A platform to get your cultural two cents out there.
In Better Ways to See, Alan Gann offers us a fresh pair of eyes to catch the details we are likely to miss in the natural world. Every poem seems to ask, “why not sing or bloom or fly?” (“spiral orb”). Part I of this collection, “Wanderings with birds,” literally gave me the sensation of having wings, of believing “We each sing our morning notes/ to remind the world/ I’m still here and no matter/ what happens before night descends/ all contribute/ to the golden-holy-resplendent song divergent” (“Chorus”)
An exploration of Iceland’s most idiosyncratic museums and collections, The Museum of Whales You Will Never See takes readers across a country shaped by geological forces as powerful as the stories told and collected there. The following is a conversation between author Kendra Greene and WD contributor Katy Dycus.
Published by Black Lawrence Press in November 2020, Lindsay Illich’s poetry collection, Fingerspell, begins by presenting the images for spelling out the letters of the alphabet. After the birth of Illich’s daughter, who has Down syndrome, she “felt every emotion as if through a vivid filter, supersaturated”.
During the 2-month lockdown in Madrid, a picture book arrived for me in the mail: Carson Ellis’s Home. And while we are no longer in strict lockdown, I still spend much more time at home than I ever have before. I think about home much more than I ever have before.
Jazmina Barrera’s first book to be translated into English by Christina MacSweeney, On Lighthouses, is an exploration of many things—writing, collecting, travel, literary history—centered around various lighthouses and the stories they contain. The following is a conversation between author Jazmina Barrera, translator Christina MacSweeney, and WD contributor Katy Dycus.
The New York Times recently published an article: “Books Have Literally Saved My Sanity”: Readers Respond to Our Letter to the Literary Community.” This got me thinking. What use are the literary arts—and the people who think and talk about them—in a moment of crisis?
Katy Dycus reviews local poet Mike Soto’s Dallas Spleen, one of three chapbooks produced as a part of Deep Vellum’s Central Track Writers Project.
Lindsey Tramuta’s debut bestselling book, The New Paris, offers a collection of insights into the evolving tastes shaping the City of Light.
According to Gerardo Diego, Antonio Machado “spoke in verse and lived in poetry.”
Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė, a Lithuanian folksinger and songwriter, creates melodies that honor the traditions of her country. With the kanklės, a Baltic psaltery instrument, laid out horizontally across her lap, the musician paints fresh musical landscapes.
In assuming the guise of a different language, one can also assume a different persona. Svetlana Lavochkina, a Ukranian author residing in Leipzig, Germany, understands the voyage one makes in crossing from one language to another. From the age of 8, she dreamt of becoming a writer, but she knew she didn’t want to write in Russian, her native language; instead, she sought full creative expression in English.
I like to think of Desperate Literature as a transitional space between street and home. Co-owners Terry Craven and Charlotte Delattre see this space as completely fluid. “There’s little distinction between our private life and public life. It’s how we live and what we live for,” Charlotte says. “A very nice version of how we live.”
Most of us know the feeling of coming undone, of drifting through a sea of loneliness unanchored, unmoored. After a few cities, relationships, peregrinations, we struggle to find someone who knows our name, let alone remembers it, who can speak to us in a way that feels vaguely familiar, who knows us in a way we all desire to be known.
Our collaborator, Katy Dycus, interviews the WD’s resident illustrator at her house and studio in Almería, Spain.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, every country sent at least one woman competitor. An unprecedented event. In Rio de Janeiro last year, 45% of the 11,000 competing athletes were women. But more than 120 years ago, before Serena and Venus Williams, Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles were household names, the Olympic Games prohibited women’s involvement. There just wasn’t any space for women in the collective “public sphere.”
When Charles Dickens invited guests over for dinner, it was his tendency to take them on a little pre-dinner stroll. Some four hours later, the famished group returned back to his home for their later-than-planned meal. The ‘Sketches by Boz’ author was used to walking hours at a time. He sketched life by traversing it, gathering up material through close inspection of daily encounters.
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