weekend links: guns, anthologies, Women and Their Work
Susi Brister, Silky Straight in Swamp (2013). Image appears courtesy of National Endowment for the Arts.
The world is a scarier place since Donald Trump declared that, as President, he would ban all Muslim immigration to the U.S. Such demagoguery has hardly been seen in American politics in decades, and it serves as a stark reminder that we're never too far removed from the barbarities of what we think of as less-enlightened ages. In this piece, author Jared Yates Sexton paints the scene of Trump's speech and outlines clearly the dangers that his rhetoric is ushering into our society. Important reading at this frightening juncture. [Atticus Review]
The San Bernardino shooting has, unsurprisingly, ushered in a new round of hand-wringing about gun control, topped off by a rare front-page editorial in The New York Times last weekend. Emily Perper has collected a list of articles and essays on the subject, all of which provide valuable insight into the little metal machines that haunt our society and the men and women who love them so. [Longreads]
Two anthologies released this year represent something of a split in American literature these days. On the one hand we have The Unprofessionals, released by The Paris Review, and on the other we have New American Stories, edited by Ben Marcus. One trades in well-worn realism, the other in slightly more eclectic fare, but neither, the essay points out, features writing of a truly experimental nature. But perhaps it is not appropriate to bog ourselves down in formal experimentation at a time when empathy and understanding is of such crucial importance, and empathy, the essay notes, is something that many of today's writers strive to create. [New Republic]
Speaking of The Paris Review, they have an interview up with punk-poet forefather Richard Hell, who recently published a new collection of nonfiction writing. Although much of what he says may not be new, it's still refreshing to be reminded that we should strive "not to accept the manipulation of your values and choices by corporations." This is why punk will never die. [The Paris Review]
Congratulations to Austin gallery Women and Their Work for the receipt of a 2016 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Rebecca Gross talks to Executive Director Chris Cowden about the gallery—which was the first visual arts organization in Texas to receive NEA funding, back in 1980—and the unique struggles that women in the arts face. [National Endowment for the Arts]
Jazz great Dave Brubeck passed away last Saturday, one day before his 92nd birthday. Long-troubled Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland also passed away this week. If I could somehow create a mash-up of the two artists and present it here, I would, but that would probably be really unpleasant to listen to, so here's the iconic video for STP's "Sour Girl" instead.
As we near toward the end of 2015, the best-of lists keep rolling in. Here's one from Entropy featuring 50 of the best poetry collections released this year. Kudos to local poet Sam Sax, whose sad boy / detective made the list. Sam is great, and definitely worth watching perform if you get the chance. [Entropy]
And here's a photo essay highlighting the importance and influence of artist-run spaces, showcasing work from such spaces presented at Art Basel last week. Austin was represented by pump project, which showcased the work of Elizabeth McDonald and Frank Wick. Also featured was the work of Caleb Hammond, a Brooklyn-based artist who we spoke to for our fifth issue, which will be released early next year. [Conflict of Interest]