Humanity

Scottsdale at Dusk: Art District

A writer walks through a suburb of a desert city. He finds that art, memory, souvenirs and tourism, history, dam-building and citrus trees have something to do with each other. This is the first of several of his essays.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Len Cicio

Len Cicio’s practice hinges on color, creating urban scenes and forging the structural forms of New York City in wax and color.

Music & Performing Arts

A Mess of Help

Pop music, on its own terms, is often an ephemeral pleasure, but A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N’ Roll shows us how to look at it and then through it to things that really matter, the words that could be, in so many songs, a message from outside our narrow selves, from someone who loves us.

Visual Art

Urban Theater: New York in the 1980s

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” As You Like It

Poetry

V62.89: Religious or Spiritual Problem

A poem by Carrie Purcell Kahler

Humanity

The Space Between

Finding grace in the liminal spaces…

Blog

Noteworthy: On Selma

On Scott Tobias’ entry at Dissolve

Humanity

The Pacific North Wet

Chasing after things that glow…

Poetry

All the Morning Birds

A poem by Vito Aiuto

Humanity

A Good Deed is a Naughty Word

China’s Ban on Wordplay

Film & Television

Stephen Colbert: A Requiem

What was The Colbert Report?

Poetry

Afternoon Walk

A new poem by Fredric Koeppel.

Humanity

Another Hemisphere’s Stars

We all need other faces, other lives to throw ourselves into.

Film & Television

Haunted Loves

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a love story, albeit a scary one. And the beautiful adventure of love Amirpour portrays is one where the person beside you may be different than you imagined. They may be much stronger, they may destroy you, and you may destroy them.

Humanity

The Formula in our Stories

The trouble comes when fitting one’s life into a story becomes a formula.

Poetry

New

A poem by Dawn Trook, well-suited for the day.

Humanity

Psalms for Ferguson | The Wise

Innocent question:
Where is the child?

Visual Art

Georgia O’Keeffe: One View

…it wasn’t until I experienced for myself the extent of the repetition and revision of painting the same few objects over and over again—the bones, the flowers, the mountains, the doors—that I understood the collective effect of a long career and close collaboration in not only documenting, but defining a place and time.

Poetry

Nativity

…by John Donne

Film & Television

Why We All Need It’s A Wonderful Life

In this all-time American classic, we find a man who doesn’t seem very American at all.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Joyce Yu-Jean Lee

Joyce Yu-Jean Lee creates video installations, photographs, and performances that examine how societies have historically depicted concepts of enlightenment.

Film & Television

The Knights of Terrence Malick

“With the help of their wings they could fly away to distant regions, blessed regions, where they really had their homes, for here they were but alien sojourners.”—Soren Kierkegaard

Humanity

What We Loved in 2014: Part II

This is part two of our editors and staff writers sharing the books, movies, or music they loved in 2014.

Humanity

What We Loved in 2014: Part I

Instead of a “best of” list we asked our editors and staff writers to share the books, movies, or music they loved in 2014. The selections did not have to be current.

Poetry

QUANDARY OF THE BIG STICK

A poem by Andrew McAlpine

Poetry

The Migration of Robert Hass’s Poetry

“There are moments when the body is as numinous /as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.” -Robert Hass

Poetry

Psalms for Ferguson| BlackLivesMatter

A Litany of Lament and Hope

Humanity

The Discovery Itself Calls forth Further Quests

Adam Joyce, our Editor-in-Chief, answers the question: what is criticism?

Humanity

Psalms for Ferguson | Ad(vent) Nauseum

This is the first in a series of prayers and poems, titled “Psalms for Ferguson,” that Curator will be publishing over the next few weeks.

