Category Archives: Events

The Pleasures of the Glimpse: On Dirk Braeckman at the Venice Biennale

By Kaya Genc

Inside the Belgian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, it is the vast whiteness of the space that strikes you first. The interior of the recently renovated pavilion resembles a hospital, a place devoted to purity, a sanctuary for healing. Then the gaze shifts its focus onto images: Dirk Braeckman’s dark canvases feature bodies, natural formations, surfaces of things so dark that they seem indiscernible from their backgrounds. Rarely has the contrast between space and artwork influenced me quite this way, certainly no other pavilion in the world’s leading art event had come close to the experience. Continue reading

Alexander Woollcott’s Memorial of Father Francis Duffy of New York’s 69th Regiment

By John Romano 

This piece was written by Alexander Woollcott, New Yorker drama critic and Algonquin wit, one night in 1932, after attending the funeral at St. Patrick’s of Father Francis Duffy, the most famous army chaplain in World War I, who at the age of 46 had volunteered for service in France with New York’s Fighting 69th Regiment. Woolcott’s tribute to Duffy was the more surprising because Woolcott, the model for Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner, was not only notoriously caustic and acerbic but also an outspoken atheist. But: “There were many of us there today,” Woolcott wrote of the funeral, “heathens like myself, who without belonging to his outfit, had nevertheless been attached to him for rations — of the spirit … While we waited, my own thoughts jumped back to that desperate October in 1918 when his regiment, the old 69th of New York, was cut to ribbons in the Argonne …” Continue reading

10 Ways to Celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

By Sarah Maugaotega

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was first celebrated in May of 1990. Since then, the achievements and contributions by these communities have been commemorated each year. An important part of any culture are the stories, legends, and tales that have been carried from generation to generation, which stand as the cornerstone of these cultures and reflect the different histories that have shaped the communities into what they are today. Below is a list of 10 books to read this month (or any month), to learn the history and stories of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and celebrate the authors that write them. 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

Shedding the Light — The House in Scardale: A Memoir for the Stage

By Dinah Lenney

“I’ve been trying to write about my family. Our family. Like it’s a mystery, which it is to me. Trying to answer the question of, you know — What happened?
– Dan, in The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage

I’m trying to answer a question, too — the question of, you know, why do I love this play as much as I do? What makes this play — now running (in its world premiere) at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena — so moving? So exciting, so engaging, so affirming, so, so, so — so goodContinue reading

How LitFest Pasadena Got Rolling

By Jervey Tervalon, Literary Director of LitFest Pasadena

LitFest Pasadena came into being because I used to go to the Squaw Valley Writers Conference when it was fun by the late Oakley Hall, my former professor in UC Irvine’s MFA program. As a writer it was what I looked forward to more than almost anything else in my literary life. Oakley started Squaw Valley Writers Conference, I was told, because he wanted to see his writer friends and this was a good way of doing it. That sense of community was genuine and cathartic. Continue reading

Junot Díaz Talks Civic Duty, Dystopias, and Lunching with Obama

By Pamela Avila 

Sinkholes, mudslides, and the closing and flooding of freeways in L.A. didn’t stop a crowd from filling up every single seat at Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) on February 17. It was a full house, with more waiting in the standby line for tickets; it seems no one minded the trek to DTLA for an evening with current Katie Jacobson Writer-In-Residence at CalArts, Junot Díaz. Continue reading

Nowruz at UCLA

By Orly Minazad

Tehrangeles is aflutter with the advent of the Persian New Year — Nowruz — on March 21st. Eager celebrants might have watched truckloads of potted Hyacinths dressed in colorful wrapping being unloaded for Jordan Market on Westwood Boulevard. Up and down the street store displays are decked out with the Iranian flag, painted eggs and figurines of our very own Santa Clause, Haji Firuz. It’s the most wonderful time of the year in LA’s Persian Square, and everyone’s invited to the party. Continue reading