Interview with Rebecca Dunham

Rebecca Dunham is a poet an2016-author-photo-1-300x225d Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing. Her work has been described as post-confessional and concerns itself with feminist and ecological issues. Her most recent publication, Cold Pastoral, is a collection of poems based on modern ecological disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She has published four other collections of poetry, including Fascicle, Glass Armonica, The Miniature Room, and The Flight Cage.

Q: What does Cold Pastoral mean, for you? What do you hope readers gain after reading the poems?

Personally, the book marks a point in my life when I had to take stock of my place in the world around me, as well as the function of poetry within that world. For readers, I hope that the poet-speaker’s journey will resonate with those of us who may mean well, but who have also blinded ourselves to the mounting human and environmental crises around us. I would hope that the book will encourage readers to consider their responsibility to others, as well as potential for language and literature to enact change. Continue reading

Cold Pastoral, Rebecca Dunham

Dunham’s poetry comes to us at a desperate time. We currently face the ecological threats of global warming, as exacerbated by our human interactions with the world we inhabit. Pollution, over-population, and deforestation are serious hazards to our environment, and Dunham understands our human contribution to the problem. With her poems, she hopes to educate and inform readers of the very real consequences of forgetting to care for the Earth.

This collection examines the man-made and/or human-influenced natural disasters of our time: the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath, and the Flint water crisis.  Dunham tactfully weaves desolate poems with evidenciary support, creating a powerful report on what really happened with the Oil Spill.  Continue reading

A Crown Of Wishes

Image result for a crown of wishesThe sequel to Roshani Chokshi’s debut novel The Star-Touched Queen remains equally adventurous as the first, transporting the reader to the far-away otherworldly lands of Bharata & Ujijain, Alaka and beyond, this time following Mayavati’s younger sister Gauri on her own journey of self-reflection and self-discovery. Filled with adventure, politics, friendships, sisterhood, romance, illusion, transformation, sacrifices, trials and tribulations, A Crown of Wishes weaves an otherworldly story, carried on the wings of birds with feathers of glittering gold.

In A Crown of Wishes we find Gauri, the legendary warrior princess of Bharata, exiled and imprisoned in Ujijain at her brother Skanda’s command. Scorned by her people for the lies Skanda has spread, Gauri faces execution in Ujijain. But Vikram, the cunning ‘Fox Prince’ of Ujijain, sees her potential and offers Gauri a chance at redemption. Together, they enter the Tournament of Wishes with hopes of winning a wish from The Lord of Treasures that would secure them their greatest desires. Continue reading

Reaper, Jill McDonough

ReaperJill McDonough’s book of poetry Reaper is written at a desperate time for humanity. We currently face the very real threats of overpopulation, pollution and global warming, all of which stir up questions of control and technology. McDonough brings awareness to these issues while at the same time providing hope for the future.

McDonough predicts that the loss of our humanity, of nature, and the loss of human nature – the loss of the self – will all be, in part, due to the rise of technology. We, as a species, are becoming numb to our own desires, “wanting … wanting” (10). People are currently content to be “distracted” (16), brainwashed, in a sense, numb to life. We take for granted the little things, things that don’t require technology, like emotions, feelings, or experiences; the more we allow technology to rule our loves, the more we lose sight of our true selves.

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La Belle et La Bête, or Beauty and the Beast: Comparing literature & film

By now, any Disney fan will have seen the new and highly anticipated Live-Action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

Image result for beauty and the beast book covers

A young woman whose father has been imprisoned by a terrifying beast offers herself in his place, unaware that her captor is actually a prince, physically altered by a magic spell.

Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.

It has been regarded by fans that Disney has tactfully captured the essence of the original cartoon which so touched our hearts as young children, but how faithful do these Disney remakes remain to the original tale of La Belle et la Bête?

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Orange is the New Black – Book v. Netflix

The popular Netflix Original Series Orange Is The New Black, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, returns this June for a highly anticipated 5th Season.

Image result for piper kerman vs piper chapman

The memoir Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman follows her seven-year long experience with the federal correctional system, chronicling her own experience while simultaneously exposing some of the greatest flaws and oversights of the system.  Continue reading

Litsy: an app for bibliophiles

litsy-logo

Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, the cofounders of Out of Print, have launched an app that brings together books and social media.

Out of Print, an established literary themed apparel company, brings consumers wearable works of literature, offering men, women and childrens clothing as well as accessories and gifts. Purchases made to Out of Print help to “promote literacy in underserved communities: each purchase helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need. It also supports the authors, publishers and artists who made these iconic works an integral part of our lives.”

“We see Litsy as an extension of Out of Print’s mission to get people talking about books and starting conversations,” Lawton said. Litsy exists as a sort of amalgam of the current giants of social media, combining elements of Instaram, Twitter and Goodreads into a one-stop-shop for everything book-ish. “What we wanted to do was take the best, the most fun aspects of other social media platforms and back it with an amazing book database.” Continue reading

A Pillow Book, Suzanne Buffam

A Pillow Book

“Not a narrative. Not an essay. Not a shopping list. Not a song. Not a diary. Not an etiquette manual. Not a confession. Not a prayer. Not a secret letter sent through the silent Palace hallways before dawn.”

A Pillow Book, Suzanne Buffam’s 2016 book of poetry, is a great companion for anyone struggling with sleep. During the darkest hours of night and through the early hours of morning, at dusk or dawn, the poems in A Pillow Book possesses the hypnotizing ability to lull readers into a restful trance.  Continue reading

Archive

Archive

According to Harris, “digital, electronic, and hypertextual archives have come to represent online and virtual environments” (Katherine Harris, JHGDM 16);

Archiving is “guided by principles of preserving history” (Katherine Harris, JHGDM 16).

Increasingly our possessions and our communications are no longer material, they’re digital and they are dependent on technology to make them accessible. As new technology emerges and current technology becomes obsolete, we need to actively manage our digital possessions to help protect them and keep them available for years to come.

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