Poetry

Some days are an empty bolt…

A poem by J. Marcus Weekley

Film & Television

The Purest of Lines: Isao Takahata’s Final Bow

Despite its tenth-century trappings, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a film made with eyes firmly fixed on the troubles of contemporary Japanese life and the deep slide of the Japanese Miracle into the dreary doldrums of the Lost Two Decades.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Beñat Iglesias Lopez

“I feel it is not my responsibility to tell stories through my work but to present the necessary elements so people can build their own.” — Beñat Iglesias Lopez

Humanity

A House for Birds

“Maybe we all dream of being God, the god who breaches dams, moves houses suddenly, erects bridges, decides where forests will be and who will die.” -Rebecca Sonlit

Film & Television

Interstellar, Science Fiction and the Odyssey of Love

Interstellar extends the tradition of science fiction films that underscore the moral condition of the human within a technologically savvy narrative, and it is the antithesis of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity.

Blog

Noteworthy: Is Art Up to the Task?

A little internet fodder for tonight’s dinner table chat ‘n chew.

Poetry

Fasting

A poem by Shiaw-Tian Liaw

Music & Performing Arts

CALL FOR PAPERS: Festival of Faith and Music

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Music to solicit academic papers that will subsequently be published on the site.

Literature

Mad Men, Snickering and Sobbing

Without a Stitch in Time, a recently released collection of Peter De Vries’ short stories, reminds of the American male at mid-century.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Justin K. Sorensen

“I have the impression that I may be inspecting a large area only eventually to exclude it from conversation.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value

Film & Television

Thoughts on Citizenfour

Absent a flashy visual style, Citizenfour may seem like an easy movie to make, but Laura Poitras’ “privileged access” to Edward Snowden reminds viewers that the pursuit of this controversial story was propelled by her strong ideology and her uniqueness, unteachable in film school.

Humanity

Forty

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”—Mary Oliver

Visual Art

From the Roster: David Kendall

Steeped in the tradition of the flâneur, David Kendall explores how spatial, economic and design initiatives, as well as participatory practices, can combine to encourage social and spatial interconnections or reveal dissonance in cities.

Film & Television

What is so Scary About The Walking Dead?

Watching The Walking Dead through the categories of existential and ethical horror reflects what we are scared of when we turn off the television and accounts for why we seek out the scares in the first place.

Humanity

Beauty, Art, and My Five-Year-Old Daughter

In this broken world, we need more than images of beauty to comprehend Beauty Itself.

Film & Television

Marriage (and Black Holes)

Portraying the life of celebrated cosmologist Stephen Hawking, the new biopic, The Theory of Everything, raises questions about the age-old conundrum of how to reconcile science and religion.

Humanity

Overheard from the Overhead Projector

With a name like ‘transparency,’ why do you have so much to hide?

Film & Television

Dear White People: Identity in the Post-Obama Era

Dear White People takes the perennial themes of college-age identity confusion, exploration, and belonging and places them in the context of a post-Obama America.

Poetry

The Neighbors

A poem by Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco

Visual Art

From the Roster: Jeremy Grant

This Tuesday our feature covers Colorado-based mixed-media, assemblage artist Jeremy Grant.

Humanity

The Barbershop

Democratic, yet class-haunted—as all the service professions are—political, but neutral ground, you can talk about anything in a barbershop, even in Tajikistan. And while you’re sitting there, everyone else is doing the same thing, everywhere around this planet. Sitting, safe for the moment, ready for the blade.

Film & Television

If You’re an Artist, Wayne White Understands

The subject of Beauty is Embarrassing, lifelong artist Wayne White, is farther down the road than most of us and he can and can tell us how he got there.

Poetry

Mythelectric

A poem by Phillip Aijian

Blog

The Well Said Yes

Meet Adam Joyce, our newly appointed Editor-in-Chief

Visual Art

From the Roster: Jay Walker

Jay Walker is a Philadelphia based multi-disciplinary artist- creating tape installations, mixed media painting/drawings, and carved sculptures.

Poetry

Look at Your Money

Trevor Logan in conversation with Michael Robbins

Film & Television

A Broken Person Taking Care of Broken People

The Overnighters is a fascinating new documentary portrait of Pastor Jay Reinke and the laborers of the fracking boomtown of Williston, ND.

Poetry

Grease Poet

A poem by Richard King Perkins II

Literature

Welcome to Trace Italian

John Darnielle’s new novel Wolf in White Van dispenses its existentialism in small but clearly marked doses.

Music & Performing Arts

In Conversation with Lecrae

Charles Carman and Lecrae caught up on art, regionalism, double speak and empathy on the recent Phoenix stop of his Anomaly tour.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Stephanie Imbeau

Rebecca Locke on Stephanie Imbeau’s site-specific sculpture and installations

Literature

Letters from Fairyland

With the recent publication of Italo Calvino’s letters, we can learn how he wanted his work in fiction to “subtract weight,” to relieve human burdens.

Poetry

The Girl Who Liked Scary Movies

A poem by Glen Armstrong

Visual Art

The House Shows Project

Elizabeth Dark Wiley’s interview with Andrew Hendrixson…

Film & Television

Saint Fred

“You can ask a lot of questions about the world and your place in it. You can ask about people’s feelings; you can learn the sky’s the limit.”

—Fred Rogers, “Did You Know?”

Blog

David Foster Wallace: In His Own Words

on the new audiobook from Little, Brown Publishers

Blog

Handset

A poem by Timothy E.G. Bartel

Humanity

CTRL-F Mindset

“We can be knowledgeable with other man’s knowledge, but we can’t be wise with other man’s wisdom.” ~ Montaigne

Humanity

Stores as Magic Places

Furtive buying in solitude, or in the company of a favorite friend, is the only kind of buying I would permit in an ideal world.

Humanity

The Roaches Of Matrimony

I tremble to contend.

Poetry

Glass Forest

A.J. Huffman’s poem after the Dale Chihuly installation Glass House, 1971

Literature

Stepping Outside

Layne Hilyer on fear, failure and exile in the works of Roberto Bolaño

Literature

Roberto Bolaño: Never Kill a Child

A review of Monica Maristain’s new book Bolaño: A Biography in Conversations, an interweaving of biographical narrative and interviews conducted with Bolaño, a man of contradictions, both farouche and loving.

Film & Television

Why Pick the Old Bones?

In a violent world, violence is inherent to truth telling.

Poetry

Spider

A poem by Joel Looper

Visual Art

Art for Everyone

ArtEverywhereUS.org answers: what about those for whom exposure to art isn’t readily available, or those whose negligible or nonexistent interest in art prevents them from seeking out opportunities to view it?

Visual Art

Winogrand: Pre-selfie Street Photographer

Madison Peace’s reflection on multiple visits to the Gary Winogrand retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Poetry

END SOLO

A poem by Stacey Tran

Humanity

Working Classes

Philip Levine and Studs Terkel on the meaning of labor.

Music & Performing Arts

On Good Folk, Good Land

Charles Carman’s quick chat with Ben Hardesty, lead singger of VA folk outfit The Last Bison.

Music & Performing Arts

In Celebration of Esoteric Spectacle: Operatic Observations

My wider life experiences—Bugs Bunny and History of Italian Opera and hating piano lessons and studying art history and and being ashamed of my elitism and being fiercely protective of the possibilities of art—don’t displace my experience of opera: they augment it.

Music & Performing Arts

It’s Opera Season

If you had a habit like that, a pleasurable habit, but without the cost or cancer, a habit that wouldn’t kill you, a habit whose only downside was that it prevented you from enjoying opera, you’d keep it, right?

Poetry

Him and She

A poem by Amanda Ryan

Literature

I Know What You Read this Summer

Reader, rescue yourself—don’t click on the lists.

Literature

David Bentley Hart’s The Experience of God

Evidence for or against God, if it is there, saturates every moment of the experience of existence, every employment of reason, every act of consciousness, every encounter with the world around us.

Poetry

Summer Sijo 3

A poem by Timothy E. G. Bartel

Film & Television

Quotidian Magic

By skirting the momentous events of childhood and allowing its gaze to rest gracefully on the quotidian, Boyhood evokes what is wondrous and memorable in everyday life.

