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While one sister in the play appears to reject the traditions of Sri Lankan culture, her loyalty to her family ties her to wanting to change their lives, in addition to her own, while the sister who is culturally more conservative becomes subsumed within a nationalistic cause that, paradoxically, dictates a much more radical upending of societal structures.

What makes people cling to the idea of racial purity and fear miscegenation? It included a black-and-white print from a previous century that claimed to portray the differences between Serbs and Croats: one as a fair-haired, elegant cavalryman and the other as a brooding, near-simian hulk on foot. It would be comforting to think that these are just historical artifacts, but there were similar posters distributed in public spaces in Sri Lanka, not so long ago, aiming to depict the distinguishing physical characteristics of the enemy. The myth of racial purity is something that has penetrated the histories of most countries at a very profound level.

As for establishing trust across these divides, I still believe that this is possible. I think that so many of our fears are based on a failure of imagination, of getting stuck seeing things through a limited perspective, without considering an alternative. We swallow the myth of racial purity because contemplating complexity, even when the physical evidence is all around us in plain view, is simply too daunting. We are constantly looking for the world to be parsed into heroes and villains; by demarcating the evil of the other, we absolve ourselves of our own failings.

MJ Does art play a role in establishing trust and breaking through fear? PS I feel that, like so many other human devices, art can be a double-edged sword. It can be used to promulgate disturbing political fictions, like the posters I mentioned, or it can be used to challenge the status quo, to make that leap of imagination that transcends the boundaries of quotidian thinking.

Perhaps the most exciting service art can provide our communities is in helping us to see through the eyes of others, despite our own fears. In the poem, language is both a common bond trust and an instrument of violence fear. Could you talk about that experience and the poem? PS The poem touches on a recurring experience: that of catching sight of a stranger, on a crowded street, of wanting to approach her because she looks like she might be Sri Lankan, only to find that language can be treacherous.

Asking such basic questions may only serve to conjure up the ghosts of a troubled past, and when so many Sri Lankans have arrived in the West as illegal immigrants, the sudden questions of a stranger can be terrifying. And so, you find yourself on a busy city street, wanting to reach out to someone who reminds you of people you once knew, someone who is probably looking at you with the same questions in her eyes, and finding that war continues to hold both of you as prisoners of silence.

Sadly, this experience is not one that is unique to Sri Lankans. My other main project, at the moment, is an article, cowritten with Robert Hass, on the intersection between poetry and cognitive science. In a sense, poetry serves as the perfect mental gym.

As Oxford Becomes More Diverse, So Does ‘Oxford Poetry’

Her poetry has appeared in newspapers, magazines, university texts, and anthologies. She has given readings on national radio in several countries, and her work has been featured at the United Nations.

Also a cognitive scientist, Sundaralingam is interested in the confluence of science and art. Now, it's up to you. The polls are closed and we're delighted to announce the winners.

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See the winners and runners-up in each category. She has exhibited in the U. In April , she became and founded the first artist-in-residence at the Lotus House Shelter for women and children in Overtown, Miami. The best thing we can do is go on with our daily routine.

It feels like the nadir of has swung to the other side and we might be at that self appearance-obsessed apex again now. As for a definitive moment, I would say when I was a sophomore in high school, my mom, who is a writer, bought me several books of poetry by Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Edna St.

Vincent Millay, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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I devoured them and took every literature course and creative writing class I could after that. As an angsty teenager, reading these books coupled with taking a lot of hallucinogenic drugs, really taught me how to think about navigating through the world as a choice of words. I created a machine that shoots the ubiquitous police barricade. Ricocheting off the steel bars, the barricade becomes a physical shield, protecting the crowd from harm's way, while psychologically experiencing the violence.


  • Colonel Gaddafi’s Hat Short (Collins Shorts, Book 8).
  • Reading Progress.
  • Michael Jackson.

The work viscerally captures today's political and protest climate driven by fear and violence. When I was in school, I was reading my work several times a month. I found that process to be very performative- co-creating the meaning of poems in the public realm- which eventually led me to study poets who are performance artists.

This research caused a major shift in my making- the poems turned into performances and the photography transitioned into video. Time now entered the work in a different way. I would still consider myself a poet - however now as a performance, video, and installation artist I am making what I think of as visual poems.

I still subscribe to the sparse economy of words that poems employ but apply it to a visual language. A large part of my process is coupling poetic imagination with technique. The New School Creative Writing Program is proud to announce its list of alumni and faculty book publications. The list includes publications from the "Big Four" publishing houses, university presses, and independent publishers. All four genres of study offered by the MFA in Creative Writing Program are represented: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults.

Each year, the Creative Writing Program celebrates these authors with its annual book party. This event is free and open to all with RSVP. Jeff T. Tadzio Koelb, Trenton Makes , Doubleday. Seth Kugel, Rediscovering Travel , W. Katie Stevens '07, Fake , Bloomsbury. Allison Yarrow, 90's Bitch , HarperCollins. Shelley Jackson, Riddance , Catapult. Caron Levis, Stop That Yawn! So many juicy villains to choose from! It's damage that calls us to villainous figures, isn't it?

As Oxford Becomes More Diverse, So Does ‘Oxford Poetry’ – Chicago Review of Books

Browning's Duke of Ferrara? Ai's oeuvre of pedophile priests and abusive husbands? The wily, deceitful, dissimulating progenitor of all evil deserves his place at the top of the heap. As for protagonists--the sorrowful voice of Keats' odes, filled with pathos and mortality and love for the ephemeral world is my first thought. My second is Mrs. Other than pop music, books and writing were all I really knew as a kid.

Been at it ever since. I used to think that I had to wait for inspiration to strike me--snakebite, thunderbolt, a gift from the gods--but that turned out to be Sweet Fantasy. I've owned up to the fact that writing is hard work, and that if I don't get going first thing in the morning, I'll find other things to do. If I want to do something as challenging and extreme as spending days putting words on pages, I have to keep focused.

The key to perseverance is discipline. Lastly, Victoria is a connoisseur of all things Black girl magic! One of my favorite villains is the Warden in Holes by Louis Sachar. She made her nail polish from rattlesnake venom and I love a nice red nail color. My writing is always best when I just break all the rules and play as much as I can. My writing process has changed in a spiritual and meditative way.

I meditate a lot more now and it helps me develop character, sound, and tone in my poetry and short stories. For me so much is voice, and subversions of voice. So probably my favorite protagonist in literature is Molloy, from the Beckett novel of the same name.

Do we ever know? Freshman year of high school transformed my life. On alternate weekends he also insisted we write critical essays and short stories. I wrote my first published piece for him — a school magazine essay on Malcolm X and Eldridge Cleaver. Lots of things.


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  6. Perhaps too many. My main project is a book about Bob Dylan — Dylan since the early s, a book about his self-reinvention via continual touring, writing a memoir, a film, and a new collaged way of writing songs. An autobiographical tone, if not necessarily personal subject matter — that, plus lots of ghosts.