Connie became pregnant, but my belly did not grow of child but of wild. And where her baby attached to her and sucked the life source, dormant things grew in me that only fed to feed again. And where her skin smoothed with life, mine grew sallow of contempt. And where she could no longer bring her knees or forehead to the floor in prayer, I made rakat after rakat in empty servitude—bargaining, reasoning, demanding. The single prayer I said was the baby prayer, the fastening prayer, the mooring prayer, the prayer that said I deserved more than what was received.
It reads like a smack-you-in-the-face-beautiful prose poem, but it's actually nonfiction, a personal essay by Kima Jones about the impossibly tangled emotions of sisterhood. It's blistering and beautiful and you should read it right now. READ MORE
Probably what surprises most people who look at this work, which is how much of a presence the Hispanic community has in Northeast Tennessee, and how it still goes unnoticed. For a long time the common media portrayal of Hispanic communities, in East Tennessee especially, was that of migrant workers, who still exist here, but there is an increasing amount of settled families now. That is what this project is about in many ways. These are people who live and work here and are becoming an integral part of Southern Appalachia.
At the Morning News, Karolle Robarison interviews Megan King about her gorgeous new photo series "Hispanic Appalachia," which documents the everyday lives of Latinos in what has been "historically one of the most conservative and homogeneous regions in the country." Click through to see the whole stunning set, and if you live near Big Stone Gap, Virginia, check out the exhibit at Slemp Gallery.
The London Review of Books has never been focused on gender equality. VIDA, the organization which tallies up male and female contributors and subjects in various publications every year, consistently ranks LRB as one of its worst offenders, and that status has apparently prompted the journal to rethink exactly nothing and make precisely zero changes. READ MORE
There are some people who speak several languages, and that's great and I'm really impressed, but this girl can speak like twelve different kinds of gibberish! Swedish gibberish, Arabic gibberish, a whole United Nations meeting of gibberish! I don't think I could pull this off even in English. Some are better than others—the Italian turned out so stereotypical she labeled it "Pizza"—but they're all pretty interesting glimpses at what a language (kind of) sounds like to people who don't speak it. (See also: this old Italian music video in a nonsense approximation of rock-and-roll-style English. It's about 10% more decipherable than "Gimme Shelter.")
You probably haven’t heard of Michelle Sutherland (yet). At the end of last year, she directed Gertrude Stein SAINTS!—one of the weirdest, craziest, coolest stage performances of the year. The work combines two texts by Stein—Four Saints in Three Acts and Saints and Singing—into a sort of opera-musical showcasing a multitude of American music styles, from doo-wop to Shaker music to rap. It was the only show to win more than one award at this year’s New York Fringe Festival, and it’s returning to New York soon for a three-week run at the Abrons Art Center. For a good idea of just how strange and glorious this project is, watch the video for their Kickstarter campaign, which reached its funding goal and then some. READ MORE