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Arms and Muses: Poems from Ukraine

“When arms speak, muses are silent” is the English paraphrase for an aphorism attributed to Cicero, albeit with a slightly different word order. Inter arma enim silent lēgēs is Latin for, literally, “For among arms, the laws are silent.” Currently both laws and muses are silent. Warnings such as “viewers discretion advised” or “Warning! Graphic content” … Read More

War Poetry: What Is It Good For?

With Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, war is back on the minds of the West––even though, as Syria, Yemen, and other sites of conflict should remind us, it never really left. A recent New York Times essay by the Ukranian poet Ilya Kaminsky meditates on the role of poetry in times like these. Kaminsky’s own … Read More

An Evening with Natalie Díaz

Natalie Díaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She is also the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. Díaz is also a well-decorated poet with a Pulitzer Prize for her most recent Postcolonial Love Poem, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the … Read More

Trethewey and the Casta Paintings

Natasha Trethewey has served as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), and as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She has also published, to date, eight books of poetry. Thrall, published win 2012, was a Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 Finalist and a Best Poetry Finalist, a 2013 Southern Independent Booksellers … Read More

Summer Tales: One Poem, One Story

As the Summer Tales Book Club program is winding down, it’s time to reflect on some great moments of Summer Tales 2021. With over 40 students enrolled and active on and off since June 1, 2021, we were delighted to meet readers of different tastes and backgrounds in this virtual intellectual community. The books recommended … Read More

Confessions of a Part-Time Interviewer

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting poet Natalie Díaz for a Zoom reading and discussion, and a few weeks ago in late June we had author Carmen Maria Machado for a similar event. I had the particular pleasure of being the one to talk to both, asking them questions drawn from our preregistered … Read More

Language Preservation on Both Sides of the Iron Curtain

Matapris oli. The only sentence I remember from my one-semester course of an endangered Finno-Ugric language called Mansi, as part of the Master’s program at the Kossuth Lajos University (KLTE), Debrecen, Hungary at the end of the 1970s. To fulfill the requirements in diachronic linguistics, we had to pick one language from the Finno-Ugric language … Read More

Poetry and Recipes

In addition to my position at Rutgers as a part-time business librarian, I am also a food writer and historian. While the vocations might not seem connected, they really do work well in tandem. The database-searching proficiency I gleaned through my M.L.S. (Rutgers, 1997) combined with many years working in corporate libraries allows me to … Read More