weekend links: Claudia Rankine, Laurence Rasti, Hidden Ritual

Laurence Rasti
Laurence Rasti

Laurence Rasti, There are no homosexuals in Iran

The world lost two acclaimed writers this week: short story master Thom Jones and poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Both masterfully reflected the human condition, particularly the acuity of grief and the way life flows around it, healing wounds with wonder. Listen to Jones read from his short story “Mouses,” read Kelly’s poem “Song,” and celebrate the magic of the work they’ve left behind. [The New York Times]

Claudia Rankine is a genius—she’s got the MacArthur grant to prove it—and she’s using her brainpower and newfound windfall to create the Racial Imaginary Institute, a “presenting space and think tank” aimed at exploring the ways in which white supremacy influences our culture. Her thoughts on the subject, as you can imagine, are extensive. Required reading. [The Guardian]

Norman Rockwell is remembered today as a wholesome relic of a bygone America, his middlebrow portraits the antithesis of what we normally find exciting about art. But a new exhibit reconsiders Rockwell's work in the sociopolitical context of its time, reminding viewers of how the CIA pushed abstract expressionism as a way to counter Russian realism. How differently might we consider him today if the Cold War had never happened? [Hyperallergic]

Laurence Rasti captures sweet and intimate moments of gay refugees who are fleeing persecution in Iran. His photography highlights their visibility while symbolically maintaining their anonymity. His colorful, striking images stand in defiant opposition to the forced seclusion that their subjects must endure in their home country. [It's Nice That]

Desert-psych rockers Hidden Ritual are releasing their first LP next week. You may remember them from our fourth issue release party (or from their appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly), and you’ve probably seen frontman Jaime Zuverza’s artwork, promoting local punk shows on any given night of the week. Austin fans can see them next Tuesday at the release party, but everyone can stream it in advance here. [Post-Trash]

The Texas Book Festival is happening the first weekend of November, and we are excited to announce that we’ll be tabling next to our friends at Deep Vellum Publishing. We’ll also be joining forces to bring you another exciting Lit Crawl event: This year, we’re turning to hit ‘70s TV show Match Game for inspiration. Get ready to test your knowledge of the classics and take part in some ribald and irreverent revelry. We can’t wait! [Texas Book Festival]

—Sean Redmond and Catherine Trevino

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