Archive for the 'Culture' Category

“Banana Envy”: Notes on a Global Obsession

The banana is one of the most popular and ubiquitous fruits in the world. Walmart sells more of them than any other product. The word “bananas” has entered our language not just to refer to the fruit, but also as a slang word for something crazy or bizarre. In terms of imagery it’s slippery skin has become a […]

Three Halloween Costumes Inspired by American Short Stories

In the spirit of Halloween I have come up with three simple costumes inspired by 19th century American short stories. Whether you are a somewhat troubled trickster or a passive treater there’s something for everyone. For the more passive trick or treater….. Rip Van Winkle! Yes, this guy is really easy. He comes from a […]

“Jus’ and ol’ Graveyard Ghost”: Past and Present in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Bruce Springsteen’s, “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”

*This was originally published in my MA in American Literature and Film Research Journal (March 2010)* “You can get killed just for living/ In your American skin” – Bruce Springsteen “American Skin (41 Shots)” This post examines the continuing relevance of John Steinbeck’s social and cultural vision in The Grapes of Wrath. It shall be […]

From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: A Legacy of Racially Motivated Murder in the U.S.

I join the masses in shock and horror at the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman was on trial for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin on the 12th February 2012 in Florida. Martin was a 17 year old black teenager and was unarmed when he was shot twice by Zimmerman. The […]

“Shelling the Pecans” by Lorna Dee Cervantes (Audio)

This poem won Lorna Dee Cervantes the 2007 Pushcart Prize for Best of the Small Press. It was originally published in OCHO#6, 2006. The full text is available here. Similar Posts: A Review of Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems by Lorna Dee Cervantes Lorna Dee Cervantes at the American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco, […]

“The Still, Sad Music of Humanity”: A Brief Appreciation of Poetry

In this TED Talk, Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize, discusses the importance of poetry, drawing on his own personal development and the role of arts in society. Throughout, his talk is flavoured with recitations of some of his favourite poems delivered in the manner of a true appreciator of poetry and language. […]

Poetry Translation Workshop: A Review

A series of Poetry Translation workshops are being held by the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University College Cork over the coming weeks, hosted by writer in residence, Matthew Sweeney. I attended the first of these workshops on the 08th March 2013. Several texts by Spanish, German and French poets were provided, the aim […]

Cyborgs, Smart Phones and Poetry: Why We Should Memorise

I came across this post in The New Yorker recently called “Why We Should Memorize” and found plenty food for thought in it. Not so long ago I had a mental repository of dozens of poems and literary snippets that I could quote on demand. However, now I can barely remember phone numbers. The author, […]

ALTAR. Cruzando Fronteras, Building Bridges.

ALTAR: Cruzando Fronteras, Building Bridges is a documentary film about the writer, theorist and activist, Gloria Anzaldúa, directed by Daniele Basilio and Paola Zaccaria (2009). Click HERE to view it on Vimeo. The documentary explores Anzaldúa’s influence on visual artists, her own interests in art, and the intersection of art, spirituality and activism in her […]

A Review of Stephen King’s The Long Walk (Written Under the Pseudonym, Richard Bachman)

*This review was written as part of The Stephen King Project*   The Long Walk is set in a dystopian North America and follows a torturous annual walking contest for teenage boys. Described as a “national sport,” The Long Walk features one hundred participants who must walk non-stop while maintaining a speed of 4 miles/hour. Long […]