He was a cornerstone in the foundation of the United States. He discovered practicable uses for electricity. He was America’s first great satirist. He founded the University of Pennsylvania. He invented bifocals. He was a legendary ladies’ man. He was all of these things... and he was so much more.
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.
"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?"
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.
Can you comment on how paintings/your paintings differ from photography?
Dick Perez: A subject passing through the eyes, the mind, soul, and the hand of a visual artist (as compared to a photographer) is prone to a more profound interpretation. In that sense it is as the great French painter Edgar Degas says, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
With the massive popularity of series like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, it's clear that as wondrous and strange as the world of fantasy is, we have no problems imagining ourselves in it... But Dr. Nicholas Perkins, curator of the Bodleian Library’s exhibition “The Romance of the Middle Ages,” knows that these stories are not just fantasy—they tell us something essential about ourselves.
For this journalist, what occurred the next day, fulfilled a twenty- year long dream, that of interviewing His Holiness. Ushered into a hotel room past a gauntlet of Philadelphia police officers and secret service agents, I found myself face to face with a man whose image had surrounded me, for the interceding years, as I had set intention for this day to occur.
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.
In the 90s when we had a recession, I wondered what it would be like for Le Mobile in 2000. I actually visualized Le Mobile all rusted with flat tires, gutted of its equipment and parked in the middle of a field with tree branches jutting through its rear door. But when the year 2000 came, Le Mobile was busier than ever…
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.
The Ottomans were powerful and they had money to sponsor artists so people came from China, Persia, Iraq, and many different cultural centers. Istanbul was the new cultural center where patrons really took care of everything for their artists. If you were a scholar writing a book, or an artist, you had a free life as long as you did what you were doing.
I’m envisioning a “power triangle” between America, Iran, and Turkey suggesting that peace in the Middle East could be possible as these countries have the means to achieve this.
The author of three critically acclaimed collections of poetry (The Body’s Question, 2003; Duende, 2007; and Life on Mars, 2011), Tracy K. Smith’s experience as Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s protégé has compelled her to re-imagine her designation as “poet” in order to become a writer in a wider sense of the term.
“People are hungry for culture,” says Holdengräber, settling into his small book-lined office behind a desk piled with papers, magazines and books including the latest titles from Joan Didion and Jay-Z.
As long as I am there and working with words, I feel productive and sane. The memoir was one in a lifetime experience and it lacked the sense of discovery I feel when I write novels or poetry that only take shape as I struggle along and divine their secrets. But I also enjoy writing political essays, op-ed pieces. I guess I am a word junkie.
NANCY BOSKOFF: People are sometimes shocked by the quality and quantity in the arts in our state, particularly considering the size of the population. There has been a grand history of the arts here, starting of course, with the Native Americans. When the pioneers came to settle, they included the arts early on and the Utah Arts Council was founded in 1899 by the Legislature, the first state arts agency in the country.
“I grew up seeing two different types of womanhood. On the one hand was my mother—a well-educated, modern, Westernized, secular Turkish woman. Always rational. Always to the point. On the other hand was my maternal grandmother, who also took care of me and was less educated, more spiritual and definitely less rational. This was a woman who read coffee grounds to see the future and melted lead into mysterious shapes to fend off the evil eye.”
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?)
“1001 Inventions has helped me think about the ways in which scientific ideas travel,"explains Dr. Margaret Honey, CEO of the New York Hall of Science. "While science is always set in a specific historical and socio-political context, the simple truth is that ideas in and of themselves, know no boundaries.”
Matthäi grew up in a small town near Dresden in former East Germany behind the Iron Curtain, the oldest of three sisters. As a young girl, she dreamed of becoming both a super athlete and a medical doctor. Her mother, a school teacher, died at a young age, after which Matthäi and her sisters lived under the care of their father who worked as the head of the local train station. By the time she was in her teens, Matthäi knew she wanted to leave East Germany.
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.
For Judy, Mark’s decision to grow vegetables seemed like just another adventure. That adventure led to life on a farm; a farm which, at ages sixty-seven and sixty-nine, they continue to work. It led to four children.It led to twelve-hour work days year-round, and a lifelong commitment...and so I ask, “Did you know the adventure would be so all encompassing?” Judy brings her palm down to the top of the table and looks me square in the eyes. “Not. A. Clue.”
I think the world is increasingly becoming more transparent and I don’t believe the traditional organizations in the black community will be able to properly empower our corporate executives, contractors, and small businesses the way they have in the past. With the buying power of the African-American market reaching a trillion dollars, we will need to be more demanding than ever in regards to who we spend our dollars with.
Unfortunately, Obama has failed to seize what might have been a progressive moment. We’re fighting two failed imperial wars at once, and trying to prop up a failed capitalism. I stay hopeful about my students. I wish the world were a better place for them, and I think you always have to respect the potential of youth.
Once upon a time, Pamela Tanner Boll, a poet, painter, former Wall-Street trader, and mother to three sons, wondered how other mothers went about re-entering the world of the fine arts.
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?
Mathews, if you haven’t guessed, is one of those rare artists who can capture the essence of the subject with a few deft strokes of the brush and without too much fuss or advance planning. I have been representing his work now for close to eight years, but have been collecting it for much longer.
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.
She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a tenured professor and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. I was first introduced to her through her photographic works, which pull the viewer into the essence of the object, much like a great poem or a wonderful piece of literature will do. Who could capture sand bursting through a shell I wondered?
When she was a teenager, her family moved back to Calcutta, where her father worked as a professor of history. Partly through her father’s influence, Gupta developed a deep appreciation for literature and poetry, particularly the Bengali poet Tagore. But mathematics and science struck her just as forcefully.
Beata Palya’s voice hits you beneath the skin, seeps inside your stomach the way that a good wine might spread slowly, warmly, from your throat to your ribs.
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
Luminous is a word that comes to mind when you meet Harriet Mayor Fulbright, Founder and President of the J. William & Harriet Fulbright Center. Warm and accessible, with pale blue eyes that set off a face defined by high cheekbones, Mrs. Fulbright, a gifted and powerful speaker, travels frequently and is equally at home speaking to Nobel Laureates in Sweden or students in a village square in Africa or South America.
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.
You’re quiet and peaceful, summering safe at home
You’d never think there was a bloody war on!...
yes, you would…why, you can hear the guns.
Hark! Thud, thud, thud,—quite soft…they never cease—
Those whispering guns—O Christ, I want to go out
And screech at them to stop—I’m going crazy;
I’m going stark, staring mad because of the guns...
"To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour…"
"Auguries of Innocence," William Blake
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.
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...
Scientist and entrepreneur Greg Olsen isn't your average billionaire.
Convicted of juvenile delinquency for stealing hubcaps, Olsen failed trigonometry in high school. But, in 1957, he also watched Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, orbit the Earth and the experience left its mark.
Behind his face and story, there are some surprises. “I was really shy when I was little,” he says. “Photography helped me confront my shyness, and made it possible to meet and open up to people.”
Editor's Note: Wild River Review reprises our interview with historian James McPherson. The American Civil War Sesquicentennial formally started on April 12, 2011 and marked the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War on April 12, 1861.