pays de Thelle
8. A Weekend in Normandy
9. Un Vrai Capitaliste
10. Péripatéticiennes and Romanichelles
11. A Day in Monaco
12. Touched by an Angel
13. “Are You Malcolm Miller?"
14. Le Président du Monde
15. Le Perchay, Gouzangrez, Commeny, Santeuil
16. Isaiah 46:4
17. A Gypsy Camp in the Heart of Paris
18. My Adventure at Uniqlo
20. The Third Sock
21. French Ale
23. Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Marie Périer
24. Along the Loing
25. A New Look at Brewster McCloud
26. Space Invader Invades the Rue d’Armaillé
27. Nivernais, Munster, U Casaccone, Neufchâtel
29. A Gesture of Franco-American Amity
30. “Aimez-vous la Mer?”
31. 873 QGN 75
32. The Great Mayotte Boondoggle
32. Three Films about Fighting and Family
33. An Unsolved Mystery
34. Labios de Fuego
35. Where are you going?
About the Author
The restaurants are organized according to the town in which they are located, in alphabetical order. For each, I have provided the distance from Paris to the station closest to each restaurant as well as its address and telephone number.
Most of the Paris hiking clubs organize day-long hikes, broken by a pause-picnic. This guide is based on an entirely different concept, the rando+déjeuner, in which walkers can enjoy both a country walk and a sit-down lunch before returning to Paris.
Most of these walks are point-to-point, so it’s necessary to take the train. Since the average distance of these restaurants is 50 kilometers from Paris and some are as far as 90 kilometers away, it’s necessary to catch an early train—one that leaves between 7:00 and 8:30 AM. Arriving at the destination no later than 9:30 affords up to four hours walking before lunch. It’s also necessary to call the restaurant beforehand to make sure it’s open for lunch and to reserve a table. Many are small and cater to a local clientele, so they fill up fast. Several have changed management or closed since the original review was written; this has been duly noted. New owners may be better or worse than their predecessors, and there’s always the hope that the restaurants that have closed will reopen.
Lorsqu’on pense à l’Île-de-France, on imagine d’abord la ville, la banlieue, les routes, le béton… mais rarement la nature. Pourtant, près des deux tiers de cette région sont des espaces naturels ou des terres agricoles… autant de paysages qui ont autrefois inspiré des peintes, parmi les plus célèbres.
Alors, n’attendez plus pour partir à la rencontre de ce formidable patrimoine naturel, à travers cet ouvrage, mais également au grès des nombreux sentiers de randonnée qui s’offrent à vous.
De belles découvertes et émotions en perspective…
With a photographer's eye, a journalist's nose for news and a poet's way with words, Ronald W. Kenyon recounts his observations and displays his insightful understanding of Arab and Islamic culture, customs and religion with particular emphasis on Bahrain.
In a wide-ranging series of vignettes and anecdotes, the author takes the reader from the temples and towns of the 5,000-year old Dilmun civilization to the glitz of twenty-first century shopping malls. He offers vivid descriptions of sanguinary religious rites, the tribulations of haggling with a taxi driver whose fare has to be paid in three different currencies and his body clock's disorientation from dealing with three different weekends.
While not a guidebook, A Winter in the Middle of Two Seas is a meticulously-researched primer for anyone visiting or working in Bahrain or the armchair traveler who wants to learn more about current events in the Middle East than what appears in the mainstream media.
In the last chapter of the book, entitled "The Truth about Bahrain," the author strives for objectivity, attempting to set the record straight by placing the current events in Bahrain in their historical, geopolitical and religious context.
The author is optimistic about the future of Bahrain and dedicates his book to the people of Bahrain "in the earnest hope that they may, with God's grace, achieve everlasting harmony."
Dans les pages de ce livre, le lecteur découvrira :
• Les relations de M. de Monville dont Beaumarchais, qui a écrit un hommage poétique à son ami, publié dans ce livre pour la première fois
• Les descendants de sa sœur, y compris une princesse monégasque guillotinée
• Son banquier, Perregaux, seul Suisse qui repose au Panthéon
• Jean-Pierre Blanchard, un pionnier de l'aviation française, qui a effectué ses premières expériences au Désert de Retz
• Un témoignage de l'incarcération de M. de Monville pendant la Terreur.
Cette biographie intègre à peu près tout qu’on connait actuellement de la vie de M. de Monville et incorpore des informations et des anecdotes puisées dans des ouvrages épuisés depuis plus d'un siècle.
L’auteur a voulu tracer un portrait de M. de Monville, tout en le situant dans le contexte politique, social et artistique de cette période riche en expériences et découvertes. Cet ouvrage séduira les lecteurs curieux de l’histoire de la France et des êtres qui l’ont marquée.
Some of the persons in the portraits are recognizable; among them are celebrities living and dead, some named and some nameless. Basketball player Tony Parker’s portrait appears as well as that of Marilyn Monroe. Three French film stars, Lætitia Casta, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci, share a triptych. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s wife and model Aline Charigot, Alphonsine Fournaise, the actress Angèle and the Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte populate a four-panel polyptych. The Chevalier de Saint George, an 18th century composer and equestrian, appears, as well as the Lady of the Unicorn from the medieval tapestry. Portraits of Agnès Sorel, mistress of French King Charles VII, and Madame Tallien, la plus grande putain de Paris, grace these pages. Superman’s here too, appearing as Brandon Routh. and so is the late Jean Gabin. Some of the portraits are anonymous.
Everyone is free to guess who’s who.