politics Archive

Obama the Ellisonian: Another Reading of the President’s Worldview

Author: | Categories: Authors, Reading, Writing No comments
Early in the speech that Barack Obama gave last year to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” standing in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, the president asked, “What can be more American than what happened in this place?” That line deserved more attention than it

Who Speaks How

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
I love when people ask my friend Jenny and I how we know each other, because long before we co-taught a queer theory elective and drove cross-country and made parallel moves to Pittsburgh, she was one of my first writing teachers. It was in her Xeroxed handout of eclectic

Looking Otherwise

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
We are one month post-“Formation.” In the wake of Beyoncé’s video release (/Super Bowl halftime performance/world tour announcement), a frenzy of reactions and reactions to reactions has proliferated. Only they’re not just reactions, they’re readings. On the immediate surface of the song’s lyrics, “Formation” is about being Black, and

The Place of Zines in Contemporary American Politics

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
Zines straddle the border between Fluxist market-dodgers and the reputably tainted world of self-publishing literary dropouts. The difference between a zine and that 50 Shades of Grey-inspired alien erotica novel is function and intention. A zine works as a platform for writing and art that’s too provocative, political, or

Review: Circus Maximus by Andrew Zimbalist

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Nonfiction, Reading No comments
Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup Andrew Zimbalist Brookings Institution Press, 2015 175 pages Buy: book | ebook In a way, everything about Andrew Zimbalist’s Circus Maximus is great. The book is thoroughly researched, thoroughly argued—hard to find a hole in its logic. And

The Ploughshares Round-Down: The State of Poetry in the US

Author: | Categories: Round-Up, Writing No comments
Early last month, PEN International publicly condemned the killing of Thai poet Mainueng K. Kunthee. The poet had been shot to death on April 23rd, presumably because of his public criticisms of the monarchy and Thailand’s lèse majesté law.  Known as a poet of the people, Kunthee was immensely popular; his work “spoke of social justice,

Chucking “Art for Art’s Sake” – Writers and Social Impact

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
One morning in late September, I found myself backstage at the “Annual Day of Peace” in Covington, KY—an event that kicks off October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I’d been asked to perform a song I wrote about my family’s history of domestic violence, and was listening as speakers