Thomas Wolfe once famously declared that “You can’t go home again.” While that may well be true (and my personal experience tends to confirm that assertion), you can always at least write home via e-mail or an old-fashioned letter. On a professional level, it can be done with a contribution to one’s hometown newspaper or magazine. An old buddy of mine, John McMahon, himself a regular contributor to Artvoice, a weekly magazine out of Buffalo, got in touch with me after the Iowa floods of June ’08 and suggested I might wish to write a story about them from the perspective of a former Buffalonian.

John put me in touch with Geoff Kelly, Artvoice‘s editor, who liked the idea. In fact, he ended up using it as the cover story for the July 3, 2008 issue under the title “Iowa Dispatch: After the Flood.” [To read the story as it appeared on Artvoice‘s Web site, click here; to view the print version, click here.]

I was quite gratified when I learned that the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies featured the story as an “Editor’s Pick,” as seen on its Web site, The AAN represents 129 papers published in 41 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces, and through its Web portal strives to bring high-quality journalism to an international audience with a different perspective than generally found on wire-service and daily-newspaper websites. Recognition by one’s peers is especially flattering!