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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Natasha Trethewey Brings Passion And Pain To Poetry Reading At Kent State University

Natasha Trethewey signs books after her poetry reading at Kent State University, April 2018 Former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey began her talk at Kent State University by claiming kinship with the audience. “I always feel slightly at home in Ohio,” she said. “It is the state that allowed my parents to get a marriage license in 1965, allowed me to be born legit in this country, even as our laws still rendered me persona non grata.” The newborn Trethewey arrived a year later in Gulfport, Mississippi, where her parents’ marriage was illegal under a national patchwork of anti-miscegenation laws. The couple met at Kentucky State College — Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, a black woman fresh from Gulfport, and Eric Trethewey, a white Canadian who hitchhiked his way to campus... Read More →

Kevin Young Strolls Through Black History In New Poetry Collection, “Brown”

James Brown. John Brown’s raid. Michael Brown. Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. These subjects braid through Kevin Young’s new book, Brown, as he creates poems about black culture and boyhood, dividing his collection into “Home Recordings” and “Field Recordings.” It publishes this week. “It’s a book that’s been brewing for a while,” Young told David Canfield of Entertainment Weekly. “The title poem is one I’ve been trying to write for some time, about growing up in Topeka, Kansas, and going to the church that Rev. Brown of Brown v. Board [pastored]. His daughter Linda played piano and organ in the church, and so to that connection to history always struck me as something worthy of a poem.” Young dedicates this title poem to his mother and it... Read More →

New Toni Morrison Documentary, “The Foreigner’s Home,” Explores The Meaning Of Belonging

Toni Morrison poses in front of the Louvre in Paris, November 2006. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images At 87, Toni Morrison is a direct woman. The Nobel laureate in literature has long contemplated her legacy, and the larger meaning of art, society and belonging. A moving piece of evidence for this unfurls in The Foreigner’s Home, a feature-length film, making its regional debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 35 miles east of Morrison’s childhood town of Lorain, Ohio. The film screens at 2 p.m. Saturday. The documentary captures the magisterial Morrison mulling the limits of language in 2006 as she curated an exhibit at the Louvre she also called The Foreigner’s Home. Its centerpiece is Theodore Gericault’s massive 1819 oil painting “The Raft of the Medusa,” created just three... Read More →

Mary Morris Is Back With Latest Novel, “Gateway to the Moon”

With Gateway to the Moon, writer Mary Morris casts a new spell drawing water from some of her favorite wells. Her new novel is publishing today. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner for The Jazz Palace returns to Jewish history, this time spinning a family story across centuries. She puts it in motion in 1492, the year Spain expelled its Muslim and Jewish citizens and Christopher Columbus journeyed to the New World. In Gateway to the Moon, Morris places on that voyage an interpreter she calls Luis de Torres, a Jew who has disguised himself as a Christian in order to escape the Spanish Inquisition. His descendants travel too, some settling in a little town called Entrada de la Luna in what will eventually be New Mexico. The legacy of Crypto-Judaism, secret adherence to Judaism... Read More →

Interview With Directors Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip On Their New Film, “Dawnland”

Dawnland co-directors Ben Pender-Cudlip (left) and Adam Mazo Boston-based filmmaker Adam Mazo is quick to admit that he knew little about Native populations growing up in Minnesota. He’s committed to changing that for future generations with “Dawnland,” the 90-minute documentary premiering this month at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The film centers on the decades of government policy that forced Native children from their families and into adoptive homes, foster care and boarding schools. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will sponsor three screenings. The idea for “Dawnland” was sparked from Mazo’s work on another film, “Coexist,” about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. “We were talking about how it felt wrong to not be teaching about genocide in this... Read More →
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