Poetry and tikkun olam
Ekphrastic poetry reading

The people in my neighborhood

Conventional wisdom holds that the blogosphere is chockablock with controversy, hasty soundbytes, ill-formed opinion, and snark -- and that may be true enough, as a generalization -- but it's not at all the case in the part of the blogosphere (or the overlapping Venn diagram of several blogospheres) where Velveteen Rabbi is located. Case in point: my friend Peter has tagged me as a thinking blogger. I'm honored to be on his list of five thoughtful and thought-provoking blogs, and delighted to be spurred toward sharing five thinking bloggers' urls with y'all.

I took this as an opportunity to point to some of the blogs I enjoy most which aren't about religion, for a change. Of course, some of the blogs I thought to tag, like qarrtsiluni -- the epitome of a thinking person's blog! -- didn't make the cut, because there's no singular blogger behind the magazine to respond to the tagging. (So instead, I'm just mentioning it here, on general principle.) With no further ado, five thinking bloggers whose work I deeply enjoy:

  • modal minority. Teju writes smart, erudite, thoughtful posts. Sometimes nonfiction, sometimes fiction. Sometimes photo-essays. Sometimes about world events. Often about the landscape of his head and heart. Recent standouts include in a loaning and mwashah.

  • via negativa. Dave writes with wit, humor, and clear vision about the world around him, particularly his home of Plummer's Hollow. His photographs and essays bring his world to light. He also curates "smorgasblog," a running sidebar which quotes from blog posts which have struck him recently -- like this meme, in microcosm, every day. Here's a list of his favorite posts from last year.

  • mole. There's a deep love of poetry here, and of humanity with all of our oddities and idiosyncracies. Dale's scenes from massage school and his musings about Buddhism especially resonate for me. I've never been able to figure out how to link directly to his posts, so just go to his blog and read the last few, whatever they are at the moment when you see these words.

  • The Middlewesterner. Tom's a writer's writer, a poet and storyteller. For a while he posted daily verses; these days we're reading a series called "From Morning Drive Journal" -- here's a recent favorite -- which excerpts journal entries from 2001. He interviews folks and tells stories. There's no other blog in the world quite like this one.

  • Feathers of Hope. Pica and Numenius describe themselves as a magpie and a geographer, respectively; this blog, which they share, moves comfortably from baseball to gardening to the details of the animal and vegetable worlds. Words and sketches. Good stuff. Here's a recent highlight: Sketching our way through Colorado.

If you've been tagged, consider yourself invited to spread the meme; choose five thinking bloggers you'd like to recognize, and link back to the original post which served as this meme's genesis. Meanwhile, enjoy the links, all! It's a pleasure to be in such a thoughtful corner of the blogosphere. These are the people in my neighborhood; won't you be my neighbor?

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