Humanity

The Ice Bucket Challenge

The world that ought to be ought to be a world without diseases.

Carrie Givens’ personal story of ALS and how, though the #IceBucketChallenge’s mode of promoting ‘awareness’ seems superficial, she’s glad for it.

Poetry

Baggage

A poem by Marjorie Maddox

Visual Art

Andrew Wyeth Painted Me Home

“I think one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes. I see no reason for painting but that. If I have anything to offer, it is my emotional contact with the place where I live and the people I do.” ~ Andrew Wyeth

Film & Television

Bearing New Images

The hope of Hayao Miyazaki as discussed in Turning Point: 1997-2008, a collection of translated interviews, public statements, essays, etc., compiled from the years he directed Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Blog

Awe, Alarm, and Hope

In which we remind you, as an arts publication, that these times of anguish are also of hope…

Film & Television

Jim Jarmusch: Expect the Unexpected

This deflation of expectations is Jarmusch’s stock and trade: for his myopic outsiders and befuddled innocents, simple survival often replaces wish fulfillment as the immediate goal.

Poetry

Proserpine

You said how often pleasure reads as loss—

Humanity

Beauty at Session House

… though beauty has saved and will save, beauty will also destroy the world.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Nicole Marie Mueller

…pursuing a balance of chaos and control in repetitious patterns

Humanity

Certain Tides

We build our lives, it seems, on the narrowest speculation of possibility; we make our homes on the edge of an island on the verge of erosion.

Blog

A Computer Made for Art

There’s more art on the Internet than in every gallery and museum on Earth.

Humanity

What Your Wine Label Says About You

Admit it. If you buy wine like the rest of us, labels are everything. Herein Drew Dernavich scrutinizes the art and design of wine labels simultaneously scrutinizing YOU.

Poetry

August Sunset on City Glass

A poem by Charles F. Thielman

Film & Television

A Review of ‘Calvary’

We look to religious figures to carry our theological baggage on this road.

Poetry

Bologna Station Caffé

The October Italian sun
bursts like custard from our pastry.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Casey Reed Johnson

…in the juxtaposition of the physical and the unseen.

Humanity

Anxiety and the Rustic Aesthetic

Hair gets higher, tighter.

Humanity

Creating Family

Ilium is a modern support system for what humanity needs most of all: community.

Humanity

At the School of Transparency

Alex Miller on Li Bai, Baptist youth camps, and eastern philosophies of learning

Poetry

First Christmas

A mid-summer Christmas poem by D.R. James

Film & Television

The Siren Song

Andrew Wyatt on Jonathan Glazer’s mesmerizing new feature Under the Skin

Humanity

Here

If home is where the heart is, mine’s in pieces spread across the world.

Humanity

The Architecture of Hope

“Mid-century Modern designers never expected their post-war homes to be temporary dwellings, replaced cheaply in just a few decades. But they also could not have pictured that the light of those floor-to-ceiling windows and the open-concept floor plan would nurse a woman back to health from cancer.”

Poetry

Observation Car

A poem by Liz Mehl

Visual Art

From the Roster: Gary A. Bibb

Bibb on his recent exhibition ‘The Redemption of Rubbish: Found Object Constructions and Installations’ at Point Gallery

Humanity

Naming Rights

Fact: My daughter’s pregnant.
Focusing on what it means for me: I’m going to be a grandma.
Statement of fact that also contains amazement: My daughter is growing a person inside her.

Poetry

A Review: ‘Glitter Bomb,’ by Aaron Belz

Dress the ordinary in the absurd it deserves.

Poetry

Oh Heart!

A poem by Corey Mesler

Humanity

Yes, All People

On the #yesallwomen campaign, grown-up fears and finding safe places

Visual Art

From The Roster : Pat Bellan-Gillen

Pat Bellan-Gillen’s magical realism inspired drawings as profiled by Amy Neftzger

Literature

The Great Railway Bazaar

The Great Railway Bazaar doesn’t try to distill any experience but the author’s own, and it does so with an artfulness that has the bite of a strong drink: in the end the buzz is worth the burn, even forty years after its release.

