J.B. Blackford

Refine. Hone. Distill. The self is a text, too.

RE: Thanks for the mail, Donors Choose!

“Fun” mail is a luxury anymore. Almost every day, my mailbox brims with recyclable junk, bills, and “grown-up” stuff to deal with. On some rare, peaceful days, the mailbox is … Continue reading

June 18, 2013 · Leave a comment

Students in Print: 826 National Cultivates Creative Writing

Writing is important because it’s a way to communicate. It’s important because it’s a way to express yourself. It’s important because — even in the digital age — we need … Continue reading

March 8, 2013 · Leave a comment

Cover Songs Are to Tone…

…as lyrics are to poetry. Writing as an art, or even as a basic necessity, is a notion continually challenged by many students, and the classes of 60 to 90 … Continue reading

March 6, 2013 · 10 Comments

Dear Pen: Tell Me How to Write

Is it possible for a piece of technology to be obsolete before it’s even released? We should find out this fall when Lernstift unveils a pen that vibrates when you … Continue reading

February 20, 2013 · 2 Comments

A Night with Neil Gaiman Is Worth a Bucket of Snot

This blog is almost two weeks late. I wanted to write about┬áNeil Gaiman’s one-stop Pittsburgh “tour” as soon as possible, but I took a gamble: I went out to see … Continue reading

November 28, 2012 · Leave a comment

Who’s Trying to Write Her First Novel? This Girl.

Recently, I had a conversation with my husband inspired by an episode of ┬áThe Big Bang Theory about the difference between theorists and engineers (or the “thinkers and dreamers” versus … Continue reading

October 4, 2012 · 4 Comments

Logophilia – Part Two

I know a lot of people who hate to read. Some of the most imaginative, inspired (and inspirational) individuals I’ve ever met shake their heads and say, “Oh I hate … Continue reading

September 24, 2012 · 1 Comment

Teaching (with a little bit of trickery?)

When I started this blog several days and drafts ago, it was supposed to be a drive-by drop-off of a few online resources I used for students while teaching English … Continue reading

August 30, 2012 · 1 Comment

Perspectiva — To Look at and Through

I have never thought of myself as a writer. By now, I imagine that it’s fairly clear that I see myself as a type of distillery, the filter through which … Continue reading

August 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Manifesto Seems Like Such a Dirty Word

There aren’t many words that can be easily substituted for “manifesto.” Proclamation? Declaration? Statement, I guess, but who wants to be so bland? The sadness of semantics is that, often, … Continue reading

August 1, 2012 · Leave a comment