Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Austin Public Library condemns Texas book bans, censorship.
‘Freedom to read is a right that must be protected in our schools and public libraries, and we must not give in to the vocal few that want to speak for the many…’
Friday, December 24, 2021
‘I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package,’ she once wrote. ‘I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.’
Monday, December 20, 2021
Thursday, December 16, 2021
from the cover story in the new ‘Atlantic’:
‘When a local newspaper vanishes, research shows, it tends to correspond with lower voter turnout, increased polarization, and a general erosion of civic engagement. Misinformation proliferates. City budgets balloon, along with corruption and dysfunction. The consequences can influence national politics as well; an analysis by Politico found that Donald Trump performed best during the 2016 election in places with limited access to local news.’
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Saturday, December 11, 2021
The first Nobel peace prize for journalists since 1935 shouldn’t obscure the fact that record numbers are in prison, facing intimidation or murder. A piece by Joel Simon in ‘The Guardian’:
Friday, December 10, 2021
FROM MY EXPERIENCE of holding the sign again and setting the alarm to get up and moving around with purpose to get ready to go in the morning, making sure I have my mask and my gloves and my phone and my subway card, it’s great to go out. The staying home bit got old. Depressing in its seclusion and routine. Today a guy I have seen frequently while I’m downtown on the sidewalk with my sign as he walked by flashed me a peace sign and said Happy Friday! For almost two years I wasn’t sure what day it was.
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Monday, December 6, 2021
Poems from Amanda Gorman’s released-this-week collection Call Us What We Carry:
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Writing with Fire, a new documentary film about women journalists in India. The filmmakers discuss it here, on PBS:
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Monday, November 29, 2021
Mel Brooks at 95 is coming out with a memoir. Here’s a Q&A with him about it:
Monday, November 22, 2021
Monday, November 15, 2021
Friday, November 12, 2021
In Angela Merkel: Portraits 1991—2021, a new book arriving from Taschen this winter, photographer Herlinde Koelbl gathers three decades’ worth of portraits of the German chancellor, tracing the extraordinary arc of her political career: https://apple.news/ANOkhHEqCSEWpjb2AI1KHrw
Monday, November 8, 2021
Nikole Hannah-Jones, Creator of the 1619 Project, Keeps Her Eyes on the Prize
‘I am still, in many ways, this girl from nowhere who had to prove myself in every space I’ve ever been in,’ she says. ‘And I always feel like I have to fight and defend myself, even when I’m at a point when I don’t have anything else to prove.’ This is in the new ‘Vanity Fair’:
Saturday, November 6, 2021
HOW TO FIGHT FOR THE FREEDOM TO READ
‘For months now, there has been building pressure from right-wing groups like No Left Turn in Education who have been setting up adults to go after books and even displays in public and school libraries.’ (from the piece below that was in ‘Harper’s Bazaar’):
Thursday, November 4, 2021
A talk with ever-dissident artist Ai Weiwei. This was in ‘Harper’s Bazaar’. It was online:
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
SO SINCE THE PANDEMIC STARTED I hadn’t been on Chambers Street with the sign at 8:00 like I used to be. Today, the mayoral election over, seemed like a time to go back. I was half-hesitant. It was a different world now. I was 74. Who needs an old guy with his same old sign. But I went and everybody on the wide sidewalk had a mask on. But I saw those faces I used to see. They saw me. My eyes almost watered. Some said they’d looked for me every day. People who’d never seen me nodded at the sign’s message or gave a strong thumbs-up. One woman said, That’s absolutely the truth! She pulled her mask down a bit so I’d hear. One woman said, Amen.
Monday, November 1, 2021
A review in ‘The Guardian’ of Paul McCartney’s The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present done with poet Paul Muldoon:
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
‘The New York Times’ review in 1922 of James Joyce’s Ulysses:
Friday, October 22, 2021
Why shouldn’t children’s writers talk of refugees, persecution and genocide? An essay in ‘The Guardian’ by Michael Rosen:
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Poetry is changing. New style. New voices of color. Here’s an article about some of the new poets from CNN:
Monday, October 11, 2021
‘I loved going to the library. It was the first time I ever saw Black newspapers and magazines like JET, Ebony, the Baltimore Afro-American, or the Chicago Defender. And I’ll never forget my librarian.’
― John Robert Lewis,
Sunday, October 10, 2021
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Saturday, September 25, 2021
A conversation in ‘The Guardian’ with Jonathan Franzen a couple weeks away from the publication of his new big novel Crossroads:
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
I had told myself and others and you that I’d probably get back to holding my sign this week. It had been since the pandemic started that I’d felt fulfilled like holding the sign fulfilled me. I set the alarm a little earlier last night. I put the sign out and the big bag I carry it in like I always did. But I woke up at 4-something this morning and couldn’t sleep and thought about today and decided there so much shakiness going on in the schools to get it right with vaccines and masks that me on the sidewalk with my sign would be just another thing. I’ll wait.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Monday, September 6, 2021
THE UN ESTIMATES THAT, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, about 1.5 billion children were out of school during the pandemic, with at least a third unable to access remote learning.
Now, as much of the developing world faces a combination of interrelated crises including extreme poverty, Covid-19, climate breakdown and intercommunal violence, there are growing fears for a ‘lost generation of learners’. (from ‘The Guardian’ article below):
Sunday, September 5, 2021
NO NAME EVEN
I bought three books
the other day
at the store I
the store my daughter used to
go in almost every day when
she lived in that neighborhood.
I had them send a fourth book
to a friend.
No I don’t need a card to
go with it
you don’t need to
even put my name.
One of your bookmarks
will be enough.
Friday, September 3, 2021
Yesterday after the storm of the night before it was beautifully clear and I took my afternoon walk to Union Square maybe 10 minutes from where I live. It’s where I saw the young man on the left with two stacks of books each bound with some straps. He was there to see if someone might want to buy any of them.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
‘What if there was a disease in Alexandria, she thought, and everybody died but me?
I’d go live at the library, she told herself. The notion was cheering. She saw herself reading by candlelight, shadows flickering on the ceiling above the labyrinth of shelves. She could take a suitcase from home–peanut butter and crackers, a blanket, a change of clothes–and pull together two of the big armchairs in the Reading Room to sleep on…’
― Donna Tartt,