Big Window

a quick glimpse of something beautiful

Maureen Drennan

Photographer Maureen Drennan was featured in a recent Huffington Post piece on artists repositioning themselves for the upcoming Trump presidency. I was moved by her strength and faith in the power of the artist.

“I believe the role of an artist is more important than ever and ideally should compel and challenge us to think in different ways. Artists can be powerful dissenters and transgressive to political and societal conventions.

Good art often comes from an uncomfortable place. While it can be painful to explore, the creation and consumption of such art can be very therapeutic. In such a divisive time that we live in, the hardest thing we can do is to show compassion to those in opposition to our beliefs.”

Although Drennan’s art does not read as perhaps obviously political, there is an immediacy and an unapologetic honesty that graces her portraits. She explains,

”I feel enormously privileged to be an artist and to have met and photographed such inspiring people. My goal is to deepen my understanding of other people’s experiences and share those stories with a wide audience. Stories and narrative foster empathy and compassion, something that is sorely needed during this contentious time of anti-immigrant rhetoric. My advice to fellow artists is to not be afraid to explore things that are uncomfortable.”

This year Conveyor Arts published a book of Drennan’s work, the sea that surrounds us, and it is currently in its second printing. Find out more about Maureen Drennan on her website. 

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Filed under: Art, Books, Photography

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space

There are so many ways to learn about our world. Take, for instance, Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, an awesome children’s book about the galaxy.

With writing by quantum computer scientist Dominic Walliman and designed and illustrations by Ben Newman, this is a wonderful way to make discoveries. Science should be a revelation of wonders, and this book delivers.

Just to give credit where credit is due, I found this book via Brain Pickings, a blog by Maria Popova that shares super wonderful content on a daily basis.

Filed under: Blogs, Books, Science

NaPoWriMo 2014 Begins Today

napofeature4

 

 

If you are planning to writing a poem a day in April, there are sources of inspiration all around. Starting in the most obvious place, check out the NaPoWriMo site. You will find everything you need to get started. Add your blog to the list of participants and join the community of writers.

There are also poetry prompts being published on blogs across the Internet. Check out:

1sojournal

The Bell Jar

Chris Jarmick

Kundiman

Oulipost

ReadWriteThink

Writer’s Digest

When stuck (which will be soon enough) I plan to use The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice by Kelly Agodon and Martha Silano (Two Sylvias Press). Feel free to share your fave NaPo links here.

Filed under: Blogs, Books, Current Events, Poetry, Web, Writers, Writing Exercise, , , , ,

Writing, Promptly

NaNoWriMo-General-Flyer

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has gained momentum over the past decade, and a number of best-selling novels–Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– began in this veritable boot camp for writers. The appeal lies in the short intense nature of the project, with the product being a 50,000 word first draft. Daily word count goals keep you on track, and the NaNo site provides a supportive community. November is almost upon us. Perhaps THIS year is YOUR year?

rexraycollagee

Collage by Rex Ray

Filed under: Blogs, Books, Web, Writers, Writing, Writing Exercise, , , , , , , , ,

50 States, 50 Novels: Some Great American Novels

I’m on of those people who loves reading books about the places I travel while I am traveling. Therefore I love the idea of choosing a novel for each of the 50 US states. Maybe one day I’ll make my own list. In the meantime, check out this literary tour of America from QwikLit.

Qwiklit

It is impossible to contain all of the United States of America in one novel. From Alabama to Wyoming, there is little to connect every work here except for the fact that they are, well, American. But if you’re currently sitting on your front porch, looking for an escape to anywhere in America, be it the Everglades of Florida, the beaches of Southern California, or even the cold, merciless terrain of Alaska — then worry not: we have found some of the finest works of contemporary literature this country has to offer, and placed them all on one comprehensive list. Enjoy!

Alabama – John Green – Looking for Alaska (2005)

Don’t let the title fool you; John Green places his main character, the biography-obsessed prep-school student called Miles, in the middle of a love triangle centered around an Alabamian prep school. Green has a knack for channeling the ‘coming-of-age’ to…

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Filed under: Books, Travel, Web, Writers, , , ,

Brian Dettmer: The Art of the Book

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Brian Dettmer sculpts with books and paints with the words on the page. Literally. Dettmer describes the motivation behind his work this way:

The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect communicative objects or systems such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role transforms. Its content is recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge.

To see more of his fascinating art, visit his site.

