Friday, November 2, 2012

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying...

Issues 4 and 5 of Barn Owl Review, especially the poems from Nin Andrews (“Sisters,” and “Why God Is a Woman” in Issue 4).

This interview with Kristina Marie Darling from the Barn Owl Review blog. I love what she says about using historical sources and research as inspiration:

The best advice I can give is this: don't be afraid to edit, rewrite, and fictionalize these sources.  Many contemporary poets find inspiration in historical subject matter, but they're hesitant to change the materials they find for their own purposes.  They feel like they won't do justice to their chosen subject by rewriting history.  I've definitely been guilty of these things myself.  But this kind of mindset makes it extremely difficult for the writer to showcase their own voice, style, and vision in a research-based project.   

“At the Mall,” by John R. Campbell in Terrain (Fall 2012).

“My Multiday Massage-a-Thon,” by John Jeremiah Sullivan in the NY Times.


  1. That Times article is clever and fun. So many great lines, like this one:

    "Faux-wise passive-aggressive hippie maxims always seem true and wounding in the moment." : )

    Always great to see what snags your interest, Hannah. Thanks for the links.

  2. I expropriated an idea from the interview with Darling here, but I especially liked the John Ron Campbell essay. Anyone who can weave in Orpheus, Thoreau, Walter Benjamin and Arthur Waley seamlessly into a “scrawny” essay – and still sound like a dispatch from modern-day America – deserves my respect. I loved the insight about McMansions emulating mall architecture, and what are we to do now about that now-outdated ostentation. Campbell seems a good heir as essayist to David Foster Wallace, but I can’t say the same for Mr. Sullivan, who is more consciously mimicking Wallace’s style. I found his piece ghastly, with every wrong-headed cliché about massage, alternative healing and men’s callousness toward same all wrapped up into the standard NY Times prose style of equal parts arrogance and stupidity. A good reminder of why I stopped reading newspapers, if nothing else.


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