Books

Post image for Reader’s Diary: ‘In the Empire of the Air: The Poems of Donald Britton’

When I wandered ingenuously onto the scene, Donald Britton was a young star, or so I considered him, just a few years older than me (actually a bit more than a few, it turns out — he always looked so boyish) yet somehow wiser.

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Post image for The Many Pleasures of Reading Donald Britton’s Poems

This slim volume of poetry might stir up the tears you have been keeping inside you, especially if, like me, you are old enough to remember the 1980s and the AIDS epidemic, the seemingly endless roll call of people you knew and didn’t know who died horribly.

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Post image for The Politics of Seeing, Being, and Visibility in Photography

It doesn’t seem right to call the latest issue of Aperture — its first issue dedicated to African American lives as represented by the medium of photography — a magazine. It is a powerhouse book; it does so much heavy lifting.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Man Ray’s ‘Writings on Art’

Jennifer Mundy acknowledges in her Preface to Man Ray’s Writings on Art that, compared to his friends Duchamp and Picabia, he has come to be seen as something of a lightweight.

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Post image for The Artists and Activists Who’ve Aimed at the Roots of Injustice

A few years ago I was covering a panel discussion for Hyperallergic featuring members of Gran Fury, an ACT UP affinity group focused primarily on producing what group members themselves called “propaganda” against a government hellbent on isolating, vilifying, and smugly looking on as tens of thousands of their citizens died of AIDS.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: ‘Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners’

What happens when you cross the perfervid emotionalism of Edna St. Vincent Millay, she of the candle burning at both ends, with Charles Olson’s idea, distilled out of William Carlos Williams, of a projective verse imbued with “the breathing of the man who writes” (and I suppose it is very emphatically a man who writes the poetry that Olson had in mind)?

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BooksWeekend

Arthur Vogelsang Takes Us into Orbit

by John Yau on June 12, 2016

Post image for Arthur Vogelsang Takes Us into Orbit

Being a poet in America is like being a submarine: you might be seen when you pop up, and, as a rule, people don’t go looking for you.

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Post image for See the Smithsonian Archive’s Collection of Artists’ Handwritten Letters

Whatever skeptics may say about the pseudoscience of graphology (handwriting analysis), it’s hard to deny that handwriting expresses feeling and style — especially, in many cases, when it’s the handwriting of an artist. Georgia O’Keeffe’s bold, squiggly lines and lack of punctuation ignored conventions of grammar and penmanship.

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Post image for Reader’s Diary: Catherine Texier’s ‘Russian Lessons’

It’s so hard to read a friend’s book without prejudice.

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Post image for A Visual Homage to Brutalist Behemoths

Even while major Brutalist structures face preservation issues — like Marcel Breuer’s Central Library in Atlanta, whose fate is being decided now — the aesthetic of these concrete-based buildings continues to gain in popularity.

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