Thursday, August 3, 2017
This All Things Considered piece from 2006 examines Emma Lazarus' place in American letters. Stephen Miller's denial of any standing for her poem "The New Colossus" yesterday since it was added to the statue many years after the statue was built made me remember how great this poem really is, whether it has any official standing or not.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Anita Velez-Mitchell's play Temple of the Souls is being performed off-Broadway July 19-23! For more information, see the play's website. Anita was a contributor to the Scapegoat Press anthology Woven Voices. From the website, what people are saying about the play: “Temple of the Souls is a story of forbidden love set deep in the mystical forest of Puerto Rico. A tour guide leads visitors through sacred grounds into an a ancient cave inhabited by Taíno spirits, the indigenous people who once ruled the island. Two tourist are magically transported back in time to relive the story of star-crossed lovers, Guario, a young Taíno runaway, and Amada, the daughter of a Conquistador. They meet at the joyous San Juan Bautista Fiesta, which quickly turns into a carnival of danger as they face racism and greed. Their love is stronger than death and they escape to the top of El Yunque mountain, and the Temple of the Souls, where nightmares and dreams come true."
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Writers Place is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and I was just looking at an article about its 20th anniversary that appeared in KC Studio magazine in 2012. The article opens with a description of an event celebrating Scapegoat's Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriqueña Poets Look at Their American Lives, by Anita Vélez-Mitchell, Gloria Vando, and Anika Paris (edited by Linda Rodriguez). Though Anita is no longer with us, her influence continues to be felt. More about her in my next post.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
This week, the New York Times featured reflections by Rivka Galchen and Anna Holmes considering the boundaries and challenges of cultural appropriation. One thing that both writers clearly understand and respect is that artistic creation carries responsibilities for the artist. It reminds me that there is no true freedom without responsibility--they are flip sides to each other,
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Kathleen Ossip offers a perceptive comment in Electric Literature on the importance of poetry. I love her observation that "After all, the New York Times never asks 'Does football matter?' or 'Do restaurants matter?' or 'Does television matter?'”