“The Joshua Tree” to the Grand Canyon: A Road Trip

By Channing Sargent

In August of 1987, my parents, my older sister and I drove from Riverton, Utah to the Grand Canyon. U2’s The Joshua Tree had come out in March. It was one of only two albums we had in the car with us. The other was Paul Simon’s Graceland, released exactly one year earlier. My sister, who, at 15, epitomized New Wave, with multi-hued, brow-high eyeshadow and sky-high winged bangs, insisted on U2 over Simon, always concerned with her cool-factor. In our white 1984 Toyota Tercel, we turned the cassette tape over and over again, listening to it repeatedly.

I have scaled these city walls / Only to be with you
But I still haven’t found / What I’m looking for Continue reading

At the Intersection of Korea and Mongolia: the Uncompromising Stories of Jeon Sungtae’s Wolves

By Charles Montgomery

In the past, Korean literature has had a strong tendency towards painful navel-gazing, being more or less defined by the traumas native to Korea at the time. At the turn of the 20th century, authors, naturalistic ones like Kim Tongin as well as more “visionary” ones such as Yi Kwangsu, rallied behind the flag of “modernism.” When Japan invaded and overtook Korea, the literature shifted toward concealed (and sometimes not so concealed) explorations of the effects of colonialism and national powerlessness. With the end of World War II and the brief interregnum of “liberation,” literature turned toward a Korean future, sometimes also exploring the meaning of the colonial and collaborative past. After the split of Korea and its Civil War came almost nothing but pundan munhak, or literature of separation. Similarly, when Park Chung-hee frogmarched Korea into the modern economic era, writers examined the political, social, and economic costs of this great leap forward. Continue reading

The Beirut-Paris Express: Yasmine Hamdan on Tour

By Jordan Elgrably

When we spoke, Yasmine Hamdan was on her way to major concert dates in Oslo and Copenhagen, before heading to a five-city U.S. tour and then on to Germany and Russia. She is an Arab singer-songwriter with a haunting voice and the personality of a social critic. To hear her tell it, she has fiercely marched to her own beat since she was an unruly “weird” child growing up in Beirut, Kuwait, and Greece. Yet you may not know her name, unless you spotted her as the sultry singer in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire flick, Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). Continue reading

No Single Kind of Discourse Will Be Believable By Itself: Talking to Susan Gevirtz

By Andy Fitch

This conversation focuses on Susan Gevirtz’s hybrid critical collection Coming Events. From her childhood experiences on the Universal Studios set, to her graduate-school assignment TA-ing for Norman O. Brown in UC-Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness program, to her incisive editorial trajectory at HOW(ever), her pedagogical engagements at California College of the Arts, and her current residency at Headlands Center for the Arts, Gevirtz has participated within and helped to shape some of California’s most influential interdisciplinary institutions. As a result, it seemed only fitting for our discussion to track philosophical, scholarly, cinematic, novelistic, poetic, performative, and architectural concerns often within a single exchange. Gevirtz’s publications include Nightboat’s Hotel abc, as well as the poetry books Aerodrome Orion & Starry Messenger (Kelsey Street, 2010); Broadcast (Trafficker, 2009); Thrall (Post-Apollo, 2007); and Hourglass Transcripts (Burning Deck, 2001); and the critical study Narrative’s Journey: The Fiction and Film Writing of Dorothy Richardson (Peter Lang, 1996). Amid these ongoing omnivorous explorations, Coming Events’s deft assemblage of a wide-ranging inquiry, combined with Gevirtz’s lucid, generous, engaging live presence, couldn’t help but prompt constructive conversation. Continue reading

Dick Gregory’s Searing Humor is Brought to Life in Turn Me Loose

By Michael Lorenzo Porter

“It was in the New York Times that there are 1.5 million black men missing. They are not in jail. I couldn’t imagine where they went until I saw the movie Get Out.”  

That’s Dick Gregory from his September 2017 biography, Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies, who, with his acerbic humor, became one of the preeminent comedic voices of the civil rights era. Continue reading

Drinking with the Ghost: Rainer Maria Rilke at Café Sperl

By Katie Orphan

It is a rainy day in Vienna when I escape into the warmth and dryness of Café Sperl for my planned assignation with Rainer Maria Rilke. Making plans with dead authors is easy — I can meet with them at the time and place of my choosing, as long as I have my book in tow. For my meeting with Rilke, I resisted buying a book at the bookstore where I work, and instead sought one out in Vienna as a memento of my visit. Continue reading

Health’s Social Determinants: Nurses Are Key to Addressing Factors for Better Outcomes

By Susan Swider

Harry was 75-years-old, with heart disease, leg ulcers, and mental confusion. He lived with Violet; their relationship was never clear to me, but she cared for him, and received his Social Security check to help her do so. She lived in a drafty old house with three big dogs — and Harry.

As his visiting nurse, I often found Harry naked in a filthy bed, with dog feces on the floor, and his urinary catheter pulled out. Violet was belligerent and unwilling to talk with me about how to care for Harry. Continue reading