Of Grievance and Grief: Marilyn Chin

Though they revolve around hegemonic political critiques, elegy, and grief, nearly all the poems in the collection could be read as love poems.

Where There is Dust, There is Hope

In her debut novel, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor challenges any tidy version of Kenyan history, shaped as it is by colonialism, revolution, corruption, and indefatigable hope.

The Impassive Listener: Rusty Morrison

In her fifth poetry collection, Rusty Morrison explores the confluence of perception and meaning, “The journalist’s temptation of measuring meaning against the display ads.”

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Where There is Dust, There is Hope

At the half-way point of Kenya’s hotly-contested 2007 elections, the challenger Raila Odinga seemed poised to unseat President Mwai Kibaki. Odinga championed a host of Kenyan tribes who felt underrepresented…

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The Impassive Listener: Rusty Morrison

A chainlink is an apt image for the way concepts and objects become a single edifice, the way objects and meaning create boundary and enclosure, the way perception becomes partition…

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Of Grievance and Grief: Marilyn Chin

I first encountered Marilyn Chin’s poetry through a video clip from the San Diego Border Voices Poetry Festival. In the clip Chin—with her wild wavy hair and red lipstick—faces the…

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Built of Voices: Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein

Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein do not appear to share much in the way of common experience. Laymon is a black man from Mississippi; Stein is a white half-Jewish woman…

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6 Meditations Toward an Appreciation of Lynne Savitt

1. To Begin with Freud There’s a famous (or infamous, and possibly apocryphal) Sigmund Freud quote, which is also posthumously attributed and likely offhand: “The great question that has never…

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The Spectre of Gender Equality

In End of Equality, Beatrix Campbell, a British writer and activist, draws upon a career of feminist analysis and agitation to present a brief treatise on gender-based inequality. This book…

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The Public “I” of Julie Otsuka

Few writers of color in the twenty-first century work in the fierce tones of the Black Arts and Red Power movements. Few writers of any race, working in any genre,…

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The Bully, the Buddy, and the Populist Press

Doris Kearns Goodwin is America’s most popular active historian. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (1995),…

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Concern for the Destiny of the Country: Indian Feminist Novels

Indian literary critic Meenakshi Mukherjee has said that the essential concern of the twentieth-century Indian novelist was the changing national scene and the destiny of the country. She was referring…

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404: Identity Not Found

In March 2008, a month shy of his forty-fifth birthday, the critic and poet Reginald Shepherd was battling an aggressive form of colon cancer. The disease had already metastisized to…

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