About Cody Walker

Cody Walker's most recent book is The Self-Styled No-Child (Waywiser, 2016).

Clowns and Poetry (Part Two)

A few days ago, each student in my clown class submitted a new course syllabus as part of a final portfolio. How, I had asked them, might the class be reimagined, rebuilt? How might it be made better, stronger, faster…

Clowns and Poetry (Part One)

Ann Arbor’s weather of late has been a bit berserk. It snowed two weeks ago; then it was eighty degrees. Today it’s gray and rainy, conditions that pass for spring-like in the Midwest. Students are taking exams and turning in…

AWP: When Writers Attack

Last week, on a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles, I read Chuck Sambuchino’s When Clowns Attack: A Survival Guide. I was preparing for the AWP Conference—an annual 12,000-person pileup that I look forward to, in a way, but that…

Vocabulary Lesson

What’s the relationship between being able to appreciate something and being able to speak about it? Last month I saw a performance—Black Girl: Linguistic Play, by Camille A. Brown’s dance company—that interested me to the point that I wanted to…

“Clown” as Epithet

In the 1924 film He Who Gets Slapped, the scholar Paul Beaumont (played by Lon Chaney) is betrayed by his patron, the Baron, in front of an academy of scientists. “He slapped me, Marie,” Paul tells his wife. “I would…

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