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Monthly Archives: April 2015

“I Want to Be a Long Dirt Road”: An Interview with Bobbi Jene Smith

I met the dancer Bobbi Jene Smith at the Batsheva Intensive in New York City last year. Bobbi is a beautiful force, an intensely gorgeous, honest, and strong mover. And on top of all this, she’s intelligent and insightful. The Batsheva repertoire she taught at the intensive, as well as her words, will not leave me, and her presence and influence continue to circulate.

Sentimental Value, Pt. 2

As I’ve written before, my grandmother’s apartment holds a particular place in my head. I keep revisiting the floor plan, and the room that glows brightest in my memory is the kitchen. The kitchen, I think, is the quintessential center for grandmothers, mothers, and female authority in general. And while my grandmother was not maternal, not soft, rarely kind, she haunts the kitchen, vapors of past dinners clinging to her permed hair and her stained apron.

Mind the Gap: Tranströmer’s Borderlands

A month ago, the world lost Tomas Tranströmer, the Nobel Laureate who also had a career as a psychologist working with youth and drug addicts. A number of his poems seem to arise from this work, from his concern for those living on the outskirts of society. By and large, these are not poems explicitly about people on the fringes, but rather poems that trouble the very idea of a civilization possessing outskirts. Why are some people forced to the edge and some comfortable in the center? Who draws the lines, and where? And, centrally for Tranströmer: what is possible in the middle spaces?

Endurance and the Art of Guido van der Werve: Nummer veertien, home

Adequately capacious, clear and brilliant, the landscape broods with sublimity. Spring is sweeping in, emitting an even light that stirs up the deepest colors, the richest shadows. It’s a different kind of saturation, a light that is water-soaked. It’s a landscape that is heavy laden with weather. This sensitivity is expressively captured in cinematography, offering paths through the landscape where the journey becomes implicitly mythic, steeped in van der Werve’s haunt of heroes. Landscape is not just a backdrop, it’s a living character.