Literature: Fiction, Poetry and Books
Critically-acclaimed author and former president of PEN American Center, Edmund Keeley personalizes environmental issues in his new novel set in Princeton, NJ.
Eyes bulbous and rolling, he was toad-like on his haunches drawing twisted, disjointed figures on
the sidewalk, his long, yellowed nails scratching the concrete as he sketched, mumbling in rhymes.
I’d asked him if he’d seen this young woman recently, this brilliantly beautiful young law school
graduate in the picture—“Have you seen her? Please, sir, have you? She’s my daughter.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE - 450 years old this month
WRR: What do you think of poll takers?
William Shakespeare: Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
On the afternoon of our interview he suggested we meet on a street corner. I arrived early and waited until I saw a man walk past wearing a blue trench coat with a blue rain hat pulled over his head. Shoulders hunched, he seemed to hesitate, and then I called his name.
It’s a notable, if not magical experience, when a work of literature touches us so profoundly it changes how we live our lives. For New Yorker Staff Writer Rebecca Mead, this something was George Eliot’s "Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life"...
And, yes, I know what brain science/would say about lucid dreaming-/I’ve even met the scientists,/and I’m OK with all of †hat.
On the morning that True Love found Greg Chandler, he-Greg Chandler, not True Love-rose as the second hand on his nightstand clock swept up to twelve and with one movement, planted his feet on the floor and placed his palm over the clock to silence the alarm. Yet it did not ring. And so he remembered with something not quite dread that it was Saturday.
I am over your horizon, in a side world with other stars in unsettling constellations that do not spell out home but do convince me that I am
not who I think I am and you are a part of what I can’t recall.
If you were going on a trip, and there was a very good possibility you would never return home again, what would you pack?
Red ochre, the red of fire, strength, courage, invulnerability. The color of birth and life, of the butcher and the battlefield, of hope and despair. Brown ochre, lighter than umber, darker than sienna: the color of the earth, of all things natural, of adobe and deserts, the brown skin of our tribes. Tlaxcala red: the perfect mix of ochres, red and brown. Of passion and vengeance and rage and love, glory and loss, succor and treachery. Of hope and possibility.
Love pulled me out of myself, the way a cook eviscerates a chicken.
Cut me open and you will find his fingers.
The Lilac Angel bears the sign of my Perfectness
And the Angel said to me:
“You know Deph, the Justice without Love is Cruelty.”
Try bottling the blue of the sky--
or your breath for that matter--
it’s like settling down on the horizon--
move in and it moves out.
"Of course, my poem was not about the daffodils; it was about a boating experience on a lake. And I remember only the last two lines I wrote. I read the poem out loud to my father. The last two lines were: 'Suddenly the boat turned into the water/And out, in its place, came an otter.' And my father said, “Well, this doesn’t sound very good. How ‘bout a smiling otter?"
Is there such a thing as coincidence with an unreliable witness, as we all are to some extent? When is an act random, or do we frame its reporting that way to satisfy some longing or curiosity? To that end, ‘Winter Journal’ is best when the author is recording the sensation of memory, more so than providing a supposedly accurate account, and exploring, in his own words, “that rift between world and word, the chasm that divides human life from our capacity to understand or express the truth of human life”.
There’s a danger with this postcard magazine that it is just …’oh what a great idea, what an interesting concept’. But we don’t want it to be considered just a clever concept. We’re trying to make it an artistic endeavor.
Fire is Gioia’s consuming element and as flames run through the volume “like a bright thread through the spreading ashes/ fire in flakes from the trellised vines and branches” (“Las Animas”) my wish for him is readers who will catch these sparks and carry them to their own hearths.
It is a shocking subject, unbelievable to comprehend - one of the shadow sides of a culture. Yet, it is a reality for some uneducated, tribal families. When first reading about the KAMER organization, I knew we had to go there and talk to these women. You cannot imagine how strong these women are, how they have devoted their lives to create change.
“Let this book hover somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. Let me give the reader no clue about how to categorize it before she even begins, and even after she’s finished. Let me put the reader on alert,” said Pico Iyer.
On February 10, The Story of Beautiful Girl was released in paperback.
Rachel Simon, about to embark on a book tour, took time to sit down and talk with me.
My mother is dying. There are shuffling noises overhead coming from her bedroom. She has cancer, and her death is imminent. I am her only child. We never liked each other.
And what a mess Caleb and Camille Fang have made of Annie and her younger brother Buster! Labeled “Child A” and “Child B,” from infancy they were pressed into service—not always willingly, or even wittingly—as key players in their parents’ notorious performance art pieces.
What do you thinkg about talk shows?
Emily Dickinson: How dreary - to be - somebody!How public - like a frog. To tell your name - the livelong June To an admiring bog!
(I’m Nobody! Who are you?)
In the spirit of open access, through crafted essays and beautiful photos, the creators of Know the Past, Find the Future literally took the book to the streets (the book was left on park benches and subway stations) inviting the public directly into the quiet rooms and world-renowned collections of the New York Public library (William Blake, Virginia Woolf, J.D. Salinger, William Wordsworth, Charlotte Bronte, James Joyce, and Nancy Drew.)
But everything changes, as was so clearly demonstrated on the last Saturday morning in April on one of New York City's great urban renewal projects, the High Line, a former rail line that once bisected the Meat Packing District and "lifted freight 30 feet in the air."
