My sister used to accuse me of intellectualizing mental illness when I spoke of our brother’s brain, his schizophrenia, in scientific terms... I never knew how to explain what I felt—that science could be a way of loving something more deeply....more
Everywhere people are shoving things into the ground—time capsules not to be opened until the year 2100, the more optimistic postmarked for 3000—letters to the future in the language of the now. ...more
Rachel and Griffin McElroy, hosts of The Bachelor fancast Rose Buddies, talk about about the problematic aspects of the show, how they stay hydrated, and what’s up with all those McElroy podcasts. ...more
At BuzzFeed, Tracy Clayton reflects on returning home to Louisville for Muhammad Ali’s funeral and the ways in which a place and its people can attempt to hold each other:
You want to dismantle it and start all over and you also want to protect it from the opinions of people who don’t understand its beauty or how to appraise it. Muhammad Ali was a perfect illustration of this complicated relationship. The same man who was driven to throw his Olympic medal in the Ohio River because of his city’s toxic racial climate loved it openly and passionately.
Wouldn’t it be great if your local library had an animal friend to liven things up? A small town in Texas certainly thought so, prizing their tabby Browser as a member of their community. Unfortunately, the popular library cat is getting evicted, and people aren’t happy about it.
Certainly some of my favorite songs are the ones that, weeks later, or months later, or sometimes even years later, you get hit by a lyric that you suddenly understand in a way you didn’t.
Writer-musician Ben Arthur and musician Ted Leo talk about composing, reading, and the performing life over at The Believer. Both are taking part in a project to respond, in song, to a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, in the spirit of appreciation and resonance across the arts.
The American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Awards just had its 20th anniversary this past weekend, celebrating two decades of outstanding Latino writers and illustrators who create books for Latino children and teens. The Monitor reported on the event, which featured dozens of prominent Latino authors and illustrators whose work has showcased and celebrated Latino culture, heritage, and experience with the hopes of instilling pride in young Latino readers.
For years, people have been referring to lost sessions featuring Betty Davis and her former husband Miles Davis playing with bending genres, with Betty Davis introducing the jazz giant to Jimi Hendrix and the sounds of psychedelic rock. Recorded from 1968-1969 at Columbia’s 52nd Street studios, the mythic sessions laid the groundwork for the mix of jazz and psychedelia that later coalesced in Miles Davis’s radically innovative Bitches Brew.
Finally these recordings have been found, and are being released for the first time by Light in the Attic Records. Read more about Betty Davis’s influence on music here, and listen to a preview of the record after the jump. (more…)
Do you enjoy the culinary results of tossing ingredients together with some heat to create some spontaneous deliciousness? Or do you prefer the structured act of measuring and timing that create cookies and cakes? The methodological divide between cooking and baking is not so different between different types of writing: writers who write spontaneously versus writers who plan and structure.
“Yesterday I woke up sucking on lemon,” sings Thom Yorke in the enthralling first song from Radiohead’s groundbreaking 2000 album, Kid A, which Rolling Stonecalled the “weirdest Number One album of the year.” Take what you will from Yorke’s reference to lemons—their bitterness, the possibility of making lemonade out of them—but the message in the title of this thrumming, synth-centered single is like an uplifting koan. “Everything In Its Right Place” is innovative, accessible, and infectious.
Thursday 6/30: Sarah Bartlett celebrates the release of her debut poetry collection Sometimes We Walk With Our Nails Out, published by Subito Press, and reads alongside Coleman Stevenson. Cardinal Club, 7 p.m., free.
Local poets Dan Raphael, Neil Aitken, and Christi Krug reads from their latest work. Another Read Through, 7 p.m., free.
Friday 7/1: Local author Ophelia Darkly and coffee artist Davey Cadaver present from their latest book of short stories with accompanying art, Coffee Monsters. Another Read Through, 7 p.m., free.
For the New York Times Bookends column, Rivka Galchen walks us through a deceptively simple poem by Zbigniew Herbert to illustrate a philosophy that supports both the abstract and the moral responsibility of art. She posits that “there is a way in which art for art’s sake is the art most open to all comers, and most (potentially) ethical.”
Women play an essential but complex role in the father of cubism’s sprawling oeuvre, expressing emotion, psychological insight and the drama of human existence respectively, but, renowned as Picasso was for being a serial philanderer, the stories behind the faces in his frames are considerably less well known.
Beverly Bond, creator of the annual BET award show Black Girls Rock!, is releasing a book to continue her mission of celebrating the achievements and history of black women and girls around the world. Black Girls Rock!: Celebrating the Power, Beauty and Brilliance of Black Women will “combine powerful photography with inspirational advice, original poetry, and affirmations to showcase the complexity, dynamism, achievements and diverse cultural traditions of Black women from around the world.” The most recent Black Girls Rock! award show celebrated its 10th anniversary this year on BET.
For TheMillions, Marcia DeSanctis shares how she learned to become a “second-career writer” after resisting her literary ambitions while working as a television news producer:
A stifled artist was scratching through all of my work identities, and though my jobs were fascinating I never really had the mettle to soldier on. I turned down more opportunities than I can count, and often thought to myself, “Because now it’s time to write.” At the last minute, bank account draining, courage always eluded me, and I moved on to another producing job.
The circus was small, a little tent in the center of a field, but of course we didn’t know it was small, we didn’t know there were bigger circuses in other places. We didn’t even know there were other places.
As part of Guernica’s bimonthly series “The Kiss,” graphic novelist Kristen Radtke has an illustrated story about a visit to the circus when she was a kid. But this was no ordinary show…
The Internet’s been freaking out about Kanye West’s latest bid to be the center of all things surreal about our culture: his video for the track “Famous” features breathing sculptures of celebrities who may or may not have given permission for their likenesses to be represented naked, as if asleep, and in bed together. West supposedly “explained” his intention behind the video to Vanity Fair, saying, “Matthew Barney is my Jesus,” and, “it’s a comment on fame.” So that clears everything up. Watch the full video here if you haven’t already.
Porn performers consent to have sex on-camera, but Stoya objects to the idea that she — or any other performer — is just a collection of orifices to which she’s signed away unrestricted penetration rights. The number of times you’ve said “yes” does not in any way disempower you to say “no” at any point, for any reason.
Stoya is not your average porn star—not only is she the antithesis of a blonde, fake-breasted bombshell, her work focuses on body- and sex-positive videos that show respect for all parties involved. And that work has taken on new importance since she publicly accused ex-boyfriend and porn actor James Deen of rape, which emboldened many other women to speak about his abuse.
July is almost upon us, and it’s time for an update on our Book Club and Poetry Book Club. There are no other book clubs that offers what ours do: books before they’ve been released to the public, a vibrant online community to discuss them with, and a chance to chat online with the author at the end of the month. And, our Book Clubs help us keep The Rumpus alive—so, you can speak with your favorite writers, read great books, and support the site in one fell swoop. (more…)