Posts by: Amanda Hildebrand

Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Essay, Chelsea Hicks Bryan’s lyric essay “The Living Wound”  remembers those who sacrificed, whose painful deaths fertilize the earth and our world around us to forever fill up the “diamond-faced young America” with ancestral beauty and wisdom. Then, faces turn into numbers and immigration documents into art in Jan-Henry Gray’s five poems […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, shaky cultural bridges are strengthened through mourning in Lito Velázquez’s Saturday Essay, “A Taste of Something, Slowly Over Time.” Then, Brandon Hicks offers an illustrated early Valentine’s Day treat: true love and eternal happiness is churned out in the automated romantic experience of a lifetime. Finally, in the Sunday Essay, Beth Roddy recalls the rite of passages offered in […]

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Weekend Roundup Rumpus

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First, in the Saturday Essay, the search for love winds through cities and settles in unexpected spaces in Meghan O’Dea’s “Everything We Ever Needed.” Meanwhile, our very own Comics Editor Brandon Hicks shares “three things” from his drawing table in “Triple Bill.” Finally, Sunday Rumpus Poetry celebrates Gwendolyn Brooks’s centennial with four poems from Revise the […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Essay, Byron F. Aspaas bares his slowly healing scars of communities lost before they were found and countries-turned-battlefields to remind us that our transformations into our true selves are never complete. And the Rumpus Inaugural Poems project continues on this last weekend of freedom with “& who , this time” by Hanif […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, Leila Aboulela examines time and its tricks in “Pinpricks” for the Saturday Rumpus Essay. And this weekend, we kicked off our Rumpus Inaugural Poems project with Leila Chatti’s eulogy for every mother’s lost country in “Motherland,” and Kaveh Akbar’s surreal images of reconstructionism in “Poem to a Conqueror.” Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks shares a very funny new comic, […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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We hope you had a merry Christmas! Here’s a comic from Brandon Hicks on Santa vs. God. As Standing Rock quiets and the Water Protectors move to the next phase of resistance, Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. studies the wašíču, the fat-takers, on the other side of the divide in the Saturday Essay. And in […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, Ruby Hansen Murray explores the surreal landscapes of historic Native American locations turned educational tourist hotspots in the Saturday Rumpus Essay, as she journeys with the Osage Nation Historical Preservation Department to Cahokia, the site of an ancient agrarian culture in now-Illinois, among camera-carrying tourists and young field-trippers. And this week in Sunday Rumpus […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Essay, Kaitlin Barker Davis lays bare the grief, and examines the imperfect, often bizarre language, that accompanies a “missed miscarriage.” And Brandon Hicks shares irreverent bits from his drawing board in “Misc.: Stray Thoughts.” Then, in the Sunday Essay, Piper J. Daniels recounts a perpetual search for Mother, a one-green-eyed, one-blue “Lady Lazarus” who haunts and […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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In this week’s Saturday Rumpus Essay, Terese Mailhot, our Saturday Rumpus editor, shares rallying words from Cherokee author Barbara Robidoux. Robidoux calls on us to stop walking our beaten trails and take a stand against faux “boy’s club” leaders. This powerful excerpt was originally spoken by Robidoux before a demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline. And, in Sunday […]

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Rumpus Essay, Casandra Lopez threads together the fragments of self-identity, the love of cars her father and brother were born with, and a lost soul. Through the retelling of the death of her younger brother, Lopez explores the lasting wounds it caused for her and for her family, and how it feels to be related to […]

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Interactive Fiction for the Digital Age

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For Vocativ, Allee Manning speaks with novelist-turned-digital-publisher Sean Michaels, creator of The Seers Catalogue, an “interactive piece of narrative literature” that has reimagined the old-school click-through Internet mysteries (door one or two?) into complex interactive fiction for the digital age. Readers unfold their own literary journey, embellished with illustrations, a soundtrack, and “other audiovisual elements” meant […]

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The Card Game Everyone Will Be Playing This Holiday Season

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Electric Literature just launched a fundraising campaign for their new literary card game full of crude humor and punny jokes about favorite classic authors and works. According to its Kickstarter page, Papercuts: A Party Game for the Rude and Well-Read is “what Kurt Vonnegut, James Baldwin, and Virginia Woolf would play if they were alive, […]

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New(ish) Tolkien Book Coming in 2017

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Beren and Lúthien, a Middle-earth story about forbidden love between an Elven woman and human man, based famously on Tolkien’s own love for his wife, is set to be published as its own title in 2017, on the 100-year anniversary since the two characters first appeared in a Tolkien story. The story is to be […]

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“A Star That Peers Through Your Window”

