In his introduction to The Best American Poetry 1991, Mark Strand, my favorite guide in the sphere of aesthetics these days, uses his own personal background (which I guess will be recognizable for many of us) to illuminate the difference between poetry and prose. Here is my attempt to summarize some his arguments: My parents… More The best american poetics
– contemplating the difference between prose & poetry Mark Strand: The Weather of Words
What is ugly? Who is ugly? Is ugliness at all a word, a description, a kind of characterization one can use? Copyright© Iiu Susiraja I am working on a short text about the Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja. Susiraja is a photographer using her own body as subject and motif. What is most striking about Susiraja’s appearance, is… More Ugly???
My review of Ai Weiwei’s exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts focuses on Ai as a political artist. It is an obvious thing to do – Ai Weiwei is an activist artist. Not an activist or an artist, but both. For me it is important to underline this point because many theorists, and also… More Notes on Art and Politics
I am taking Virginia Woolf’s Common Reader as a model for my new writing project. I am studying her way of writing, her method. You all know she is unattainable, belonging to a different sphere, so she will be more like my leading star. Nevertheless, I will try very hard to make my texts readable for the… More A Common Reader
Genre is a slippery thing – is there a set borderline between fiction and nonfiction? While nonfiction is often defined by fidelity to fact and logical cohesion, the genre has a companion history of texts that use the fragmentary, suggestive, and inconclusive. There are essays that destabilize unwavering narration, logical progression, and rhetorical coherence. Creative nonfiction is an elastic… More playing with style
By now, most of my regular readers will know that I’m a great fan of Barry Lopez. His nature-writing is unparalleled. But he is also a master of language in the more personal matters, as when he writes about his own childhood. (The most thin-skinned might choose not to read the following): Sliver of Sky Confronting… More Sliver of Sky
I’m reading Lisa Carver’s Reaching Out with No Hands. Reconsidering Yoko Ono. It’s a very amusing and well written book. Carver has a strong personal tone – her text is filled with respect for Ono’s work. Here is why, according to Carver, Ono is such an important artist: Yoko Ono is not pretty, she is… More We have too much stuff already. It clutters our view, inward and outward.
I suppose, as a poet, amongst my fears can be counted the deep-seated uneasiness that one day it will be revealed that I consecrated my life to an imbecility (to something intrinsically unnecessary and superfluous – and thereby unintentionally cruel). In an intriguing essay called “On Fear”, Mary Ruefle touch upon a problem I have been… More Consecrating ones life to an imbecility
Just the other day Jim Elkins made me aware of a very fine text on blue written by Colm Tóibín. In 2004 Colm Tóibín curated an exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin called ‘Blue’ which consisted of blue objects from the collection. The following passages are derived from In Lovely Blueness: Adventures in Troubled Light, Tóibín’s introductory essay to… More Lovely Blueness