So: a train races beneath the city, having been made into a vehicle of war, covered with signatures and symbols, it goes crosstown, downtown, taking with it the story of dystopia and crack cocaine, “armamentation,” and innovation as it travels. This is what myths do: they tell us how things came to be.
Posts by: Julie Morse
Are you a teacher or parent looking for realistic thanksgiving literature? No, not the books about Native Americans and pilgrims carving a turkey together but children books that tell the real story? Check out Indian Country’s list of young adult and children’s books that dispel the tall tale of Thanksgiving and give the low down on what Native people actually went through....more
The next Weekly Rumpus brings fiction from Gordon Haber! Here’s an excerpt:
He waited on a corner of Place Gordaine, a street of half-timbered houses. She was late and it was cold and his gut told him that this might not end well, or even begin at all if she did not show up.
The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Marcy Campbell! Here’s an excerpt:
I got my master’s when I discovered that the university was actually going to pay me to read, which is how I saw it. I like reading, and I have opinions about the books I read.
Ntozake Shange, the poet, author and playwright who is mostly known for her play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” is at it again with, “Lost in Language and Sound: Or How I Found My Way to the Arts,” which had its first reading at Nuyorican Poets Café a couple weeks ago....more
This next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Marjorie Celona! Here’s an excerpt:
Harrison asked Vincent to imagine that he was an old pony who’d been bought at auction by a woman and lived most of his life in a shed in the back of the woman’s house.
“To turn his back on Hollywood, to walk away from the spotlight because it was turning him into a man he didn’t want to be—a man without dignity—was a move that was, in a way, Chappelle’s birthright, his own unwieldy kind of Negritude.”
Featured in this month’s Believer is Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s essay on the 10-year anniversary of Dave Chappelle’s departure from his self-titled show....more
The next Weekly Rumpus brings you fiction from Sandra Gail Lambert! Here’s an excerpt:
Running didn’t help. It just turned you into prey. Ruth Ann knew the exact moment she learned this. She had started taking a bookbinding class on Wednesday nights.
Too busy and famous to tweet? Hire a ghostposter. Originally a speech-writing firm, Gotham Ghostwriters provides profession ghostposting services; covert, virtual banter for celebrities. You’re probably no longer wondering why certain personalities sound smarter on the internet then they do in real life....more
Sometimes it’s hard for a librarian to admit that we’ve arrived at the age of the virtual card catalog system. It’s a sentiment that’s especially true for Greenfield Community College librarian Hope Schneider who spent fourteen years sending out retired catalog cards to their respective authors asking for a signature or a short tribute....more
Every day, we collectively produce millions of books’ worth of writing. Globally we send 154.6 billion emails, more than 400 million tweets, and over 1 million blog posts and around 2 million blog comments on WordPress. On Facebook, we post about 16 billion words.
“If you say something happens in a place like Marikana [South Africa], for us to send a team of journalists to cover it directly it would be too expensive. I do think it’s a problem. When foreigners come here they may paint somehow a different picture from the way Africans can see things happening.”
African journalism needs a light at the end of the tunnel, that’s for certain....more
After much anticipation, David Byrne’s How Music Works is finally hot off the presses in PAPERBACK! Our friends and publishers at McSweeney’s have proposed a contest for fans and readers alike, tweet or Instagram a photo of the book’s poster in its natural habitat of New York City with the hashtag #howmusicworkspb and be automatically entered to win a copy of the book for free!...more
The Brooklyn Public Library is inviting all Brooklyn residents to participate in its Hurricane Sandy Oral History Project. News articles and statistics don’t equate to personal narratives recounting the emotional impact of the storm.
Participants will be interviewed for 20-30 minutes and their stories will be preserved in a permanent collection and many will be available online....more
“Tip the waitress or barman well, ‘cause you’re going to need their toilet.”
Taxi drivers made strides this year at the PEN World Voices Festival.
For a handful of weeks, a group of long-standing New York City taxi drivers have been meeting to poetically reflect on their adventures shuttling passengers throughout the boroughs....more
If you haven’t heard already, tech writer Paul Miller is back on the internet after a year of WWW celibacy. In his conclusive journal entry on The Verge, he’s not waxing ecstatic on the virtues of being wireless, but instead ruminating about how a year devoid of virtual communication burnt a hole of loneliness in his social life....more
Dissent Magazine is celebrating International Workers Day by asking journalists to comment on their favorite labor movement victories of the year.
Highlights include the induction of paid sick leave bills in New York City, Portland, OR, and Long Beach, CA; Chicago’s fast-food and retail workers ‘Strike for 15’ – a demand to increase the hourly wage to $15; and the city’s week-long teachers union strike, which resulted in teachers receiving annual raises, a longer school, and more comprehensive evaluations....more
Want to leave NYC but fear too much about abandoning your beloved Red Hook/Boreum Hill/Washington Heights/Harlem/Upper West Side…? Check out The Morning News’s list of counterpart neighborhoods throughout the US and abroad.
Rumpus pal Alexander Chee recommends Portland, Maine’s Vinalhaven in place of Bushwick, and former Saturday editor Michelle Dean praises Toronto’s Leslieville as Park Slope’s sister neighborhood....more
There are apparently 3,500 books on “pre-approved topics,” which, according to the library policy, do not include geography or ad agencies....more
A mother of a 7th grade student at Northville Mill Middle School in Michigan is protesting the school to send home permission slips before assigning “The Diary of Anne Frank” to its students.
The mother called the book “inappropriate material” due to the fact that there is a passage that describes the female body and Frank’s feelings about going through puberty....more
It’s rare to see the “you” perspective thriving in the literary sphere, but Kjerstin Johnson’s Doug Fir Fiction Award winning “Employee Discounts: A Post College Job at Barnes and Noble” and Ashley Chamber’s “You Will Make Several Relaxing Cuts” are both recently published reader-addressing short stories that guarantee to entertain....more
Are male and female writers interviewed equally? Loraine Berry at Talking Writing thinks not.
It’s gone to show that interviewers are often more interested in a female writer’s dietary habits and marital problems than their literary processes and work. Jodi Picoult says that she has been asked how she lost weight many, many times....more
If you’re looking for a token of solace after the Boston marathon bombings, please check out Roxane Gay’s words if you haven’t already. And Thomas Page McBee reflects on ways to help when feeling helpless.
At the Guardian, Rumpus columnist Steve Almond comments on the histrionic attitude the media has taken on in the wake of the explosions, and wonders if “events such as Monday’s bombing can somehow morally enlarge us as a nation, can help us imagine the suffering of other people and our own duty to those people – wherever they happen to live.”
Boston.com’s Metro Desk eulogizes Martin William Richard, the 8-year old who was killed....more
Exciting news! Recent Rumpus interviewee Karen Russell is shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for her novel Swamplandia!
Nominations for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award are submitted by public libraries worldwide, and any book can be nominated as long as it has an English translation....more