Poetry as a Tool for Organizing Communities (On Lewis MacAdams’s Birthday)

By | October 12, 2020

Guest post by Nate Mickelson Born October 12, 1944, the poet and activist Lewis MacAdams passed away in Los Angeles in April 2020 after a long illness. He was a champion of everyday people and an advocate for forging connections between the built and natural environments of the city. MacAdams served for thirty years as the director of Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), a community organization he… Read More »

Writing and Editing The Tough Alchemy of Ben Okri

By | September 29, 2020

Guest post by Rosemary Alice Gray The publication of my monograph entitled, The Tough Alchemy of Ben Okri: The writer as conceptual artist fell about a week before my 80th birthday, auspiciously 20 August 2020. Since I discovered the works of Nigerian-born Londoner, Ben Okri (OBE), who has invested his lifeblood at the rock face of… Read More »

Preparing to Explore Weird Fiction in Lovecraft Country

By | August 13, 2020

Based on a novel by the same name, Lovecraft Country is a drama-horror series set to premiere on HBO this weekend. The story will take you back to the 1950s as you follow Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors), his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) through Jim Crow America in search of Atticus’s missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). But as the characters embark on an unexpected road trip, they encounter a… Read More »

Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Closed Space

By | June 4, 2020

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about confinement.

How many steps from my desk to the fridge? (seven) How many from the fridge to the bathroom? (twelve) How many times per day do I track this route?

In October 1954, Samuel Beckett too was thinking of confinement. He was reading a letter from German prisoner Karl-Franz Lembke, who had translated, rehearsed and staged Beckett’s debut play, Waiting for Godot, behind bars. Beckett was clearly moved, as we can see in his response: