Christy Turlington, 1990s supermodel and Salvadoran-American, may or may not be my prima. The connection has never been confirmed, and I’m not trying to say I’m as fly as Christy, but her mother’s maiden name, “Parker,” is an apellido shared by some of the members of my family in El Salvador, and she grew up near San Francisco, where I grew up, so it’s not inconceivable to imagine that some of her family came over to the US around the same time mine did, maybe even on the same boat. El Salvador is a small enough place that finding unknown relatives can be as easy as flipping through the phone book.
Emily Dickinson, autodidact par excellence, wrote a whopping 360 poems in 1862, in a small bedroom in Amherst, MA, in a home owned and inhabited by her father: it’s good to remember, in other words, that both organisms and people can thrive under inhospitable conditions.
Writing about Wim Wenders’ dance film “Pina” means surrendering to language’s ability to name. There is a comfort in that kind of emotional precision. Sitting in the dark movie theater, my attention was fixed on the dancers’ movements. Although I am not at all well-versed in the language of modern dance, I found myself responding to those bodies’ reflections of mood with the kind of exhilarated excitement I have felt reading a novel. I saw the sheen of fear, the heavy feather of tenderness, both rendered in gestures that we can perform, and can that expose us.
Can you remember a time before the internet? bubblebyte.org is a London “based” online only gallery for a generation of artists who probably cannot. The work on display ranges from animated gifs and flash animations to creative use of html coding and embedded video. These artworks engage with the digital space and explore the possibilities of the internet as an artistic medium.
Though I’m a perfectly socially-adequate human being, who has little issue speaking to other people, the AWP conference still seemed to me the worst possible idea: thousands of otherwise isolated, oftentimes socially inept, or rather “quirky,” writers annually come together in a confined space to talk about the very thing that drives us into insanity. It’s an event that prompts in my mind, first and foremost, “Who came up with that idea?” and, more specifically, “Why?” I might have a very romantic idea of myself as a writer, but I see myself holed up in a tiny room, frustratingly pounding away at my keyboard, not procrastinating on Facebook and certainly not schmoozing and networking with other writers, professors, agents, editors. That’s the way it should be shouldn’t it?