Kathleen Alcalá

The Clueless Eater

The Versatile Blogger

July 19, 2012

Tags: Gary Nabhan, Stephanie Hammer, The Versatile Blogger, Charlotte Morganti, Steve White, Donna Miscolta, A Week of Indigenous Eating, Hell Notes for Beauty

Thank you and welcome to all the new subscribers! I guess it pays to ask.

I was just nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by one of my students, (who is more qualified to be MY professor) Stephanie Hammer. A shape shifter of a writer, she blogs at Magically Real. This, gives me a chance to promote some writers and thinkers I respect.

At Gary Nabhan - each blog is an intensely brilliant lesson on ethnobotany, our relationship to plants and the world around us; Charlotte Morganti, a Canadian lawyer and mystery writer at Morganti Writes and Steve White, who I think teaches physics and who I know writes alternative histories at Novel Dog both attended the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, where I teach, and are happily sharing what they have learned along the way.

Devon Mihesuah, the Cora Lee Beers Price Professor and Director of the American Indian Health and Diet Project (AIHD) at the University of Kansas, maintains a blog about indigenous food A Week of Eating Indigenous Food that includes many useful tips on eating healthy, local food. This pairs well with Gary Nabhan's posts.

Finally, just for fun, I came across a blog called Hell Notes for Beauty when researching herbs. This anonymous blogger writes about whatever inspires her each day to promote peace, beauty, and a positive environment . It's a bit stylish, a bit mysterious.

Now I am supposed to share seven things about myself:

- I was the only left-handed person in my family until my son came along.
- I have never smoked anything.
-I don’t think of myself as an outdoor person, but I love hiking, plants, birds and animals, including insects and snakes.
- I used to play the guitar a little bit. I have forgotten how.
- I would like a Philip Glass sound-track to follow me around and reflect my emotional state.
- I still don’t like beets, although I am softening towards eggplant.
- When the writing is good, it is very very good. When the writing is bad, it is horrid.
- I whistle very well. Fake bird calls, that sort of thing.

Okay, that’s eight things. Math was never my strong point, although I won some award in 7th grade. That’s nine.


  1. July 23, 2012 2:08 AM PDT
    I love the image of the "clueless eater" and look forward to more excellent adventures.

    I'm so thrilled you were my professor and thesis guide... thank you so much.
    - Stephanie Barbé Hammer
  2. July 23, 2012 1:47 PM PDT
    I'm sure I have learned as much from you as you did from me. Now to get your next book published!
    - Kathleen Alcala
With Cowichan Elder Hyamiciate, Della (Rice) Sylvester at the The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium


Selected Works

Creative nonfiction, memoir, environmental sustainability.
Combining memoir, historical records, and a blueprint for sustainability, The Deepest Roots shows us how an island population can mature into responsible food stewards and reminds us that innovation, adaptation, diversity, and common sense will help us make wise decisions about our future. And along the way, we learn how food is intertwined with our present but offers a path to a better understanding of the future.
Creative Nonfiction
Essays on Family and Writing

The Desert Remembers My Name makes an important contribution to discussions of ethnicity, identity, and the literature of place.”
Bloomsbury Review
"...a mesmerizing tale... the author explores the fascinating confusions and contradictions plaguing a culture precariously poised between tradition and modernization."
"She never forgot the power of storytelling as testimony."
The Utne Reader
"Kathleen Alcalá's Spirits of the Ordinary is an enthralling book..."
–Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Books

"This book entered my dreams."
–Alberto Rios
Short Fiction
"Thoroughly satisfying."
The New York Times Book Review

"By turns touching, entertaining, and surprising, and uniquely her own."
Publishers Weekly

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