Anais to Kansas

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe My adolescence was difficult. I was utterly confused, depressed, and lonely. I had braces and was so vain that I refused to wear the glasses I desperately needed. My parents didn’t understand me, my teachers didn’t understand me, and I still had to share

A Writer’s Envy, Part V: The Propaganda of Neutralism

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  Guest post by Scott Nadelson Visual artists also get to do narrative. And metaphor, too. As if they don’t have enough already, these spoiled visual artists, with their museums and their fancy openings and their relationships with Icelandic pop stars. Must they also steal from poor, humble writers,

Not Night Enough

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Guest post by Carol Keeley I wrecked my neck last July–three blown discs, bone spurs, stenosis, a semi-choked spinal cord. For the next eight months, I was unable to write. On a good day, I could type for about ten minutes or write briefly by hand. Then mid-winter, I

Cynocephali Strike Again

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe The friction between our human and animal natures (a dubious distinction from the start) has been the subject of inquiry for a very long time, from Nebuchadnezzar, who loses his wits and wanders as a wild man for seven years, to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which

A Writer’s Envy, Part IV: The Heart Is a Telephone

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson Apparently, envy goes both ways. Just last week I had lunch with a sculptor friend who said he really wishes he could have been a writer, that he constantly struggles against the limitations of what his medium can communicate. He’s South African, and his

Traveling on Foot: Werner Herzog

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Guest post by Carol Keeley I first saw Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe at the Music Box, a Chicago theater with faux stars overhead and a live organist between features. While Herzog stuffs garlic and herb bundles into the toe of each boot, he invokes a “real war against

The Acrostic: A Love Story

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe Most of us wrote them in grade school, our names printed in large letters down the left margin and traced over with marker, our early views of ourselves summed up in a handful of lively adjectives. A few years ago, when leaving for graduate

A Writer’s Envy, Part III: Naked People in Pain

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson So I don’t envy all artists, all the time. I wouldn’t, for example, have wanted to be the Israeli performance artist Sigalit Landau while she was making her piece Barbed Hula. Pronged metal puncturing my belly? (You’ve been warned.) I’ll pass.   Nor would

The Greensboro Five

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Guest post by Carol Keeley Among the iconic civil rights heroes in a recent Platon portfolio in The New Yorker were the Greensboro Four. The image of these young men at a whites-only counter in Woolworth’s ignited a movement and is part of our national conscience. But this shot

Elizabeth Strout, the Subconscious Writer

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Several times during her question-and-answer session at Emerson College on April 15, Elizabeth Strout admitted to making things up. No one would begrudge a fiction writer of doing that–fabrication is part of her job. But Strout “just knew” when her latest book Olive Kitteridge was ready. “Which isn’t very