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poetry

The Nickel Boys

“The white boys bruised differently than the black boys and called it the Ice Cream Factory because you came out with bruises of every color. The black boys called it the White House because that was its official name and it fit and didn’t need to be embellished. The White House delivered the law and […]

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“To Give a Being Like Me Language” – Akwaeke Emezi on Toni Morrison

After Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison died just a few days ago, I thought a lot about what her work meant to me, and I read a lot of tributes to her. The piece of writing that struck me most is this letter by nonbinary writer/ogbanje Akwaeke Emezi: The elderspirit of you leapt into my head […]

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poetry

Happy 100th Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, painter, activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers turned 100 years old today. Ferlinghetti is maybe best known for “A Coney Island of the Mind” and as publisher of the beat poets, which included being arrested for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and the ensuing First Ammendment trial. My favorite work […]

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poetry

Wole Soyinka in Conversation With Henry Louis Gates

The New York Review of Books published a long, wide-ranging interview of Wole Soyinka, Nigerian Nobel Laureate in Literature, by Henry Louis Gates. The conversation touches on Trump and why Soyinka cut up his green card, the African diaspora, desegregating motel swimming pools, Obama and burdening a leader with a Peace Prize, federalism in Nigeria, […]

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poetry

Toni Morrison on Embracing Failure as Information

It’s as though you’re in a laboratory and you’re working on an experiment with chemicals or with rats, and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t mix. You don’t throw up your hands and run out of the lab. What you do is you identify the procedure and what went wrong and then correct it. If you […]

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“Their language bellows need.”

A sentence like a punch. From Sheryl Lunas “Neighbors Smoke on an Apartment Porch Owned by a Mental Health Agency” Poetry Magazine, January 2018

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It’s all about balance. Without my writing, I would feel very isolated. The world is such a beautiful and complex place, and science only has limited access to its wonders. Science is dominated by strict rules which preclude emotions, and I would never allow my emotions to influence my research. So, to balance out my […]

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I don’t think teenagers reading literature need to see a world they know; I think they need to see a world they know isn’t bullshit. John Green

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Went out to buy a book by the new Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, bought the new rupi kaur “The Sun and Her Flowers” instead. I’m fine with that.

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Books are door-shaped portals carrying me across oceans and centuries, helping me feel less alone. Margarita Engle “Tula [Books are door-shaped]”