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America

Children in America

December 3, 2020

go to the library to learn how to administer NARCAN
to stop their mother or father’s heart from overdosing. 

The Math of Living

December 3, 2020

I’ve been working for the Chicago Tribune for about a year when it strikes me that I will go home in six months. The ticket has been booked, and I’m ready. My boss has reviewed the JavaScript code and made his updates for the day. The code is in production. 

<i>Honeyland</i>. Directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska. Apolo Media/Trice Films, 2019. 85 minutes.

The Real Real

September 8, 2020

Are there still documentaries? A glance at this year’s Oscar nominees, a thriving festival circuit, and my own Netflix history makes the answer plain. And yet the question persists. It squats at the end of long days spent consuming “real” images and “true” stories, navigating the apps and feeds animated by user content, the video-driven news homepages, the platforms that upload hundreds of vlogs and tutorials each minute. It confronts those who spend the same long days being captured, consensually and otherwise, by the cameras surrounding us, embedded in the screens we use to watch other people eat, unbox, talk into their bathroom mirrors, and react to other people in other videos. A world in which reality is screened by definition would seem to pose a threat to a genre rooted in its claim on real life. What now distinguishes documentary from the air we breathe? 

Bloody Knuckles

September 8, 2020

The waiting room was small, not much more than a large cubicle with a coffee machine, a couple of televisions, and maybe twenty other parents, all of us equally nervous and trying not to show it. A better artist than me might’ve been able to capture it with his brush, the anxiety like a physical object that each one of us carried. I had been there nearly an hour when Karen called. I walked toward one of the room’s corners, as much privacy as I could find, and whispered hello.

How He Changed over Time

September 8, 2020

He used to play the violin, but then, as his fingers thickened and lost some of their agility, he became frustrated by trying to play, and then bored by it. 

National Interests

September 8, 2020

On July 30, 2020, we invited Anuradha Bhagwati, Jamelle Bouie, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Jason Stanley to discuss our current state of affairs and a few of the larger political themes that animate them.

<i>Sight Lines</i>. By Arthur Sze. Copper Canyon, 2019. 80p. PB, $16.

“Alone with America”

Much has changed in America and American poetry in the nearly forty years since Richard Howard published his expanded edition of 1969’s Alone With America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States Since 1950. The 1980 table of contents itself tells a significant tale of those changes: forty-one poets under consideration, six of them women, not one a person of color.


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