Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

February 12, 2012

Driscoll has new book of stories

Book launch is Saturday at Horizon

TRAVERSE CITY — Jack Driscoll, a longtime teacher at the Interlochen Arts Academy, has a new book of stories, "The World of a Few Minutes Ago."

A book launch will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, 5:30-8 p.m., at Horizon Books, 243 E. Front St.

Driscoll is the author of four novels, four poetry collections and the award-winning short fiction, "Wanting Only to be Heard."

The new book has 10 stories from the point of view of characters age 12 to 77. All the stories are set in northern Michigan.

Many of the stories are bleak: A 12-year-old boy accompanies his father on a secret run to the slaughterhouse where the dad recently lost his job. A middle-aged divorcé waits to witness the execution of the man who murdered his daughter decades earlier. A 16-year-old girl drives through a snowstorm in a clandestine meeting with her driver's education instructor. Happily, Driscoll's stripped-down-yet-colorful writing keeps things interesting.

Driscoll started at Interlochen in 1975. One of his first students was Doug Stanton, now a New York Times-best-selling author and co-founder of the National Writers Series. Driscoll recently told a panel he has several thousand books, but devotes one shelf that "exceeds my wingspan" to books written by his former students.

While he hasn't written poetry in 15 years, Driscoll was scolded by a former student for calling himself an "ex-poet."

"I was recently introduced as a poet masquerading as a novelist," he said. "I like that."

Driscoll now teaches at Pacific University in Oregon. He travels there twice a year for two-week stretches for the residency part of the program. He still lives in northern Michigan.

"The World of a Few Minutes Ago" is published by Wayne State University Press as part of its Made In Michigan Writers Series. It sells for $18.95 in paper.

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