Category Archives: Essays

Joy Trumps Fear?: How Photographs Perpetuate Feelings in Political Dissent

By Marta Zarzycka   

A recent Saturday morning in Austin started with coffee and breakfast tacos with friends, followed by a walk downtown to join more friends at the March for Science. Many of us, including my four-year-old daughter, were carrying signs with witty slogans. Others were pushing strollers, and some had prepared by reading things like the online Activist Mama’s Guide to Taking Kids to a March. Singing, chanting, pointing to people dressed in white lab coats and Star Trek costumes, or carrying large periodic tables, chatting with strangers similarly equipped with babies, strollers, and signs — the mood was joyful, even if the issues the march addressed, such as climate change or infectious disease research, could not have been more weighty. Anger at the Trump administration, while hardly absent, did not set the tone. Instead, we celebrated the righteousness of our positions and our feeling of strength in numbers. It was 70 degrees and sunny: even the weather was on our side. Continue reading

An Evening with Mary Gaitskill and the Los Angeles Review of Books

By Sophie Browner

Two weekends ago, the Los Angeles Review of Books hosted Mary Gaitskill at Editor-in-Chief Tom Lutz’s home for an evening of samosas, reading, and conversation. I first fell in love with Gaitskill in college when I read her debut collection of short stories, Bad Behavior. Reading Gaitskill for the first time was like the first puff of a cigarette. It felt illicit, invigorating. Continue reading

The Art of the Cover-Up

By James Rushing Daniel

In recent weeks, the already beleaguered Trump administration has become embroiled in yet another complement of scandals. On May 9, in what is now ancient news, Trump abruptly fired F.B.I. Director James Comey, interrupting an ongoing F.B.I. investigation into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign. It has subsequently been alleged that Trump had previously asked Comey to drop the investigation, what may constitute obstruction of justice if proven. On Friday, the New York Times also reported that in a closed-door meeting with Sergey Lavrov and Sergei Kislyak on May 10, Trump shared code word Israeli intelligence, referred to F.B.I. Director James Comey as “a real nut job,” and suggested that Comey was fired to alleviate “great pressure” on the administration. Continue reading

Not Forgotten: On the Sonoran Poet Abigael Bohórquez (1936-1995)

By Anthony Seidman

Last year, the Mexican poet Mijail Lamas organized a reading for my third collection of poetry, A Sleepless Man Sits Up in Bed (Eyewear).  The event took place in the Bhutanese-style library at the University of Texas in El Paso, where I had completed a bilingual MFA in 1997. After the reading, I found myself in Mijail’s small apartment, surrounded by piles of books.  I had been pestering him about obscure poets from the northern desert or borderlands of Mexico. Mijail pulled a thick tome from the top of a book tower. With the air of someone who prefers to stay silent until the moment is right, he opened Poesía reunida e inédita, a collection by Abigael Bohórquez (1936-1995), who, despite the many years he had spent in the nation’s capital, was decidedly a poet from the north. He was Sonoran in tone, his voice resonated with the languid strains of marginalization. He was also openly gay. Mijail intoned the music of Bohórquez with a dark bottle of Victoria beer in his left hand, and his right waving back and forth like a conductor’s sans baton. Continue reading