The Rumpus is teaming up with San Francisco nonprofit Quiet Lightning to present a live literary mix tape, and we want you to join us!
Submit a piece less than eight minutes long for the chance to read at the event, or just join us as a guest for an evening of short readings from a variety of fantastic writers....more
In an interview with addiction website The Fix, reprinted at Salon, memoirist and poet Mary Karr discusses getting clean, flouting rules, and how sobriety shaped her relationship with David Foster Wallace.
You’re present when you’re not drinking a fifth of Jack Daniel’s every day.
What a cool way to celebrate Ireland’s storytelling tradition: a new Irish stamp features the text of an entire short-short by 17-year-old Dubliner Eoin Moore.
Moore’s piece, about how “[t]he city embodies the people, and the people embody the city,” won out over “a host” of other entries at Roddy Doyle’s Fighting Words Centre....more
Loneliness is more than just a feeling, according to an article in the New Republic. It’s a biological process that activates your physical pain responses and trashes your immune system.
Here’s one of many fascinating (and, okay, probably depressing) examples of the very tangible effects of loneliness, from a study of gay men with HIV during the ’80s:
The social experience that most reliably predicted whether an HIV-positive gay man would die quickly, Cole found, was whether or not he was in the closet.
“Achebe A Celebrated Storyteller, But No Father Of African Literature, Says Soyinka.” The headline sound sensationalistic and snipey, but this interview with Wole Soyinka about the death of Chinua Achebe is nuanced and comprehensive, if more than a little prickly.
Soyinka discusses what it’s like to lose a friend and colleague—and what it’s like to deal with the media’s wrongheaded notions about the relationship between the two men and the literary scene they were a part of....more
There’s lots of cool/gross stuff in this Michael Pollan article about the microbes in human bodies: “for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes,” mother’s milk feeds newborns’ “gut bugs,” and there are “gnotobiotic mice” without any germs....more
Our thoughts are with the people of Oklahoma as the rescue effort continues in the wake of yesterday’s devastating tornado.
Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV has live streaming coverage online.
Here are a few ideas on how to help the victims.
A Facebook group is helping to link up victims with their strewn belongings....more
On a blog for the Wall Street Journal (where else?), Emily Oster gives advice based on economic theory. For example:
There is a model in economics called the “sS” model. It’s not often applied to relationships, but I think it should be….If something really good happens, or many good things in a row, it pushes you over some threshold (this is the “S” threshold) and you get married.
It’s always fun to compare your culture’s inexplicably expensive and complicated customs with another’s and realize that nothing makes sense anywhere in the world.
For example, at the Billfold, Jia Tolentino relates a conversation with a Kyrgyz friend about weddings:
In Uzbekistan and Tajikistan there are new laws where they send a police officer to every wedding to make sure that no one spends more than, say, 15,000 som.
Crackerjack writer, porn actor, and Rumpus contributor Conner Habib has posted the latest in his “Guys I Wanted to Fuck in High School” series.
It’s erotic and expansive and poignant, and you should read it right now. A preview:
Do you want to hold my hand?
The Belladonna* Collective’s Hot Texts series continues with readings from Lauren Hunter, Samantha Zighelboim, Allison Power, and Christine Kanownik. The Way Station, 6:30pm, $5 suggested donation.
The Poetry Project hosts Ross Gay and Lauren Shufran. St. Mark’s Church, 8pm, free....more
Monday 5/20: Cuban poet Nancy Morejón screens two films of her life and work. Free, 7pm, Emerald Tablet.
Tuesday 5/21: Litquake presents Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo discussing her debut, We Need New Names. $5, 7pm, Lone Palm.
Wednesday 5/22: Two Lines Press and Intersection for the Arts bring staged readings from the press’s first two books, Hi, This is Conchita and All My Friends....more
Before you get back to the grind, savor these last bits of the weekend.
And an interview with Susan Steinberg about crossing genres, reversing VIDA stats, and the importance of bucking formula....more
Welcome to the week! good news: the world won’t be hit by a giant asteroid at the end of the month.
Happy 50th birthday chaos theory!
It is very sad that the world does not have this desert crossing vehicle in it....more
For an artist, saying no to anything but the art is strength training for the muscle required to say yes to work, yes to creation.
At Medium, Kevin Ashton tells a story of saying no: “A Hungarian psychology professor once wrote to famous creators asking them to be interviewed for a book he was writing…The professor contacted 275 creative people....more
Some scientific experiments can sound ridiculous, especially to us writerly types—like, for instance, a study measuring mosquitoes’ attraction to limburger cheese.
There’s even a fake prize dedicated to mocking such studies: the “Ig Nobel,” which the aforementioned mosquito story won several years back....more
Want to see the new film version of The Great Gatsby but afraid it won’t live up to the book?
At The Millions, five English professors pass judgment on the success of the adaptation.
Read it to find out what additional source material Baz Luhrmann drew on and whether Carey Mulligan breathed a life into the role of Daisy that “honestly, Fitzgerald didn’t.”...more
These etymological origins of words related to insults are so strange and wonderful that some of them almost seem made up.
For example, it seems there used to be enough people writing “snarky epic poems” in Scandinavia that their title, skald, became synonymous with censure, eventually giving us the word scold....more