My Lord, what shall I do with this black chador?
Why do you (many thanks, though) bestow it upon me?
I am not in mourning that I should wear it
to show my sorrow and grief to the world,
When I was a child growing up in the Bahamas, my grandmother came to visit from Germany. One day, while we were building sandcastles on the beach, she paused to tell me about East Prussia – a place of great beauty where Trakehner horses pranced across dandelion meadows and elk herds swam in green rivers.
“Ost Preussen,” she said, with a soulful sigh.
Hearing the sadness in her voice, I glanced up sharply.
What is your favorite flower?
What is the relevance of Schimmel's work in the post-9/11 era? Her writings do not address terrorism or the conflicts that followed the end of the Cold War. Instead, she focused on the mystical interpretation of prophecy, the aesthetics of calligraphy, and the expression of spirituality in both the classical tongues of Arabic and Persian and the local languages of the Near East and South Asia.
Fear sent a cramp ripping through her belly. She knelt at the hearth, clenched her teeth and set a corn cake in the hot ashes alongside the others. The last time Ben got this mad, he broke a man’s jaw.
in the soiled richness of their dark speech
obstructing progress and breaking plows,
they know the blessed curse of not forgetting.
Wild River Review reprises, “The Power of Conversation,” covering David Grossman’s PEN World Voices Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture in April of 2007, during which he spoke about the importance of writing in the face of fear, "rapid and repeated media flashes," heartbreaking violence, and “the suffocation of the cliché.”
In 1941 the Nazis and their allies occupied Romania. Rose and her mother were forced into the Jewish ghetto along with the 60,000 Jews of Czernowitz. By the end of WW II 55,000 of the Jews of Czernowitz were annihilated by the Nazis. Rose Ausländer survived the three years of Nazi occupation through forced labor and going into hiding. While in hiding she became friends with well-known Jewish poet, Paul Celan, also from Czernowitz. During spring 1944 the Soviets occupied the city, and liberated the Jews. Rose worked then as a librarian.
And the water–/Oh how we wish to live near/the blue blue–
A wave passes through/
echoing the call/
of the other loon/
on the fog-lifted shore.
In the midst of the constant activity that is my life, I try to write. Conventional theory says that I must seize every free moment and rush to my computer, intent on using every free second on the project at hand. If not, says the critical elf on my left shoulder, I am guilty of the crime of sloth.
And you sit back/
in your deep sofas/
and turn us out/
after all is done/
cracking up in laughter/
at our helplessness/
but we go straight/
to the mandir/
behind the blue-dome...
Kabir wove a web of words encompassing all of life, love, God, and man’s eternal quest for meaning, for peace and happiness. He used the medium of ‘dohas’ and poems to put forth his experiences and thoughts on this quest.
While working for TIME magazine, I was assigned to interview an actor shooting a movie in New York. The movie was Midnight Cowboy. The big star in the movie was Jon Voight. While waiting to interview Voight, I whiled away the time talking to his co-star – a little-known actor whom no one seemed interested in and who seemed eager to please. His name, as it turned out, was Dustin Hoffman.
Named one of a hundred visionaries who could change your life by Utne Reader, Iyer offers us the opportunity to live by his own axiom: To write well, one must read well. With this, his own words tell his story best.
Why do I always go back
to where I have been,
seeking to repeat
the vision of last night?
"I’ll never regret being homeless. It makes me appreciate everything I have. Ever since I could remember I was taught to earn my own things. Today I’m doing just that and I’m proud." [Transcripts of the audio stories discussed in "My Power Ranger Had One Leg."]
To say that sex feeds death and death feeds sex is to enter into a world of biology, chemistry, evolutionary science, philosophy, literature and poetry. What could be so bad about that?
In the sixth century BC, legend has it that a wickedly playful character named Thespis of Icarius was born. According to some, Thespis’s life and work ushered in a new realm of Greek theater — individuals who acted out written plays in original performances.
de escorpiones de vasijas de barro y tierra
de tostado de habas de pailas de bronce calientes
All my life I have longed to be alone in a place like this. Even when everything was going well, as it often did. I can say that much. That it often did. I have been lucky. But even then, for instance in the middle of an embrace and someone whispering words in my ear I wanted to hear, I could suddenly get a longing to be in a place where there was only silence.
— Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses
To be more specific, The Blind Faith Hotel is about a 14-year-old named Zoe who feels like her world is shattered when her fisherman father ships out to Alaska and her mother then moves Zoe and her siblings from their home in Washington State to a run-down farmhouse in the Midwest.
But, ‘Anything can happen’ also means: the stakes are high. You could make a friend. You could lose a friend. You could gain understanding. You could come up hard against all that you don’t know – hopefully both.
Yuko sat on the floor, cross-legged. She was text-messaging her beau, Ton'. In the kitchen 12 feet away, her mom, dad, and twin sister, Nuriko, were preparing the noodles.
Daringly outspoken, Osayande draws our attention to such societal ills with poetry, using it as a compelling medium to encourage critical thought and honest reflections on everything that has to do with diamonds in Southern Africa to Hurricane Katrina to Jay-Z’s rap lyrics. But his message is to all...
A candle for plain talk
A candle for the stairs
A candle for a hotel packed with refugees
A candle for a singer
A candle for broadcasters in their hideouts
A candle for a bottle of water