Uncanny Vale

Home to the Literary Creations
of Erin Wilcox


Letter to Rick Santorum

In honor of Rick Santorum’s suspension of his presidential campaign, I’m sharing a letter I wrote him in 2004, years before the inception of his Google problem, when I first encountered his opinions regarding birth control. Back then, my suggestions seemed outlandish. Now they sound eerily close to the tenor of our national debate:

March 2004

Dear Mr. Santorum,

Librotraficante Smuggles Mind-Altering Prose into the Southwest

Recent political events in the Southwest, where Arizona has outlawed any K-12 curriculum that “advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” have ignited a literary protest of national significance. On Monday, March 12, a caravan of formidable authors including Sandra Cisneros and Dagoberto Gilb left Houston on a tour spanning San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Tucson, where it arrives Friday, March 16.

New Content in the Vale

Have you ever wondered when to put a comma between two adjectives that fall before a noun? About five years ago, I started to brood over the commas-and-adjectives issue. Growing up, I learned that you always add a comma, but to my ear, that often seemed wrong. Was the rule on its way out of style completely, as I’d heard rumored? Yet, I still felt a pause between adjectives when I said phrases like, “It was a beautiful, seductive lie.” Didn’t a comma belong there?

National Geographic Bioblitz and Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park

It was my joy and honor to participate in the Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park Project this October. Wendy Burk and Eric Magraine, both poets and naturalists, put this project together in conjunction with the National Geographic Bioblitz, an event celebrating biodiversity at Saguaro National Park. One park a year is chosen to host this national event. This year, Tucson got the honor, and thousands of people enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna in our desert habitat.