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Posts by: Alison Ruth Barry

Poem of the Week

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This week’s Poem of The Week from the Guardian is The Seasons by Irish poet Derek Mahon. The accompanying article delves richly into Mahon’s craft, while the reader’s comments at the bottom provide a sometimes more abrasive forum for critique.

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Cities In Dust

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Have you ever been to Detroit? Ever witnessed, first hand, that once great American city in all the facets of its decline? If not, let these beautiful photographs take you on that journey now. If you have, revisit what you already know — and what you may never have seen. These poignant, elegant photographs by […]

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Rewriting – or Righting – History?

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The latest edition of Huckleberry Finn has had THAT word removed. Does such censorship destroy art – or is it long overdue? What happens when one of the greatest novels and one of the most offensive words in American history collide?  This article by Twain scholar Peter Messent provides a starting point for that discussion.

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Something Small and Beautiful

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The UK’s Guardian runs a Poem of the Week. This week it’s ‘My Grandmother’s Opal’ by Grevel Lindop. The accompanying article is a thoughtful discussion of the piece and of poetry’s appropriateness as a “memorial genre.” Both poem and article are contemplative, made poignant by the memories of lost loved ones that the passing holiday […]

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It’s a Fire

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Eugene Marten and his new novel Firework are discussed in this interview with the author. It’s hard to say what is more interesting – the content of Marten’s book or the description of his writer’s life. The latter could be out of a novel itself: his dimly lit Harlem apartment, getting up at 5am to […]

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‘You Never Told Me He Was That Good’

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September 18th will be the 40th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death, and no doubt we’ll soon be drowning in tributes and reflections. I doubt, however, that many will better this excellent piece by Ed Vulliamy in the Observer. Filled with personal insights from those who knew Hendrix intimately, it is a beautifully written, lively, fitting and […]

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Simple Pleasures

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British seaside kitsch has long been one of my favourite little obsessions, and this article in the Guardian contains quite a bit of it. As a Brit it tugged at my heartstrings and will hopefully amuse any reader familiar, or unfamiliar, with the nature of our lowbrow cultural wonders.

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Birds on Bookcovers

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Jimmy Chen’s pithy little feature highlights a self-evident truth: there have been a LOT of birds on book covers recently. Chen says he is sick of them, but the visual line-up he provides rather works against his argument. These are some mighty nice book covers and the profusion of our feathered friends thereupon rather delightful. […]

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Cassette Tape Revival

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Here’s an article in the LA Times about the revival of the cassette tape. Seems as though cassettes are the new vinyl. Or something. Apparently, the fuss-free cheapness of the cassette as a recording medium is being re-explored by small record companies, DJ’s and other lifeblood luminaries of the grass roots music industry. Of course, […]

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