Film Review: Paterson

Paterson

Paterson written and directed by Jim Jarmusch (Amazon Studios, K5 International, Inkjet Productions, R, 118 min) Starring Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Rizwan Manji, Barry Shabaka Henley, Chasten Harmon, and William Jackson Harper. On the Quotidian Collectively, we need to reappraise the quotidian. In our pursuit of the next titillating meme, status update, or app notification, the simple pleasures of life seem to disintegrate like salt upon contact with boiling water. It’s ok to be bored. No. I’ll suggest a stronger statement. BOREDOM IS A VIRTUE. Now, a mind left in idle should never be the only aim. That said, the mundanity of life expands the subconscious atmosphere, opening our minds to creative juices left dormant when we’re always plugged in…. Read More →

Book Review: Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems

Pictures from Brueghel by William Carlos Williams

Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems: Collected Poems 1950-1962 by William Carlos Williams (New York: New Directions, 1962. 184 pp) Born in Rutherford, New Jersey, William Carlos Williams studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. While his primary occupation was a family doctor, William Carlos Williams had a successful secondary career as a poet. Williams won the first National Book Award for Poetry and was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 1963. All that Jazz Even though I’ve critically consumed copious amounts of music over the years, I don’t know what to do with Jazz. The very thing I enjoy about critical reflection surrounds the narrative and structure of any given piece. Jazz, by definition, represents the very… Read More →

Book Review: Zoli

Zoli by Colum McCan

Zoli: A Novel by Colum McCann (New York: Random House, 2006. 368 pp) Colum McCann was born in Ireland in 1965. He is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. He has been the recipient of many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has been published in over 35 languages. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children. He teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. Exploring the Unknown One of the… Read More →

Book Review: The Hundred-Year House

The Hundred-Year House

The Hundred-Year House: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai (New York: Viking, 2014. 352 pp) Rebecca Makkai’s first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, and an O, The Oprah Magazine selection. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, and New England Review, and has been selected four times for The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, she lives in Chicago and Vermont. The History of Place I live in a house nearing its one-hundredth birthday. I am aware of a few of the inhabitants before me, perhaps 5 years worth of residency. The people meandering these rooms for the other 95 years are left to the imagination…. Read More →

Book Review: Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet

Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet (Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2005. 532 pp) Lydia Millet has a master’s in environmental policy from Duke University. Her 2002 novel, My Happy Life, won the PEN-USA Award. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. In Appreciation of Beauty Radiohead introduced the computer age with the masterpiece of a record, OK Computer. It balanced pop accessibility with complicated song structures and intricate production. The hit single, “Karma Police” defines everything about this record. It starts off as a beautiful, artistic piece of music; it strategically ends with the music falling apart. The point being, our identity becomes unhinged the more we let the computer run our lives. If we let, we might spiral out… Read More →

Book Review: No Thanks

No Thanks by E. E. Cummings

No Thanks by E. E. Cummings (New York: Liveright, 1998; originally published in 1935. 288 pp) Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, E. E. Cummings was a poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. His many awards included an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Bollingen Prize. Fueling Art The intersection between creativity and philosophy functions as the most efficient fuel for art. Our view of the world and the way we express our beliefs about it translate remarkably well into deep and beautiful art. Alternatively, art also works well as criticism. Those positions—philosophical, political, theological—can become rather absurd when taken to logical conclusions. Think Orwell’s work… Read More →

Book Review: Stag’s Leap

Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds

Stag’s Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.  112 pp) Born in San Francisco, Sharon Olds graduated from Stanford University and earned a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. Olds teaches creative writing at New York University. Her work has received many awards including a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the San Francisco Poetry Center Award. 16 Stories There’s a story about how people meet. I met my wife in the union building at the University of Washington. My parents met at a Halloween party. Some relationships are an obvious result of a connection—school, church, or work. A friendship emerges; first impressions become lasting relationships. Other relationships are serendipitous. Aziz… Read More →

Book Review: Collected Poems

Collected Poems by Dylan Thomas

Collected Poems by Dylan Thomas (New York: New Directions, 2010; originally published in 1953. 240 pp) The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) compiled his Collected Poems as the capstone of his career to date, but died tragically before its publication. The collection has become the standard volume of the poet’s work. Thomas influenced countless artists such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Annie Clark (her stage name, St. Vincent, is the name of the hospital where Thomas died). Taking Time to Experience the Known Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I feel as if I know Mt. Si. An iconic rock formation in the Cascade foothills, it is an easily identified landmark signifying entrance into the mountains through Interstate 90…. Read More →

Book Review: Crux

Crux by Jeremiah Webster (Unpublished, 2012. 57 pp) Jeremiah Webster is currently an english professor at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. He holds a PhD from The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, as well as a M.F.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry from Eastern Washington University, and a M.I.T. from Whitworth University. His poetry has appeared in such publications as The Crab Creek Review, Dappled Things, REAL, and The North American Review. He lives in Kirkland, WA with his wife and children.   Speaking to the Soul Poetry’s ultimate purpose is to speak through the heart to another’s soul. This simple statement is perhaps why I have such an incredibly hard time critiquing or reviewing poetry. A poem, I feel, when written correctly,… Read More →