"Not since Lincoln has there been a president as fundamentally shaped — in his life, convictions and outlook on the world — by reading and writing as Barack Obama.More: The New York Times
Last Friday, seven days before his departure from the White House, Mr. Obama sat down in the Oval Office and talked about the indispensable role that books have played during his presidency and throughout his life — from his peripatetic and sometimes lonely boyhood, when “these worlds that were portable” provided companionship, to his youth when they helped him to figure out who he was, what he thought and what was important."
Monday, January 16, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Three years ago, Representative John Lewis published the first book in a three-part graphic novel series about his experience as a leader for the Civil Rights Movement. Today, March is one of the biggest books in the country, selling out on Amazon overnight. And it’s all because the next president decided to pick a fight.
1. Clifford the Big Red Dog
by Norman Birdwell
According to a reliable source, Norman Birdwell, a close personal friend of Karl Marx and adviser to Pol Pot, was a card-carrying member of the American Communist Party. The metaphor is obvious: a big red canine teaches children the importance of sharing and working together. (While cleverly ignoring the consequences of such un-American behavior.) ...
More: McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
Osip Mandelstam, was a Russian writer who was arrested under Stalin and exiled in the 1930s. Sentenced to a labor camp in Siberia, he died en route at a transit camp, aged forty-seven.
Take for joy from my outstretched palms
A little honey and a little sun
As we were implored by the bees of Proserpine.
No one can loose a boat that is unmoored.
No one can hear the shadow shod in fur.
One cannot track down fear in the dense forest of life.
We are left only with kisses,
Prickling like tiny fuzzy bees
Which die, having left the hive.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
On this day in 1941 James Joyce died in Zurich at the age of fifty-eight, from peritonitis brought on by a perforated ulcer. Even without the dislocation of WWII, Joyce's last years were beset with difficulties -- the schizophrenia of his daughter, his son's floundering career and broken marriage, his own poor health, ongoing battles over Ulysses and new worries about Finnegans Wake
Thursday, January 12, 2017
A shirtless rack makes a cozy hang for beatings
if a girl’s hard-pressed or steamed. Words get worn
this way: at festivals, we tuck our violence in
our bras with cash for cigarettes and pretzels.
Neon sparks in spacious skulls — girlness is a gas
to tap, so we trap its heat against our breasts,
which vent little whines when the Zipper cage flips us.
Whipped fright froths our kid lips and we run
our mouths at the carnie hand-humping his lever
below. He holds us catawampus to better glimpse
our tits while shouts burst bright on blacktop sky.
For future wives, there is only coming down
from here, so we best burn serotonin slow
and tamp fissures with new clothes. Fashion
schools us: a slut can wear her insides out,
but sleevelessness is also cloak. Wal-Mart magic:
black-strapped tongues ventriloquize sex
into ribbed white cotton — a boy sees his skivvies
laid on his mother’s lap. A hurling urge
is natural, as far as we know, so we tempt a hit
to temper it — sheer force of half-flash. No soap
will wash the bull’s-eyes off our asses, so why not
don the darts, pre-marked as prizeless. Fair games
are always rigged — even girls know that.
Rochelle Hurt is the author of In Which I Play the Runaway (Barrow Street, 2016), winner of the Barrow Street Book Prize, and The Rusted City (White Pine, 2014). She is a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Tintin was introduced 88 years ago today, in a 1929 issue of Le Petit Vingtième with the following missive from the paper, before the very first panels that would begin the story soon to be known as Tintin in the Land of the Soviets:
Read more: Literary Hub
Read more: Literary Hub
“Writing is rewriting,” says everyone all the time. But what they don’t say, necessarily, is how. Various writers describe their revision processes. J.K. Rowling responded graphically:
More: Literary Hub
|More and transcript here|
More: Literary Hub