Filed under: Art, Books, Poetry,

Pseudomorph by Rebecca Hoogs

How to Draw Anime/MangaI feel like a Rebecca-
like shape, like the real one

has cast me off, spurt me out
and left me to face her predators,

like the real me is off
enjoying her airpocketless body,

while I stay behind going blotto,
a so-so blurb on the back of a book,

a blurry word. My beak keens
for something to say, but I’m a bubble

that’s lost its thought, an ink-tank
without a think. O morph, o nym,

I know I’m just your pseudo,
your thin skin, but please

return my heart and other vitals.
It’s thankless, this being like,

a being not quite right.

by Rebecca Hoogs

previously published at Verse Daily

Filed under: Books, Poetry, Writers,

My First Chapbook is Out: Dear Red Airplane

My chapbook “Dear Red Airplane” arrived in today’s mail. It is published by Seven Kitchens Press. I suppose it’s both good news and bad news that it is already sold out. Seven Kitchens is a micro-press and they specialize in artful booklets in small print runs. If you’d like to request a second run, you can do so here.

Filed under: Books, Poetry, Writers, , ,

Big Theory by Susan Briante

A red woodpecker scales the live oak, while I sleep,
the phone rings             makes its erasures:
a demolition/construction
a dream in which I’m revising a list with my father—gone
the way of whole neighborhoods in the Bronx.
Robert Moses shrugs his concrete shoulders
Robert Moses, I say, drop the knife.


In the summer of 2001, I lived in the Bowery, took photographs
of police call boxes,
took the train through Newark, NJ: warehouse, community college, broadface
of the projects irregardless of choices. I was a lonely child, loved looking
at things no one would notice:     Rahway,     Linden,     Elizabeth: the many-eyed,
bricked-up, gold-domed, on the platform waiting.
So far as we feel sympathy, we are not accomplices.

Thick rain     and tree roots knuckle the sidewalk.
In Newark, NJ, the sidewalks were slate gray, dark as thunderheads
big bang          big theory          of charge/discharge.

As a child, I thought I could save my mother’s life by stepping in front of her.

Copyright © 2011 by Susan Briante

from her book Utopia Minus published by Ahsahta Press

Filed under: Books, Poetry, , ,

Identical Twins by Judy Kaufmann

One of my (many) childhood fantasies was having an identical twin. You too?  Check out the repetitive hilarity of illustrator Judy Kaufman. Bring back the joy!

(via Art MoCo)

Filed under: Art, Blogs, Books, Design, , , ,

Cusp by Melanie Braverman

If the heron comes in low over the marshes, if it shadows the car as you drive
west toward the sea, breakwater holding the lip of the coming tide
at bay while the autumn sun cast one gold and pink sheen over the grasses
like a spell, like all the secrets you tell
yourself while driving; if the heron comes in low, great wings beating the air
slowly as a woman beats rugs on a line, having pulled them from the basement
readying the house for winter (it is a fine, warm day but she is not fooled,
having lived her whole life here she knows what’s just beyond the cusp
of October); if you stop the car and, getting out, watch the bird hover and dip
and disappear below the horizon of the tall grass, wait then, just wait:
before the sky loses its light for good, and your hands grow unusually chill
in the new air, the head of the heron will bob like a buoy back out of the grass
again, as if it had always been there, still as a road sign, and there
it will remain, unfazed, patient and voracious
in this splendid world.

by Melanie Braverman
from her book Red

Glossy Ibis - Cheyenne Bottoms

Photo by Anita, on flickr akr67042

Filed under: Books, Photography, Poetry, , , , ,

What Have We Here

This work by Sebastiaan Bremer truly blows me away! Whoah!

[via grain edit]

Filed under: Art, Books, Web,

please advise stop [the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father’s arm stop] by Rusty Morrison

the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father’s arm stop
and no father walking toward me stop
on the branch only oak leaves reddening as wind ripens their talent for exodus stop

on the lawn a scatter of wrens head-down but tail-erect stop
no bringing back the other world though every silence sounds for it stop
soft hiss then only all the rattle of useless memory caught in the unwieldy bundle of his dying stop

where I’ve tied it stop
waiting for the proscenium that the warblers’ song might once again build around me stop
I purse my lips in an exaggerated exorcism of breath please advise

by Rusty Morrison
from the true keeps calm biding its story (Ahsahta Press)

Filed under: Books, Poetry,

A Field Guide to Fanciful Bugs

New Must-See VisPo

Filed under: Books, Poetry, Vispo, Web

Book Art, Redefined by Parsley Steinweiss

In a set of photographs published in the most recent edition of Indigest Magazine, you can see Parsley Steinweiss’ pictures of books. But they don’t look much like books.  Enjoy!

Filed under: Art, Blogs, Books, Photography

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