Welcome back to Coffee + Writing with Alaska Writing Project!
Summer is over (sadly) and the school year has begun, which also means it’s harvest time for a variety of farmers the world over. With this in mind, we reflect on the meaning of the word “harvest” and the many times such a theme has been used in literature. Numerous references to literal harvests can be found in the Bible, such as in Deuteronomy 24:19, where this advice is given: “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” Most people have also heard the idiom “you reap what you sow,” which the German theologian Meister Eckhart adapted thus: “What we plant in the soil of contemplation we shall reap in the harvest of action.” Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles uses harvest even more metaphorically in her song “City,” where she darkly imagines a bar as a place of harvest in multiple ways.
With harvests often come festivals, too, which have a way of turning sinister in fiction, like in G.M. Malliet’s Wicked Autumn (published Sept. 13, 2011) and episode 6 from season 10 of Smallville (titled, “Harvest“), where bucolic villages become the scenes of murderous crimes — perhaps a la Agatha Christie’s autumnal Murder at the Vicarage.
AWP invites you to join us at Kaladi’s in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, Sept. 15 (Agatha Christie’s birthday!) for Coffee + Writing focused on one of these interpretations of the theme of harvest. Bring your imagination, your friends, and your laptops or pen and paper.
Hope to see you there!