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Online Only, posted 12.16.14
It’s still early morning as I make my way by taxi across Cape Town, traveling from our ship in the harbor to the Artscape Theatre Center on the Foreshore. It’s a sharp, blue-sky day in late March.
A songwriter responds to literature—such as stories by Jonathan Lethem and George Saunders—with music, carrying the creative conversation across art forms.
“My work is a lifelong celebration of futility.” Artist Roman Muradov, designer of this issue’s cover, discusses his various wells of inspiration, his relationship to the written word, and the importance of doing nothing.
A writer and workshop instructor grapples with what he sees as an increasing resistance toward the work of established authors among writing students.
Novelist Eleanor Henderson discusses the beauty and necessity of backstory in fiction, offering a counterpoint to a previously published article in which novelist Benjamin Percy warned writers about the dangers of backstory.
UK artist Jennifer Collier uses repurposed books and papers to sculpt an array of art objects inspired by the very materials used to create them—from stilettos made from the pages of Little Women to gloves fashioned from the illustrated text of Alice in Wonderland—each finished project a reflection of the written words from which it’s made.
by Deborah Reed
The Literary Life
A personal and in-depth look at the life and poetry of John Berryman, with particular focus on The Dream Songs—from the lasting impact of his father’s death to questions of racism and misogyny and, finally, to Berryman’s own tragic end.
In her Sorted Books project, Nina Katchadourian arranges books from libraries—including William S. Burroughs’s personal collection, as well as those housed in museums and galleries across the country, to find a kind of poetry in the spines.