Rebecca Solnit Archive

The Cocoon and the Vista: Rebecca Solnit and Czeslaw Milosz on Vastness

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Both Solnit and Milosz transform picturesque vistas into fully alive places on the page. Their methods are instructive not only for writing about place, but as tools for toggling between any set of Big Questions and the particulars of moving as a body through streets.

Out with T.S. Eliot, and In with Cathy Park Hong: Poetry Criticism in the 21st Century

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
The debate about whether Rupi Kaur’s poetry (and by extension, the whole genre dubbed “instapoetry”) is good or bad has apparently been revived. Whether that debate is actually useful in the terms it has set out for itself remains to be seen. Most often, it seems, when the poet

The Poetics of Bewilderment

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
Perhaps it’s paradoxical to want to define bewilderment, much less bewilderment as a poetics, given that the word generally refers to a state of confusion, an unmooring from the resolute signifiers that compose our comfortable, if not tidal and illusory, understanding of reality.

Getting Lost with Rebecca Solnit

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
Prior to reading Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, I had assumed it was about getting lost in the physical sense, for the sake of exploring and enjoying the natural world. It is not that.

12 Books To Help You Survive 2017 And the Trump Era

Author: | Categories: Authors, Reading No comments
Many of us will need to cope with, resist, or try to understand (or all of the above) Trump in 2017. So, below are 12 books—one per month—that can help with those unexpected projects.

On Movement: the Writer as Walker

Many writers have explored the pleasures of walking, including the likes of Virginia Woolf and Amy Hempel. There is a whole canon that depicts and analyzes the connection between moving through geographical terrains and mental ones.

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “The Habits of Highly Cynical People” by Rebecca Solnit

Author: | Categories: Series, Writing No comments
There are many benefits of cynicism. But there’s also a certain kind of knee-jerk, armchair cynicism that lets those who subscribe to it reduce complex political and social events to doomed exercises in futility, and to pretend to know the totality of their worth. That kind of thinking is

The Words Beneath the Sound: Music Inspired by Literature

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
As Virginia Woolf famously observed, the best writing often begins with a rhythmical “wave in the mind,” an inner tempo around which syntax and diction are arranged, a guiding beat of artistic intuition that, when struck upon, makes it nearly impossible to set down the wrong word. Other writers

The Books We Teach #7: Interview with Beth Kephart

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments
The Books We Teach series will feature primary, secondary, and post-secondary educators and their thoughts about literature in the face of an evolving classroom. Posts will highlight literary innovations in teaching, contemporary literature’s place in pedagogy, and the books that writers teach. In the spirit of educational dynamism, we

Literary Boroughs #9: Berkeley, California

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 17 Comments
The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section. The