Blog

Explosions and BBQ

Your weird uncle’s been twisting wicks all afternoon.

Poetry

Can We Know

A prose poem by Yu-Han Chao

Humanity

Adoption in Reality

One couple’s understanding of the biblical metaphor of adoption changed through the reality of their open adoption.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Mark Sprinkle

Mark Sprinkle on Through the Eyes of a Shepherd: Seeing the Incarnation through Animal Imagery, his exhibition at Wheaton College.

Poetry

Obituaries

A poem by Samuel Dickison

Visual Art

From the Roster: Jesse Lee Wilson

Jesse Lee Wilson’s practice grows out of the intersection of social engagement with design, architecture, and contemporary art.

Visual Art

Graffiti Church

The presence of graffiti is not insidious in itself, but a reminder of the passage of uses of buildings and coherence of place-based communities.

Poetry

Bryant Park

A poem by Heidi Duncan

Literature

Christ the Whore

On Oliver Ready’s Translation of Crime and Punishment

Visual Art

From the Roster: Alison Stigora

Alison Stigora, a Philadelphia based artist, explores creation through visceral materials, site-specific fabrications, and drawing.

Music & Performing Arts

An Interview with Josh Garrels

Charles Carman and Josh Garrels talk Garrels’ history, the narrative nature to his music, growing up and the prominence of myth to his life, and the need for love of a city.

Humanity

Getting to Know Failure

Failure:Lab swims against the metaphorical (and twitter) stream, with storytellers drawing audiences into the heart of a failure and then leaving them there. This makes being at Failure:Lab like experiencing an upside-down TED Talk.

Poetry

The Bridge at Trinquetaille

A poem by William Doreski

Humanity

Listening Walls

As I watched a soccer match in that stadium on a June day seventy years later, a little part of me wondered what those walls—built for the glory of Hitler—thought about that crowd.

Humanity

The FIFA Flop

No one watching a soccer match ever says “I hope the refs get it wrong so we can see some drama.”

Visual Art

Saccharine Perspiration Blues

For all its larger-than-life bravado, Kara Walker’s sphinx is the weakest part of her Domino Sugar Factory installation. Instead, glimpse her molasses children before they are no more.

Humanity

The Banana Bike Brigade

An exposé on St. Louis’ most eccentric parade riding, paper-mâchéing bicycle armada.

Poetry

Guerrilla

A poem by John Grey

Literature

Second Chances: Part Two

Poetry ought to give expression to and render judgement upon the events of our history, offering something graspable, retrievable, for personal and national memory.

Visual Art

From the Roster: Janna Dyk

“Will We Talk or Shall We Just Gaze? ” is recent artwork by Janna Dyk.

Literature

Second Chances

A belated, rebounding essay-review of Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler

Humanity

Hunting Complexity

Is this my conception of the divine, spreading out and seeping in to fill the intricate holes of our teeming reality? Could it be that my infinite God has been, not too small, but too simple?

Poetry

The Lion

A poem by Derek Dew

Poetry

Sacred Geometry

A poem by Michelle Mitchell-Foust

Humanity

I Emailed God

My fingers itch with words, with possible responses.

Humanity

A Film About Coffee

Haley Littleton and Brandon Loper, the Director of the first full-length documentary on the production and consumption of free trade coffee, had a chat about their favorite drink.

Humanity

Taking the Crisis Out, Letting a Person Be

The End is a logical place to begin when you are middling.

Literature

On Wallace Stegner’s Advice and the Blogosphere

In asking who we are writing for, we often come back around to asking why are we writing in the first place. Why would we even want an audience? When it comes to identifying our solitary reader, perhaps why is the better question.

Poetry

The Human Condition

A poem by Danel Mahoney