weekend links: Iraqi literature, transgender visibility, Andrew W.K.
Rebecca Marino, detail from Daylight Disc, (CEI), (2015). Image courtesy of Arts + Culture TX.
How do Americans contextualize Iraqi literature? Betty Rosen discusses two recently translated works, Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer and Hassan Blasim’s The Corpse Exhibition. Like any good critic, Rosen gives us a couple of paragraphs on etymology. Read this, and then read some international literature. You’ll probably be a better human for it. [The Point]
Jia Tolentino’s essay “Is This the End of the Era of the Important, Inappropriate Literary Man?” begins with a recap of the recent allegations against poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, but it is about so much more than that: it’s a thoughtful investigation of institutional failure, journalistic integrity, Internet vigilantism, and responsible feminism. Highly recommended. [Jezebel]
Surprise, surprise: Texas State University’s MFA program is overwhelmingly white. Sarah Rafael Garcia writes about her experience as a Chicana writer whose professors and peers encouraged her to “whitewash” her writing. We’re baffled there’s a university in Texas whose syllabi don’t include Sandra Cisneros, to be honest. [Texas Observer]
In other, less infuriating, Texas State-related news: artist and activist Drew Riley spoke there yesterday in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility. Riley wrote about the holiday’s importance in a short essay punctuated by some of her excellent Gender Portraits. [Austin Chronicle]
April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, here's an interview that poet Anis Shivani conducted with Houston's Poet Laureate, Robin Davidson, talking about Houston's current poetry scene. And here is a list of contemporary poetry collections recommended by Bustle.
Ten Austin artists held residencies in each of the city’s districts last year with the goal of creating a collaborative, place-specific piece of public art. Starting today, those pieces are on display for a limited time in a single space. Very cool. [Austin Chronicle]
Two of our favorite people at one of our favorite places: Rebecca Marino and David Culpepper open their exhibitions at grayDUCK Gallery tonight. Would that Fox Mulder and Dana Scully could review Marino’s The Best Available Evidence. [Arts + Culture Texas]
And in a bit of April Fool's-related chicanery, Andrew W.K. has announced the formation of his own political party, appropriately named the Party Party. Although, who knows, maybe it isn't a joke at all. Considering Donald Trump is the leading Republican Presidential candidate, it's hard to tell what's real and fake anymore. [A.V. Club]
—Alyssa G. Ramirez and Sean Redmond