Behind the Scenes
What's Been Happening
Consolation Miracle by Chad Davidson ('97 M.A.) of Carrollton, Ga. (Southern Illinois University Press). Poems by John Poch ('00 Ph.D.) of Lubbock (Orchises Press).
Every writer wants to be heard — at least that is the belief of John Poch, an assistant professor of English at Texas Tech. His hope
is that people will listen.
Poch's voice is his collection of poetry in his book Poems, a project that was in the works for 10 years before being released this year. Poems, a name he chose because he was attracted to the simplicity of the title, contains primarily love and death poems that he hopes his audience will read individually.
"It would be great if they laughed or cried, but I'd settle for smiles or an extra heartbeat here and there," Poch says.
He shares his love of poetry with Chad Davidson, a fellow poet whom Poch met while they were earning their degrees at UNT. Poch's desire to be read led Davidson, now an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia, to publish his book, Consolation Miracle, which he worked on for seven years.
"As a budding poet, I would and still do try on different poets' styles as if they were coats. Sooner or later, I ended up shedding them and searching for something more 'fitting,'" Davidson says.
Davidson and Poch are still great friends since their days at UNT, and each continues to share in the joy and success of the other's published work.
"John's poetry is a continual source of inspiration to me," says Davidson.
How to Get a Life: Empowering Wisdom From Thinkers and Writers edited by Lawrence Baines ('84 M.S.) of Toledo, Ohio, and Daniel McBrayer (Humanics). This combination biography/self-help book includes condensed life stories of 15 accomplished individuals — from Marcus Aurelius to Walt Disney — along with advice for living as revealed through their writings and quotes. The first volume in the series, last year's How to Get a Life: Empowering Wisdom for the Heart and Soul, included chapters on Jesus, Buddha and the Dalai Lama, among others. Baines is an associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Toledo.
Living Shackle-Free: Lessons of Deliverance and Prayer Journal by Michelle Lea Bowers ('93) of Arlington (Press On Publishing). The book
focuses on ways to be free of the mental and emotional "shackles" of life, such as those brought on by depression, low self-esteem and abuse. Bowers, who has started a publishing company and speaking ministry, holds a master's degree in Christian education from Dallas Baptist University and says many of her upper-level courses at UNT served as a foundation for her work as an author and speaker.
When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963
by Bob Huffaker ('69 M.A., '74 Ph.D.) of Denton, Bill Mercer of Richardson ('66 M.A.), George Phenix and Wes Wise (Taylor Trade Publishing). The authors — who were with Dallas' CBS television and radio affiliate KRLD when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 — describe their experiences covering the president's death, Lee Harvey Oswald's capture and shooting, and Jack Ruby's trial, focusing on the importance television gained for its up-to-the-minute reports. They also compare broadcasting from that era with broadcasting today.
Professional Success: How to Thrive in the Professional World by John M. Latta ('63, '66 M.B.A.) of San Mateo, Calif. (Windrose Press). Based on surveys of newly hired college graduates and Latta's experiences as a management-level executive, this guidebook gives young professionals basic information about their new environment. Topics addressed include time management, relationships, mentors, money management, ethics and communication.
The American Foreign Legion: Black Soldiers of the 93rd in World War I by Frank E. Roberts ('86) of Rockwall (Naval Institute Press). In World War I, the segregated U.S. Army assigned its 93rd division of black soldiers to the French army. This is the story of their accomplishments, which called into question the U.S. Army's policy of segregation. Roberts, who has written several articles for military journals, is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a partner in a professional recruitment consulting firm in Rockwall.
Phoenix Rising: The Next Generation of American Formal Poets edited by John 'Sonny' Williams ('94) of Metairie, La. (WordTech Communications). Featuring the works
of established and emerging Generation X poets, the book includes poems about death, sex, loss, God and Wile E. Coyote. It serves as a record of the generation's voice and of its connection to the traditional poetic form. Williams is an English instructor at the University of New Orleans.
All of Us by the Texas All-Star Jazz Camp Big Band (Seabreeze/Vista), recorded live at the John Anthony Theatre in Plano. Band members, who served as faculty at the annual Texas All-Star Jazz Camp held at Collin County Community College's Spring Creek Campus, include North Texas alumni Keith Adkins, Kris Berg ('85, '91 M.M.), Tom Burchill ('86 M.M.Ed.), Mike Burgess ('79), Dave Butler ('80 M.M.), Mike Drake ('88), Rosana Calderon Eckert ('95, '99 M.M.), Kent Ellingson ('83 M.M.Ed.), Dan Evans, Randy Hamm ('85, '88 M.M.Ed.), Scott Harrell ('93, '96 M.M.), Tim Ishii ('87, '91 M.M.), Keith Jourdan ('70), Glenn Kostur ('86), Frank Mantooth ('69), Kevin McNerney ('84, '90 M.M.), A.G. Robeson, Rich Stitzel and Dave Von Blohn ('83 M.M.Ed.). Berg, director of the camp, is professor of music and director of jazz studies at the Collin County Community College District.
Johann Sebastian Bach: The Organ Concertos (Fleur-de-Lis), performed on the Petty-Madden organ in the First Presbyterian Church in Wolcott, N.Y. Bynum Petty of Pennington, N.J., who did graduate work in musicology in the '70s at North Texas, left Denton for New Jersey in 1976 and established himself as an organ builder there with Petty-Madden Organbuilders Inc. He says he knew little of the state at the time, except that as a teaching fellow at North Texas he noticed that some of his best jazz students were from there. Another Petty-Madden organ, at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, N.J., is featured on the CD French Connection: Widor, Messiaen, Vierne, Duruflé — 19th and 20th Century Masterpieces for Organ (Fleur-de-Lis).