Cultural Cross Sections

  • Nichole Reber books
    June 1, 2015 | Nichole L. Reber
    The author’s three-foot stack ofIndian books. Photo © Doug Wolf.  I’m reading nonwhite this year. That’s what many readers/writers around the world are proclaiming. What they mean is that they’re focusing 2015 on reading authors from around the world. What they’re gleaning is more worldliness and exposure to entirely different literary styles that may just inform their writing and therefore the...
  • Australian artist Peter Gould’s “Iqra Bookshelf” (2011). The word Iqra’ (“Read”) is deeply symbolic to Muslims, as it was the first word of revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad.
    May 6, 2015 | Ibtisam Barakat
    Australian artist Peter Gould’s “Iqra Bookshelf” (2011). The word Iqra’ (“Read”) is deeply symbolic to Muslims, as it was the first word of revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad. The following essay has been adapted from the author’s Arabic-language version under the same title. The Arabic essay will be co-published by the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and...
  • March 18, 2015 | Chris Arthur
    Since Horace’s original, many poets have written their version of an Ars Poetica. The best known is Archibald MacLeish’s. Can MacLeish’s poem cast light on the art of a different literary genre, the essay? Albert, “Quill,” detail from Domenico Guidi, History writes downthe accomplishments of Louis XIV, 1677/79, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, February 2011. Wh...
  • View of Stockholm, Sweden
    January 28, 2015 | Najwa Ali
    View of Stockholm, Sweden, from the Södermalm district. Photo by J. A. Alcaide. In a corner of Stockholm, the Argentinean father of someone who was once, briefly, my lover, stumbles against the grey brick of houses, forgets to cut his hair or his fingernails, hoists himself on the stones lining the harbor. Screams in half-forgotten Spanish into the bright Nordic night. His son crosses the street...
  • Kim Myung Won
    September 9, 2014 | EJ Koh
    Kim Myung Won An impressive poet and experimental author in her own right, EJ Koh reflects on the many sources needed in order to translate Kim Myung Won’s poetry into English: family insight, self-reflexivity, and “sudden fire.”    다비  희미해진 몸의 촉수를 켠 장작들위에 가볍게 얹히는 별빛의 무게  봄 흐트러진 사과나무 꽃밭 석천사 앞뜰에서틀어진 세월에 꽃잎을 띄워 주시며나의 서른 살을 배웅해 주셨던 지오 스님 둥글게 잘 익은 사과 한 알로 누워눈부신 씨앗만이 남겨질 때까...
  • Hartwig HKD, “Black Icarus,” 2010
    September 4, 2014 | Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
    Hartwig HKD, “Black Icarus,” 2010. Old photographs and their conventions are both familiar and foreign to us, with their alienated and uncanny appeal. They also often seem very formal and stiff compared to the images of today, although it must be said that many of the pictures we take continue to fall into specific genres (the group shot, the goofy V-sign common in Asia, the mirrored-selfie). Pe...
  • Harbhajan Singh Hundal
    March 10, 2014 | Rajesh Sharma
    Harbhajan Singh Hundal was born in Lyallpur (Pakistan) in 1934. In addition to fifteen books of poetry, he has written travelogues and autobiographical accounts. He is also an avid literary translator. He has translated selections from Neruda, Lorca, Brecht, Mayakovsky, Darwish, and others into Punjabi. He has been at the forefront of people’s struggles and was kept in preventive detention fo...
  • January 9, 2013 | Andrew Lam
    Anthropologists and linguists no doubt are having a field day trying to chronicle and dissect how, in the early autumn of 2012, “Gangnam Style” became an American idiomatic expression. It stands for something along the lines of a brash, flamboyant way of doing things, clownishness, or an act of in-your-face spoofing that is both original and entertaining. A Wikipedia page showcases “Gangnam Styl...
  • December 6, 2012 | Melissa Weiss
    Tibetan poet Woeser  Since China’s invasion in the 1950s, the West’s main focus has been on the struggle for independence in Tibet, reporting the monks’ fiery suicides and protestors or journalists detained for going against and exposing the Chinese government. While Tibet has received its coverage in the West as either a tourist attraction or place of revolution, a long-overlooked literary cult...