It isn’t only Israeli politics and government agenda that hang on the narratives of the Bible—the Hebrew language is profoundly steeped in biblical passages, references, and turns of phrase.
American poetry has a rich tradition of creating space for the full truth of our cities in poems and drawing connections between the interdependent worlds of American city life. Thinking about this tradition in formal terms, we might call it the urban pastoral.
"You pass through a world so thick with phantoms there is hardly room for anything else" reads a line in Steven Millhauser's short story "Phantoms." The story uses a communal voice and direct statements to the reader to engage us with its ideas.
I’m a slow writer and I accepted that a long time ago. But earlier this year, I noticed I was becoming slower and slower, writing a sentence a day, even a sentence a week at times. I was experiencing a period of drought.
A few years ago, I spent a good hour on a medical table, swaddled in a pale blue paper sheet, supine in the shadow of a plastic surgeon who had had to numb my face with three full syringes of lidocaine.
Today, we have this new platform for conversation, a no-man’s land in the arena of how we communicate with one another. We can say just about whatever we want however we want, we can share and consume anything from artwork to politics, lip syncs to gun violence.
A woman named Jean lives on the second floor of my apartment building. I want to like Jean; Jean waters the plants around the building and once I passed her on the avenue smiling in fringed suede, her Beatle-clipped hair ruffled by the spring day.
In many ways, visual art gave birth to literature. The first stories written down were cave paintings. For years our alphabet was made up of pictographs which simply meant that the only people who could tell stories were those who could draw.
Various literary centers scattered around the country exist to advance the development and growth of writers, foster flourishing literary communities, and encourage a passion for literature. These organizations provide writing classes and workshops, host readings and other events, and help create an atmosphere where literature is read and appreciated.
I remember the smells from my mother’s cooking that wafted in the breeze as I played as a young boy growing up in India’s heartland. I remember the smell of mustard seeds that went pop pop pop in hot mustard oil in a kadhai.