Electric Literature asks: Was 2014 the year of the essay?

Electric Literature asks: Was 2014 the year of the essay?

This week we’re recommending Jason Diamond’s piece over at Electric Literature posing the question of why, exactly, 2014 seemed to be “the year of the essay.” Citing a wide range of literary memoirs, ranging from the personal to the political, published anywhere from established presses to open-source blogging sites, Diamond...

Mary Karr on reading and The Art of Memoir

This week we recommend an interview with poet and memoirist Mary Karr at The Paris Review, The Art of Memoir No. 1. In the interview, Karr, the author of the memoirs The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit, as well as four volumes of poetry and other works, speaks with Amanda Fortini on the nature of memoir,...
T Clutch Fleischmann asks: But Is It An Essay?

T Clutch Fleischmann asks: But Is It An Essay?

The past few months we’ve been following T Clutch Fleischmann’s blog over at The Kenyon Review, where, in a series of posts titled “But is it an essay?”, Fleischmann has assembled a collection of genre-bending or otherwise esoteric texts: Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present” performance, staged at the Museum of Modern Art, in which...
Silent Histories

Silent Histories

by Carla Dominguez Portraits have always been the most popular type of photography. Besides being an excellent preservation of our history, portraits give us permission to stare at people, quietly learning their stories. Hugh Mangum was a self-taught itinerant photographer from Durham, North Carolina who understood the truth that portraits convey. At the beginning of...
Revisiting Don Belton's "Voodoo for Charles"

Revisiting Don Belton’s “Voodoo for Charles”

This week we’ve been remembering the late writer Don Belton, in particular his essay “Voodoo for Charles,” a touching account of one uncle’s fears and muted hopes for his nephew in the face of overwhelming odds. Taken from a 1995 anthology edited by Belton, Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream, “Voodoo for Charles” tells the story of...

Poet Claudia Emerson Sings of Lost Love

In 2006 Claudia Emerson won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Late Wife. The deeply personal collection ended with reflections on her second marriage, to Kent Ippolito, a musician who had been widowed by cancer. This morning, Emerson died from complications due to cancer. She was 57, and a much-loved professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Broad Street’s...