Other

Notable Portland: 6/30–7/6

By

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. 

...more

A Field Guide To The Muses

By

This summer, an exhibit and accompanying book, Picasso: The Artist and His Muses, brings light to the women who inspired some of the artist’s greatest paintings:

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.

...more

Black Girls Rock! Founder to Release Debut Book

By

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!

...more

A Circus, a Kiss

By

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.

...more

Notable San Francisco: 6/29–7/5

By

Wednesday 6/29: Indy Press Night at City Lights Books will celebrate the release of two new novels from lg press: Metaphysical Ukulele by Sean Carswell and Missile Paradise by Ron Tanner. Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.

Radio Station KPFA presents Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley, who will be reading from the newly published Golden Age, the third novel of her American Trilogy (Some Luck, Early Warning, Golden Age).

...more

Censorship in Ukraine

By

During anti-government protests in the Ukraine in 2013 and 2014, Oleh Shynkarenko, a journalist and blogger, found himself turning to Facebook after some of his blog posts were deleted, presumably by security forces. What he shared was a novel about about a man whose brain was controlled by the Russian government, published in 100-word snippets on the social media platfrom (where authorities had less power). 

...more

Writing to Legitimize the Self

By

To research her book Without You, There Is No Us, Suki Kim worked undercover as an ESL teacher in North Korea. Kim was reluctant to call the work a memoir, believing that to do so “trivialized” her investigative reporting. The result was a backlash from critics, who called her undercover methods “dishonest.” At The New Republic, Kim responds to her critics:

Here I am telling my story to you, the reader, essentially to beg for acknowledgment: I am an investigative journalist, please take me seriously. 

...more

Nostalgia’s Record

By

At the New Yorker, Amanda Petrusich writes an ode to Other Music, a New York City record shop that recently closed its doors after more than twenty years in business. For Petrusich, the store was more than a place to buy music; it was an important part of her personal history:

My scramble for self-identity was tied up in records, and Other Music was where I went to get myself sorted out.

...more

Unstuck in Time

By

Despite its uncanny salience in the context of this most recent wave of social injustice and protest, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout was written well before the #BlackLivesMatter movement began. Far from a coincidence, the book’s resonance is a product of the same paradox of time it describes, in which dated social conditions cannot possibly continue to exist, yet do:

All of the characters, regardless of how completely absurd they seem, are reacting to living in a time in which Beatty also resides; one in which he is daring to call something “‘Racism’ in a post-racial world.”

...more

The Hope Whose Death It Announces

By

Poetry is defined by a failure to live up to the hype it generates, promising divine transcendence through a medium that is essentially human. This is the paradox Ben Lerner articulates in his dissertation on The Hatred of Poetry. At The New Republic, Ken Chen doesn’t buy it:

You get the sense Lerner’s intellectualized peevishness about poetry is simply an elaborate defense, one that distances an author from the shame, discomfort, and vulnerability that comes from experiencing one’s own emotions.

...more

Voices Speaking Rather Than Words Written

By

Simply put, there is no theory without struggle. Struggle is the condition of possibility for theory. And struggle is produced by workers themselves.

At The New Republic, Rachel Kushner introduces the newly translated 1971 Italian novel We Want Everything by Nanni Balestrini, which takes place during a period of rapid industrialization in Northern Italy during the late 60s and inspired the novel to take on an entirely new structure in fiction.

...more

The Origin of Performativity Theory

By

She made it clear that the body is not a stable foundation for gender expression.

For New York Magazine, Molly Fischer profiles gender theorist and philosopher Judith Butler, focusing on how Butler’s theory of performativity has disseminated into pop culture in the thirty-six years since its inception in Gender Trouble, and how the conversations around gender and identity politics have grown since then.

...more