We have to say it in a way that will delight the ear or the tongue or the mind of a reader who will never know us. It’s the only way in. And to do that, we have to be capable of imagining that reader, imagining them wholly, gassy and distracted by their phone and worried about the news and late to pick up their son from ballet.
Kaveh Akbar in conversation with Danez Smith for Granta. Both poets are shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2018.
Photo: Birbiglebug/CC BY-SA 4.0
A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll and the connected article results in what they call a “warning for Democrats: Americans are largely against the country becoming more politically correct.” The question in the poll, like the framing of the article, is.. odd.The full question is:
“In general, are you in favor of the United States becoming more politically correct and like when people are being more sensitive in their comments about others, or are you against the country becoming more politically correct and upset that there are too many things people can’t say anymore?”
Asma Khalid called this a good definition of politcal correctness in the most recent episode of the NPR Politics podcast. I don’t think so. The question is neitehr a fitting definition of politcal correctness nor a neutral one, but rather a definition that at the very least leans towards the use of the term “political correctness” as a right-wing fighting word. It connects “politcal correctness” to censorship.
Not using certain words and supporting certain concepts isn’t about censorship, it’s about not continuing to hurt people.
So far the most surprising, beautiful sentence in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power. It’s about his wife and part of one of the meta-essays that introduce his previously published essays in this collection. Some have aged better than others, but the meta-essays alone are worth the read alone. Man, that guy can write.
The Posh Club has everything: Elvis impersonators, 50 rockabilly, men in braces and cravats, vintage crockery, caberet, and crutches.:
“We’re the only club event in the world where someone was rushed to the hospital because they forgot to take their drugs.”
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Yet, despite the widening of the general frame, Orientalism still reigns; though it’s not as brazen, its subtle forms are everywhere.
Same As It Ever Was: Orientalism Forty Years Later.
Philip Metres reflects upon Edward Said, Othering, and the representation of Arabs in US culture.
A sentence like a punch.
From Sheryl Lunas “Neighbors Smoke on an Apartment Porch Owned by a Mental Health Agency” Poetry Magazine, January 2018