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The Art of Writing
Poetry, International Art English, and what not to do with a document
June 22, 2023
In this week’s issue of Public Seminar, our contributors consider Trump’s indictment, the pitfalls of biennale wall text, migration stories, and the flowering intimacy of the couplet.
When Shweta Nandakumar visited the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, she found herself stumped by the art world writing style—and she wasn’t the only one. “An art mediator working at the biennale, whose primary role is to lead guided tours of the various sites in Kochi, told me that when he was given the festival handbook to prepare for his tours, he was terrified by the language and did not believe he would be able to learn and memorize all the jargon.” (June 21, 2023)
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Lilies and Wildfires
“In moments of great emotion—or, say, in the writing of a poem—the way that we are able to perceive and experience space and time collapses,” J. Mae Barizo observes in Multi-Verse Episode 9. With host Evangeline Riddiford Graham, the poet discusses the rhythms of life and the flowering of desire in her poem “Sunday Women on Malcolm X Boulevard.” (June 21, 2023)
Thousands of Miles
Palak Godara reviews Sindya Bhanoo’s debut short story collection, Seeking Fortune Elsewhere, and finds an evocative depiction of migration. “Bhanoo takes the reader on an intimate tour of the lives of normal people and how they sometimes need, or want, to take the not-so-easy path of seeking their fortunes elsewhere.” (May 17, 2023)
Donald Trump has been indicted related to the mishandling of classified documents and other charges. In the latest episode of Past Present, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman-Petrzela, and Neil J. Young discuss whether the former president will finally face some consequences—or if this will be a boost to his “witch hunt” narrative. (June 20, 2023)
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