A really, really big space rock hit the Earth 3.26 billion years ago. And if it happened 3.26 billion years ago, it can only mean we’re “due.”
And by “due,” I mean “doomed.”
I would like to stay at the Rivendale Bed & Breakfast please. Seems like the perfect getaway into ancient England.
Middle Earth Travel Posters - Created by The Green Dragon Inn
Prints are available for sale on Etsy.
1. Start with an image, perhaps a full moon, or a girl wearing a hooded sweat shirt running across the parkway, or two deer on the grass, startled by a sudden movement. It can be something you saw or something you dreamed. You passed by someone in the street crying. Her hair was braided and her eyes were rimmed red. You dreamed you held a bowl of strawberries and each one contained a secret, a story of its own.
2. Write lists. Start with random words, choosing the ones you love, like oleander and aquamarine. Go on those that cause pinpricks of fear to rise on your skin: sorrow, graveyard, raven, slash. Write down the names of everything you’d like to find in a garden: roses, mint, rosemary, lemon verbena. List the cities you’ve always wanted to visit or the ones where you’d lived. Include street names, shops you spied when you drove through a town in New Jersey, alleyways in Boston. List the places you’ve longed for in your darkest hours: white beaches, a cafe in Paris next to Shakespeare and Company. Don’t forget names. People often become what they’d been named: Jack Runner who can never commit. Mrs. Hardwick, the teacher everyone fears. List the names of literary heroines who had simple names like Cathy and Jane. Write down who you wish you’d been, the girl next door, a queen during the Bronze age, a baby being born today.
3. Recall a memory. You mother calling you into the living room to tell you that your father was leaving. Your grandmother fixing a pot of tea that smelled like blueberries. The boy next door climbing over a fence in the middle of the night. The time you heard someone on the roof and closed your eyes and wished him away and when you woke up he was gone. Change whatever happened next, move it into another town or another time, reverse it. Then start all over again.
4. Write a first line. ”Once upon a time” or “In a far off land” are always good. Have a character arrive in a new town, fall in love at first sight, open a door. You’ll be amazed to discover what’s on the other side and what’s around the corner. You’ll never guess who falls in love with who. You have an outline, you think you know the end of the story, but the plot will begin to take a curve. Pull something out of your dreams. Take a line of conversation you once heard in a coffee shop. What did your brother say to you last week? What was the story your sister used to tell you? What fairy tale do you carry around inside of you?
5. Now sit down and start writing. In your story there may be a girl in a red-hooded sweat shirt climbing over a fence, stumbling past two deer as she leaves your grandmother’s house. She looks like you, but look again. You’re writing fiction. She’s someone brand-new.
Congratulations to Pulitzer poetry winner Vijay Seshadri! We’ve got Q&A with Seshadri in today’s Book News:
What does this prize mean for you? In my favorite poem from this collection, you write that “the real story of a life is the story of its humiliations.” Does a success like the Pulitzer help mitigate that feeling?
There is an element in that poem that is psychologically naked, but also one that is tongue-in-cheek, so it’s hard to say. I kind of feel, I guess, that I couldn’t have written that poem if I had not already mitigated in some way those feelings, and resolved those experiences of humiliations (which are not the ones I list in the poem; those are stand-ins). I still haven’t told the real story of my life in that sense, so of course Orwell is right (though the first line—”Orwell says somewhere that no one ever writes the real story of their lives”— is a paraphrase of what he actually says). No one tells the real story of their lives, including me. The Pulitzer is tremendous honor, but it somehow seems to me to have to do not with my past but my future, which is of course something I have to discover.
Read more here.
Image via indiatvnews.com
His award winning collection, 3 Sections, is available here.
Industry News from a Series of Tubes
April 15, 2014
Three Booksellers on the Bookshop of the Future
Does Even Nate Silver Have Limits? An Excerpt from A Sense of the Enemy
(Salon) Available here.
REVIEW: Sleep Donation by Karen Russell
Illustration buy Konrad Klaphecks
Your closet #spinepoetry
all i love and know
the appetites of girls
his own man
Your morning dystopian spine poetry.
in times of fading light
the black hour
National Poetry Month: Q&A with Marie-Elizabeth Mali
Marie-Elizabeth Mali is the author of Steady, My Gaze (Tebot Bach, 2011) and co-editor with Annie Finch of the anthology, Villanelles (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, 2012). Her work has appeared in Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and RATTLE, among others. She can be found online at here.
