Recent Entries:

  • February 26th, 2017

    Zahia Rahmani was born in Algeria in 1962 just as that country’s eight-year war of independence from France was ending. Her father was counted among the “Harkis” – the 75,000 Algerians who fought alongside the French against their own nationalist countrypeople. Literally overnight, the French crept away leaving 20,000 Harkis to be pulled from their beds, massacred and imprisoned.

  • February 20th, 2017

    For marketing’s sake, Elliot Ackerman’s second novel, Dark At The Crossing, has been described as a current day war story about the tumult in Syria with a love interest. But Ackerman’s actual subject is the making of choices under dire circumstances. How a choice may trigger betrayal or the recognition of one’s illusions or self-satisfaction or self-defeat.

  • February 16th, 2017

    “DIFFICULT TIMES" (“SCHWIERIGE ZEITEN”) / Bertolt Brecht

    Standing at my desk
    I see the elder tree in the garden through the window
    And make out something red in it, something black
    And instantly recall the elders
    Of my Augsburg childhood.
    Then for several moments I seriously deliberate
    Whether to go to the table
    For my glasses, so that I might see

  • February 6th, 2017

    Fumo: Italy’s Love Affair with the Cigarette by Carl Ipsen (Stanford University Press)
    Comrade Huppert: A Poet in Stalin’s World by George Huppert (Indiana University Press)
    The Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley by Ted Harrison (Reaktion Books/University of Chicago Press)

  • February 2nd, 2017

    In 1973 Elizabeth Bishop wrote a blurb for Sandra McPherson’s first book Radiation. She described her former student’s poetry as “a delight and refreshment in the tedium of irony, confession and cuteness of contemporary verse.” According to Brett C.

  • January 29th, 2017

    On the death of Stéphane Mallarmé in 1898, 22-year old Paul Valéry wrote an homage to the poet who had pointed the way to new possibilities for poetry. “Je sera la tombe de ton ombre pensive,” he wrote, “I will be the tomb of your pensive shadow.” Fifty-one years later at age 73, a year before he died, Valéry was still extolling his master in an essay published in 1944.