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German children’s book author Thomas Mac Pfeifer spent over a year interviewing children who had migrated to Germany from war-stricken countries such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with the purpose of hearing and collecting their favorite bedtime stories into one book, Ein Stern, der in dein Fenster schaut (“A star that peers through your window”). […]

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Don’t Buy Mark Haddon’s New Book on Amazon, Says Mark Haddon

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Author of bestselling book-turned-play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon recently published a new book, The Pier Falls. The book comes in two editions: just the text, available on Amazon, or including illustrations by Haddon, available only in hardcover at bookstores. At the LA Times, Michael Schaub reports that Haddon described […]

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Malala Yousafzai Lands Children’s Book Deal

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Nobel Peace Prize winner and teenage activist Malala Yousafzai is still fighting nonstop for empowerment and education with her forthcoming project, a picture book meant to encourage children to create change in the world around them. Malala’s Magic Pencil—”[i]nspired by her own childhood wish… to help make the world a better place”—is to be released […]

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Kids Read to Their Barbers for More Than a $2 Discount

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The Fuller Cut in Ypsilanti, Michigan is offering $2 discounts to kids who read a book to their barber during their haircuts. For NPR, Jennifer Guerra speaks with customers/readers and their parents, who not only are shaving a bit off their haircut budgets, but also have the extra opportunity to encourage reading and comprehension for […]

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The Book Lady Is Back

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Dolly Parton, pop culture’s resident “Book Lady,” has written a children’s book based off of one of her hits, “Coat of Many Colors.” The book is to be released on October 18, Robyn Collins for Radio.com reports. Coat of Many Colors will describe the story of a young Dolly who struggles with classism and bullying; […]

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Book Thief Stabs British Collector for The Wind in the Willows

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The rare book business turned deadly for a British book dealer, who was stabbed and killed for his first-edition copy of The Wind in the Willows (worth about $64,000) in April, Michael Schaub reports at the Los Angeles Times. The suspect, in calculating crime novel fashion, was planning a robbing-spree among more celebrities and keepers of […]

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Reading YA Lit as an Act of Resistance

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These and many other stories hope to remind us that the freedom to choose our own reading is a form of resistance against the looming threat of a totalitarian state… YA literature has situated itself as one of the most influential genres in publishing, with more adults reading YA than ever, and young adults being the most “literate” […]

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Home-Turned-Library Brings Japanese Literature to Community

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For the Los Angeles Times, Kelly Corrigan spoke with Mitsuko Roberts of Glendale, California about The Okanoue Library, a collection of over 700 works of Japanese literature, film, and other media donated by Glendale’s Japanese community. Roberts hosts this collection a few times a month in her home-turned-library, lending out materials and offering Japanese reading classes.

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American Lit’s Reclusive Editor

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Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes […]

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Our New Librarian-in-Chief’s Favorite Children’s Book

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Last week, Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress, making her the first woman and the first African-American in the position. Hayden talked with Jeffrey Brown of PBS Newshour about the challenges of her new position, and her favorite children’s book, Bright April by Marguerite de Angeli, a story about a […]

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Literary Loyalty, Sad Sequels, Sadder Fans

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Loyalty seems to have no payoff for fans of every and any book that has ever had a sequel, because these next installments almost always disappoint—but why does it have to be this way? For Cultured Vultures, Nat Wassell gives a few examples of flaccid sequels and continuations; discusses responsibility from the author, publisher, and […]

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Facing Reality in China’s “Ultra-Unreal” Literature

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A literary movement aiming to express the surrealist daily life of modern China (a reality that can’t be captured by traditional genres like satire or horror) is giving the next generation of Chinese authors the opportunity to subtly critique their surroundings without government backlash. Author Ning Ken calls this new genre choahuan, or ultra-unreal, which […]

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Reviving Dominican Literature with “a Concert of Poetry”

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Global Voices introduces us to El Hombrecito, a music group that interweaves Dominican poetry and visual art into their performances, in a story written by Natali Herrera Pacheco and translated by Eleanor Weekes. El Hombrecito hopes to spark interest in the country’s literature by setting it against the backdrop of bachata, rock, or experimental music, […]

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Pura Belpré: New York’s First Puerto Rican Librarian

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Pura Belpré began her long, luminous career as a librarian, storyteller, author, activist, and puppeteer when she moved to New York in 1921. Not only was Belpré NYC’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Neda Ulaby reports for NPR, she was the first to perform story times in English and Spanish (with puppets), opening up a world […]

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“Our Parents Wouldn’t Let Us”: The Death of Liberal Arts

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The liberal arts are shrinking fast on college campuses, and for one simple reason: parents don’t want their kids to have liberal arts degrees. For the Washington Post, Steven Pearlstein, Professor of Public Affairs at George Mason University, writes about witnessing this phenomenon firsthand in his own classroom. Parents are more interested in the graduation-to-employment pathway, […]

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