Ernest Trova World

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe I have always lived in relationship to the objects around me, sharing an intimacy with inert matter that can yield both exhilarating and excruciating results–plastic and primary colors make me feel physically ill (especially in combination), while natural wood or perfectly faded paint can

Laughing into the Abyss

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson My parents went out of their way to warn me about A Serious Man, the most recent film by Joel and Ethan Coen. They’d seen it a week before I did, with several friends from their gated golf community in West Palm Beach, and

In the Spirit of Catherine of Siena

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Guest post by Carol Keeley I grew up in small town in Michigan with thick-armed trees and noble Victorians, lush farm produce, a turn of the century Opera House. It’s leafy, kind, conservative, and typically Midwestern but for the blessed Adrian Dominicans–a tribe of women I sorely wish were

The Art of Half-Hearted Hobbying

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson   A good friend of mine has a theory about the fundamental difference between poets and fiction writers: Poets have hobbies and fiction writers don’t. He happens to be a fiction writer and of course has no hobbies. As further evidence, he names another

The Conceit of Wisdom

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Guest post by Carol Keeley Garrison Keillor kicked the beehive with his recent death-of-publishing op-ed. The reaction was vigorously optimistic, with a little messenger-mocking. The backdrop to this volley was BookExpo America, widely described as funereal. As usual, I agree with everyone. Keillor is right that the era of

My Dinner with Girolamo

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?   This question has always struck me as an annoying and strange litmus test for I know not what. Anyhow, I think I finally have a pat answer I can

Secret Agents

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson Five or six years ago, when I was living alone after a difficult break-up, I had a lot of time on my hands and filled it in part by following the news religiously, reading a dozen websites and blogs every morning before sitting down

Meeting New Orleans

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Guest post by Carol Keeley We land and see palm trees, which baffles me. It’s my first trip to New Orleans. For some reason, I hadn’t pictured palm trees. Immediately, we see houses scarred with post-Katrina markings–the number of bodies, stranded pets, when it was searched. Some are the

Fleas Are for Lovers

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe In high school I bought a lime green velvet pea coat from the garage sale of an elderly woman who lived up the street. Why she owned it in the first place I don’t know, as it was Jimi Hendrix-worthy in its boldness. The

Seeking Asylum

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson I live less than a mile from the Oregon State Hospital, which for many years was known as the Oregon State Insane Asylum. There aren’t many internationally famous landmarks in this sleepy capital city, but film buffs all over the world know it as