Essays

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A Tale of Two Poets: Aridjis and Tranströmer

This is the tale of an intercontinental friendship between two poets, one from a land where the sun sometimes shines at midnight, the other from a country where centuries ago…

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Greater Boston Writers Resist

Jan 16, 2017  |  Hundreds of Greater Boston residents convened at the Boston Public Library yesterday for a demonstration of shared commitment to the rights and values essential to a democracy….

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Loving Kristeva: a Memoir

Media images of Philipe Sollers have portrayed him as a womanizer, and the multiple self-images he has created in his writing since the 1983 novel Femmes confirmed casual readers of his fiction…

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Women Writing in 21st Century Brazil: Experimentation and Narratives of Self

There were days when Dita hid all the papers (Ruth Ducaso/Luciany Aparecida).   Brief considerations on writing by contemporary women authors I start this essay with the opening words of…

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The Trobriand Tower of Babel

In late November 1978, a small plane went missing after it left Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province in Papua New Guinea. The plane was en route to Losuia,…

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Meskwaki Warparty: an Oral History

This war story was written in the Meskwaki language by Alfred Kiyana in about 1915 on the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County, Iowa. It is among some 27,000 pages of…

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Tina Chow’s Articulate Silence

Tina Chow’s Kyoto and Saturn bracelets I was exuberant when I first imagined writing this essay. I have been obsessed with Tina Chow for years. When asked why, I was…

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Words and Flesh: Observations on the American Soul

When you land in the United States, you can observe from a distance the world you are supposed to enter. For more than thirty years I lived in the opaque…

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Something in My Pocket: Bakhtin, Freud, and South Park

  South Park is obscenely violent, purposely grotesque, it holds nothing sacred, it is racist, sexist, homophobic as well as heterophobic, and abuses people of every political and demographic persuasion,…

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It Sang Itself Utterly Away: the Presence of the Poet

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with memory. Maybe I shouldn’t say lately, because I’ve always been obsessed with memory—mostly my own memories. One second I am brushing my teeth and the…

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