1. Imagine you’re a poetry lobbyist in D.C.: What would be the first thing on your agenda?
Besides affordable healthcare for poets? To slip poems of heart and witness on to the desks of every lawmaker in town. Better yet, paper their bathrooms with poems and remove the magazines.
2. Name one other poet who has influenced you profoundly and why.
Mark Doty. Because of the depth with which he looks at the world and humanity. Because of the gorgeousness of his language and descriptions. Because of that consciousness in his poems always reaching for more. Because, heart.
3. Recommend one print and one online publication you think everyone should read this month.
Print: RATTLE because it’s one of the few literary magazines that purely features poetry, I generally like the poems they choose, they publish good interviews, and they have a good web presence. Online: diodepoetry.com. They choose interesting poets to publish, have a nice layout (easy to navigate and read), and I like that they often publish longer poems.
Subject: Re: The Banning of the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao at West Essex Regional High School
i just got this email. im in japan. sorry for the delay.
im troubled of course by any censorship. but im heartened by you and your peers strong defense of the book and of your right to read art, free from outside interference.
take one passage out of the bible in context and one could argue the book is all about promoting any sort of deviance.
part of the issue is the parents seem to misunderstand the role of art. this happens a lot in society where we have very little arts education. and the reason why this is beyond troubling is that arts education has dwindled every year in the US due to budget cuts and the instrumental market logic that rules education these days. and when there is art taught parents and outside groups are so threatened they attempt to disrupt it. which is a heartbreaker since art’s goal is never to corrupt or demean but to put people in touch with their human selves—being human is not about being perfect or pure—its about being vulnerable and weak and vulgar and yes it also involves sex. but for your argument never forget: art has among its many aspects a transgressive function. it says the thing that a society fears to say, hates to say and wishes no one will say. what people who push censorship are really pushing is to create a silence. they want no questioning of “the way things are” and the reveal a profound mistrust of their youth and of the people who teach them.
but to speak most specifically about the sexual content of the book.
this is a novel that charts that most nightmarish of American traumas: the trauma of rape inflicted on black female bodies as an outcome of the plantation and post-plantation logic of white supremacy. Yunior doesnt describe the DR as a plantation by accident; he’s pointing out to how the DR is not only the basis but the continuation of the forces that forged the Americas—the enslavement and sexual domination of black bodies. a history that so few of us like to touch. a history that exists mostly in silence.
this is a novel that charts the consequences of sexualized colonial violence (the rapeocracy of the plantation and post-plantation) on the colored bodies of entire communities: the women, the men and even children of the survivors. the titular character oscar is the child of a rape survivor but not just any rape survivor—his mother Belicia is explicitly raped inside the plantation regime of trujillo by his agents. flashforward twenty years and one immigration and you have oscar’s body and psyche, like lola’s body and psyche, impacted by this violence and its aftershocks even though neither of them lived it directly. this is called the intergenerational transfer of trauma. oscar and lola are prototypical americans, shaped by a violent history they know very little about. their history is our nation’s history. think about it: is oscar’s problem with girls and the sexual intimacy they represent an outcome of him being fat and a nerd or is it an outcome of the unprocessed history of rape in his family?
put most simply, if a reader cant deal with the book’s sexual content, a reader is definitely going to be unwilling to confront the central problem of colonial sexual violence in the novel. it’s the taboo around talking about sex that helps make the silence around rape so charged, so potent, whether its in our american context or a dominican one. the narrator of the novel yunior is attempting to break all these silences in the book with is language and his descriptions not simply because he wants to push button but because if those silences are left intact the stories of his people, of lola, oscar, belicia, abelard, of our American nations, will never be heard. and the rape power of the plantation will continue to live. to end it we must first speak the words. but to speak the words, to violate the ban against the silence that power demands—to speak Voldemort’s name if you will—requires courage and trust—which young people often have in greater quantities than adults.
i hope this helps. and good luck with this.
Industry News from a Series of Tubes
April 14, 2014
Authors Guild Hits Back at Google Ruling