We review books, music, and film in 200-word punches. Meet our boxers: each fights in all three rings, but each has a specialty swing.
Micah Ling: Our book gal. Let’s just get this out of the way, no matter what you thought when you saw that name, Micah Ling is not an Asian man. But she’s pretty comfortable with that drastic misconception. Ling founded Book Punch back in March, 2009. The book reviews gave way to music reviews, and finally film reviews. She’s a bit obsessive. Ling teaches full-time in the English department at Franklin College, and part-time in the MFA program at Butler University. She writes for NUVO, the alternative paper in Indianapolis, IN. She also runs quite a bit and spends a decent amount of time talking to (and for) her boxer, Bourbon. Ling has two collections of poetry: Three Islands and Sweetgrass, both from Sunnyoutside Press.
Jay Cullis: Our music guy. Cullis is a writer. He currently makes his living teaching elementary school. In the past he’s worked as a newspaper reporter, green-grocer, movie theater usher, labor union propaganda generator, school librarian and technology teacher. He lives with his wife on a 4-acre farm in the Midwest. He likes to watch and play soccer, but feels the divide between the two is a vast and unconquerable distance. He’s prone to sweeping generalizations and almost always hits the nail on the head. He writes a lot of songs and sometimes plays out in bars and clubs. But he’s often overcome by the fact that the twisted road of his life didn’t lead to the foot of a stage in front of thousands of cheering fans. He listens to music the way some people read books. And he reads books the way some people listen to music. Which is to say, really, that he believes the best things in life are those given to us by artists. He’s not a critic — he’s a believer.
Ben Glass: Our film guy. Glass is finishing up his MFA in poetry at Ohio State this year. He’s all-around Ohioan and you can’t hold that against him. He’s married with no kids and prefers movies that can appeal to broad, but “thinking” audiences. The quotes suggest Ben’s attraction to and repulsion from pretension. His favorite movie makers are “auteurs” like Michael Haneke, the Coen Bros, P.T. Anderson, Woody Allen, and probably Jean-Luc Goddard. Movies fill in the gaps when he isn’t trying to apprehend the history of jazz music or weighing Frank O’Hara’s statement that the only American poetry better than the movies is by William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, or Walt Whitman. He tweets inanely at http://twitter.com/#!/thebenglass.
Katy Welter (Welterweight): Our logistics guru. There’s a stage in child development when kids ask “why?” incessantly. Welter hit this stage and, her family will attest, never really left. She tends to read five things at once, mostly nonfiction, in an effort to learn something about everything. Trouble is, her kindle, audible, and netflix queues now outnumber the waking hours remaining in her life. Welter is a once-and-for-all Hoosier, but she lives in Chicago with her husband, Rick, and their dogs, Scout (Finch) and Muddy (Waters). She counts sleeping in and camping out among life’s purest pleasures. She’s been book punching since Micah let her, and when she’s not lawyering for justice (and Book Punch), she blogs at www.rosporkad.com.