Aliza Licht, former SVP of Communications for Donna Karan International, talks about her debut career guide, what she wishes she knew when she was starting out, and how to build an audience on Twitter. ...more
In Episode 34 of The Rumpus’s Make/Work podcast, host Scott Pinkmountain speaks to Joy Castro about her unorthodox writing process, the course of her career, and the distinctions between literary and commercial fiction. ...more
Susan Shapiro discusses her latest novel, What’s Never Said, her Instant Gratification Takes Too Long teaching method, and new anti-dating rules between faculty and students at universities such as Harvard and Yale. ...more
You keep the edge of your love sharp, a knife, so that those close to you know to handle it carefully. You think you’ve done it and then you discover that you’ve been endangering yourself to everybody you meet all this time....more
You read that your sister's body—a towel still knotted around her neck— was found dressed in a nightie, panties, and one slipper. You are wearing a nightie, panties, and slippers as you read it. The words safe and trusting pop into your head....more
In Chuj-Napoca, Romania’s second-most populous city, an initiative passed to offer book-reading passengers free bus fare during a week in June. The initiative was started by a local citizen’s suggestion on Facebook in the hopes of encouraging reading on public transportation. The Independent has the story.
The duo of Lizzie Karr and Ben Wiley are one of the more compelling electronic music groups to come out of the Bay Area since Bassnectar. Though their previous single, “Colours,” was like a prism of anthemic pop, their newest track is darker and more introspective. And the beautiful and haunting music video for “Asphyxiate” alludes to the complicated power dynamics of sex and relationships. “I can’t put up the will to put up a fight,” Karr sings in this skillfully-produced addition to the Colour Theory catalogue.
Feminist activists have become the targets of attacks in Mexico. At least 36 women’s rights activists have been killed in the last five years. Marie Claire points to a recent incident where activist Nadia Vera and women convening in her flat were brutally attacked, raped, and shot. Local media appear to be ignoring the attacks, and the people responsible might be the very government officials who should be protecting them:
A study found that in 2012 alone, there were 414 attacks against female human rights defenders in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, with 118 of these taking place in Mexico. A massive 87% of these attacks were found to have been committed by the very people who were supposed to be protecting these women – police, government officials and the military.
Over at BOMB Magazine, the brilliant Laura van den Berg has an illuminating conversation with the talented Stephanie Barber, artist-in-residence in the MFA program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Stephanie says:
Time — and how to organize it, and what happened to it, and what is going to happen in it — is one of the things I like to think about a lot. … I like the awesome and baffling immateriality of this thing that so tightly entwines our understanding of our existence — both the smallnesses and largenesses it touches.
As music festivals pile up in the memory of North American summers, the environmental toll of all those plastic water bottles and plastic beer glasses and paper plates covered in chili cheese fry smear unavoidably piles up as well. Some festivals are coming around to their own kind of budget-friendly nods toward sustainability, while others plow ahead through the trash. Read a survey of those at least trying in the festival circuit via thump, and consider pushing the sustainability question with your wallet next summer.
What happens when my early morning hours have extinguished and it is time to go to the workplace where I earn a living? I shelve it completely. I find a great deal of freedom in letting go of the imaginative work and diving into the editorial work. The two enterprises are completely different. As a writer, I am serving my imagination. As an editor, I am serving the author’s imagination.
Wednesday 8/26: Did you think Petaluma was nothing but cheese and agriculture? Well, they Get Lit in Petaluma, too! I mean, of course, that this rural haven in North Marin is the home of the Get Lit reading series, tonight featuring Deneene Bell, Shirin Yim Bridges, and Jenna Loceff. Free, 7 p.m., Corkscrew Wine Bar.
Friday 8/28: Nepantia: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color celebrates the release of Issue Two, with co-sponsor ZZZYVA. featuring Jewelle Gomez, Yosimar Reyes, Arisa White, and Marvin K. White. Free, 7 p.m., Berkeley City College, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley.
I’m not interested in poems that simply narrate or enact a performance of a life while the reader watches. It’s important that the work feel distilled and transformed. Poems that are elliptical or take a sidelong approach are more compelling, and feel more accurately aligned with lived experience, too (the truth told “slant” feels more true).
Kingsley Amis all but disappeared from the American literary consciousness after his death. Many of his novels were not even available stateside after their initial publication, although a new line of reprints is changing that. However, The New Republic asks whether American readers can handle Amis, a masculine, writer-as-worker persona:
With his talk of product and workbenches, Amis is trying to create the image of the writer as an ordinary worker, to dispel art’s associations with foppishness and pretentiousness and self-aggrandizement. These associations were evidently painful to Amis—but why? It is as though, in the modernist possibilities of the short story, he perceived a threat both to his masculine and his writerly identity; yet for a generation of American male writers emerging contemporaneously with Amis, the short story was a sort of “working man’s”—indeed almost a macho—form.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons regulations, as investigated by The Atlantic, state their right to prohibit any publications found “to be detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution or if it might facilitate criminal activity.”
Chelsea Manning is incarcerated for divulging state secrets to WikiLeaks. The fact that she used to be known as Bradley and is in an all-male prison complicates things a bit—and prison officials don’t approve of her reading selections. Manning had magazines such as the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and books like Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs;Casey Plett’s A Safe Girl to Love; and Gabriella Coleman’s Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous.