Posts Tagged: detroit

The Text Is My Body: A Conversation with Gabrielle Civil

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Performance artist and poet Gabrielle Civil discusses her book, Swallow the Fish, how technology has shaped reactions to female nudity, and the importance of risking change.

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Album of the Week: Jay Daniel’s Broken Knowz

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When it comes to musical legacies, Detroit’s is singular: talking about “Detroit sound” can refer to a jump into Motown’s soul vibes or a dive into the roots of techno’s hammering basses, two apparently distant and antipodal hearts that have more in common than we might think. Jay Daniel, 25 years old and son of Planet E […]

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What We Lost: Undoing the Fairy Tale Narrative of Adoption

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The singular, unavoidable truth about adoption is that it requires the undoing of one family so that another one can come into being.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #55: Donald Ray Pollock

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Donald Ray Pollock has been steadily serving up plates of mild horror since his first book of short stories, Knockemstiff, appeared in 2008. Pollock followed the explosion of Knockemstiff with The Devil All the Time, in 2011, his first novel, which also bordered on the genre of mystery, again with generous servings of darkness. His […]

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: 21 Poems That Shaped America (Pt. 1): “The Idea of Ancestry”

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I know / their dark eyes, they know mine.

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The Rumpus Interview with Sara Benincasa

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Comedian Sara Benincasa opens up about her latest book Real Artists Have Day Jobs, adjusting to success, Venn-diagramming love, and the loss of Morley Safer.

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VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Desiree Cooper

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Desiree Cooper discusses her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, what mother-writers need, and why motherhood is the only story she’s ever told.

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Angela Flournoy

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Angela Flournoy

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My ambition is personal. I don’t think I need to succeed so that the race can succeed.

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Conversations with Literary Ex-Cons: Vickie Stringer

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Vickie Stringer talks about her first novel Let That Be the Reason, her Triple Crown Publishing venture, life in prison, and making hip-hop literature.

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The Rumpus Interview with Matt Bell

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Author Matt Bell talks video games, fiction, nonfiction, politics, empathy, and his new books, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Scrapper.

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(Don’t) Stick To What You Know

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At the Atlantic, Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, discusses her struggle with writing about Detroit without having lived there, and how Zora Neale Hurston’s work helped her give herself permission to write outside her own experiences: It’s not about having a background that lines up with the characters you’re writing about, I realized. […]

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Homesteading Detroit

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Detroit has a large inventory of vacant homes. Two years ago, Toby Barlow thought a great way to repopulate the city–and get new taxpayers–would be giving houses away to writers. Write a House plans on giving away its first house this year with Billy Collins and Major Jackson judging applicants’ writing. Poets & Writers has […]

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Fetishizing Ruins

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“So much ruin photography and ruin film aestheticizes poverty without inquiring of its origins, dramatizes spaces but never seeks out the people that inhabit and transform them, and romanticizes isolated acts of resistance without acknowledging the massive political and social forces aligned against the real transformation, and not just stubborn survival, of the city.” At […]

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Politics Sunday

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“One in four Americans is employed to protect the rich.” Here’s an underreported story: Dominicans are coming to the aid of Haitians, despite a less-than-idyllic history between the two countries. VICE is taking a ton of heat for its treatment of Liberia in “The Vice Guide to Liberia.” A very cool looking architectural installation that […]

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Lazy Journalists Love Pictures of Abandoned Stuff

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About a week ago Vice published an amusing article by Thomas Morton about what happens when journalists from outside Detroit come into the city to do a story: they cover their preconceptions, shoot “ruin porn,” and miss actual stories right under their noses — and in the case of the Michigan Central Depot, right behind their […]

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Blue Collar: A 1978 Film for 2009

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While catching up on my long-neglected film reading, I found this fascinating article by Saul Austerlitz about Paul Schrader’s debut film, Blue Collar, which stars Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto as auto-plant assembly line workers driven to robbery by frustration and deprivation. Austerlitz describes the film as “a union noir for the 1970s, […]

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Detroit’s Beautiful Ruins

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A haunting essay/slide show about Detroit. The day before I arrived, the frozen body of a man was found in the elevator shaft of an abandoned warehouse; only the feet were visible, the rest of the body being entirely encased in ice. The homeless men living in the warehouse, treating the corpse as unremarkable, ignored […]

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