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A message from Francelia Clark, after the 2015 Reunion of the New England Literature Program of the University of Michigan: 

I am still warm from the NELP 40th reunion (2015), where I heard tributes to Walter Clark's and Alan Howe's teaching philosophy, re-met friends and re-opened good talking, noted Aric's central achievements with the program and with this reunion. Most moving were continuities across forty years of educational values that we share. This Fall, in the University of Michigan Alumni Newsletter, Aric has gracefully conveyed more than this in his review of our reunion, "NELP, Forty Years On."

Inspired by these things, and the brisk sales day in Ann Arbor of Walter's Like a Bird Flying
, I had a bright idea: all royalties from "Bird" will be divided between Alison Clark, co-editor, and the NELP Walter Clark Scholarship Fund.

P.S. I think New Yorker's early October issue was meant to stir up response when it carried an "I detest the inconsistent Thoreau" article. Some beautiful letters to the editor followed. I couldn't resist mailing off my response, a voice out of NELP:

How can it be that no writer since Thoreau evokes so well our own landscapes: the "eye" of a pond, interaction with a woodchuck, intimate geography of Mount Monadnock's summit. Thoreau is still unique in conveying with detail and insight his precise natural observations. Kathryn Schulz's characterization includes this ability, but she misses that it will become his main life focus, the consistent subject of thousands of his pages.

You can explore Maine's Penobscot West Branch river following Thoreau's trip of 1853. But that night at your campsite, when you read his description of what you just saw, and then read that he dove to explore the river bottom and reports on that too–you know that you are in the presence of someone else. Afterward, you will not forget it.

This flow of "acuity and serenity" from the landscape is Thoreau's steady gift.

 Francelia Clark,
retired, former instructor in the University of Michigan New England Literature field

Resources for NELP Alum:

We have a NELP page on Facebook. All NELP Alumni are encouraged to visit and "Like" our page to stay in touch with the program and other alums:


While we've shifted to using the NELP page as our primary presence on Facebook, we do have an older group on Facebook which you may also be interested in visiting:

Also, we've been busy adding photos to flickr. You can take a look at what we've got up by clicking on any of the images you see on this site, or by checking out our photostream directly:

We also created a NELPers group on flickr so you can share your own images. Join the group here: