weekend links: Juan Felipe Herrera, Alison Mosshart, the "art" of robbery


 Alison Mosshart, New Orleans [detail]. Image courtesy of Alison Mosshart/The Village Voice.

In case you missed it: Juan Felipe Herrera will be our next U.S. Poet Laureate and the first Latino appointed to the position. The son of migrant workers, Herrera attended UCLA, Stanford, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Real talk: this is progress, and it lifts my heart in an otherwise depressing week. Check out a few of his poems. [New York Times]

In other poetry news, the New York Review of Books has unearthed and published an essay by the late Mark Strand on Edward Hopper’s drawings. For those of you unfamiliar with Strand, I urge you to read this eerie, beautiful poem. Then read this Hopper thing and summarize it for me. I expect your papers on my desk tomorrow. [New York Review of Books]

I credit my favorite writing teacher with my love for both Mark Strand and Jorge Luis Borges. I love Borges partially because his work makes me wonder over and over, “Is this real life?” So, too, does Maria Bustillos’s short story “Lot 51,” about Borges, Argentine artist-writer Xul Solar, and the occult. I know it’s not real. But also: maybe it is? [The Paris Review]

Alison Mosshart, lead singer of the Kills and the Dead Weather, is many things: a rock star, a heartbreaking singer, my imaginary girlfriend, and an artist, to name a few. Her first art show, Fire Power, opened Thursday at New York’s Joseph Gross Gallery. It’s like the Platonic ideal of art created by a rock star. [The Village Voice]

Filmmaker and former MIT professor Joseph Gibbons committed two bank robberies for “art” last year. (It’s worth noting that the artist was also broke and homeless at the time.) In an unsurprising display of entitlement, some art folks are unhappy with his year-long prison sentence. Mm-hmm. [Hyperallergic]

Mat Johnson, the Houston-based author of Pym, has a new novel called Loving Day. Wayne Alan Brenner interviewed him during his most recent book tour stop in Austin. [Austin Chronicle]

Alyssa G. Ramirez