Most Recent Posts

Accidental Critic: Frank Lloyd Wright in Racine, Wis.

December 7th, 2017 | Architecture-Art, EIL Blog | No Comments

Interested in architecture? Check.

Like free stuff? Check.

Live in the Midwest? Check.

Ready for a day-trip adventure? Check.

Having checked off all the requirements, I was off—to tour the S.C. Johnson Company headquarters designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in

Read More




Pushcart Nominations in 2017

December 6th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments



Accidental Critic: In Praise of Cultural Centers

December 4th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

The little girl must have been 5 years old. Long hair swinging in a ponytail down her back, she wore a pale pink leotard as her father carried her off the dance floor, hugging her tightly. She looked

Read More




Theatre Review: The Home Place

November 28th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

The Home Place
By Brian Friel 

Off-Broadway—The Irish Repertory Theatre 
November 24, 2017 
Reviewed by Scott Klavan 

The Irish proverb “God made time, but man made haste” is true generally and applies specifically to the Irish Repertory Theatre’s Off-Broadway New

Read More




Music for Music: Tommy Hunt

November 27th, 2017 | Music | No Comments

When the Last Word is the Right Sound: Tommy Hunt

By Dan Ursini © 2017

Writing about Caroline Shaw’s vocal music made me think about how the use of pure vocalized sound was built into the DNA of rock and

Read More




Via Basel: Thanksgiving 1963

November 23rd, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

On this Thanksgiving Day 2017, nothing I or anybody else I know can say is more eloquent and relevant than President John F. Kennedy’s Proclamation 3560 on November 4, 1963. These pre-Thanksgiving proclamations had become a tradition since the birth

Read More




Toon Musings: (Political) Cartoons Under Siege

November 21st, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

 

Today’s Editorial

 

Political strongman Boss Tweed once famously said this of the political cartoonist Thomas Nast: “I don’t care a straw for your newspaper articles; my constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them

Read More




Theatre Review: Actually

November 17th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

Actually by Anna Ziegler
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Manhattan Theatre Club
@New York City Center—The Studio @ Stage II
Reviewed by Scott Klavan
November 15, 2017

The joylessness and frustration of modern young love is dramatized with a sharp pen

Read More




John Wentz

November 16th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


The Morning Breathes, The Evening Dies
, mixed media on wood panel, 24″ x 36″, 2017


Don’t Need That Ending Till It’s Time
, mixed media on canvas, 22″ x 30″, 2017


The Less I Change the More You’ll Have

Read More




Via Basel: Sophie’s Generation

November 11th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

The last six months have brought a rapid sequence of changes in my life starting with retirement from orthopedic surgery (after 40 years), to new relationships and finally  the birth of my first grandchild to name just the highlights. Along

Read More




Long Story Short

November 10th, 2017 | Book Reviews | No Comments

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Viking Penguin India, Orion (U.K.), Harper Collins (U.S.) 1993

Harper Perennial 1994, 2005

reviewed by Seana Graham

A friend of mine here in Santa Cruz realized a few years ago that his customary reading

Read More




Life in the Box: Wolf Kahn Colors

November 6th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

In turbulent times, I find myself looking for softness. Soft music, soft clothing, mushy comfort food. So I was delighted to find, among art papers in my basement workshop, some beautiful Wolf Kahn colors. They were torn from a 2011

Read More




Scary Poems

October 31st, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Lauren E. Simonutti

Lana Hechtman Ayers

Godzilla and The Dead Boy’s Doppelganger

Dear dead brother,
I can never see the actor
Matthew Broderick
without seeing your forehead,
nose, ears, hair
and overall stature.
 
I can never see Godzilla without
recalling

Read More




Toon Musings: Saul Steinberg

October 27th, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Fine Artiste or Grubby Cartoonist?

From time to time, when a reflective mood takes me and I find myself in an existential funk, I ask myself, “What’s the deal with Saul Steinberg?”

It’s only happened a couple of times. The

Read More




Michael Meyerhofer

October 25th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Alfred Gescheidt

In Place of a Third Eye

For one whole year before language,
people were born with a third hand

dangling from their foreheads.
Too weak to point, let alone grasp

or fight. Whenever they slept,
those extra fingers

Read More




Redd Walitzki

October 19th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Bloom
, oil and mixed-media on laser-cut acrylic panel, 18″ x 24″, 2017


Snowblind
, oil and mixed-media on laser-cut acrylic panel, 34″ x 44″, 2017


Snowblind
(Detail)


Endanleg osk
(“The Final Wish”), oil and mixed-media on laser-cut acrylic panel, …

Read More




Virginia Bell: Memoir Excerpt, Cat-Fishing

October 18th, 2017 | Creative-Nonfiction | No Comments


Sean Mahan

Cat-Fishing 

My father came to pick up my brothers one summer morning and I watched them climb into his blue Ford Torino with the trunk and roof top luggage carrier stuffed to the gills with sleeping bags and

Read More




Life in the Box: Angel Moments

October 16th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Helping a stranger through an emergency, being their “angel,” is not something most of us encounter every day. But it’s common enough that I wonder how many of us have stories about being there for someone in need.

Have you

Read More




Music for Music: Caroline Shaw

October 14th, 2017 | Music | No Comments

Music for Music: Caroline Shaw & Voice: To the Limit

by Dan Ursini ©2017

At the age of 35, Caroline Shaw has already had a career in music unlike anybody else’s. In 2013 she became the youngest person to receive

Read More




CatOber 2017

October 11th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments

Martin Wittfooth

Catherine Moore

Lines Written As We Sit on Our Cement Stoop Drinking Peridot-Green Wine, Leaning on Handrails Where the White Cat Perches, Ridiculously Like a Cloud 

so much for sentimental, you finally say
then fluster in a

Read More




Via Basel: Male Spirit Retreat: Grandpa

October 10th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

Mahbubur Rahman

Reading and writing poetry was one of the activities during a Male Spirit retreat I attended a couple of weekends ago. We were asked to write one about a painful childhood memory. Being a new grandfather I recalled

Read More




Travel Notes from the River Styx

October 4th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Travel Notes from the River Styx
by Susanna Lang
Terrapin Books, 2017

Cover art: Georgia by Nancy Marshall

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

An epigraph from T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding” sets a tone of acceptance for Susanna

Read More




Life in the Box: A Bucket of Buckeyes

October 2nd, 2017 | Television | No Comments

There were dozens of buckeyes on the sidewalk, so I picked up a bucketful and brought them home. I love their smooth curved mahogany shapes.

What will I do with them? I don’t know, but an art project of some

Read More




Katherine Knapp

September 27th, 2017 | Fiction | No Comments


Ida at the Window
, by Marc Chagall

An excerpt from the novel-in-progress Through Chagall’s Window
b
y Katherine Knapp

Alex walked through a hall of red walls and white statuary and climbed a marble staircase to the second floor.

Read More




Aixa Oliveras

September 21st, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Blue, charcoal on tinted paper, 12″ x 9″, 2016


Faith
, charcoal on tinted paper, 12″ x 9″, 2017


Slow Burn
, charcoal on coffee-tinted paper, 12″ x 9″, 2016


The Night Within Creates Stars
, oil on round …

Read More




Whirlwind @ Lesbos by Risa Denenberg

September 20th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Whirlwind @ Lesbos by Risa Denenberg
Headmistress Press, 2016

Whirlwind @ Lesbos, by Risa Denenberg, begins with its title poem, a thrilling and marvelously impossible history of a whirlwind of a love affair. It starts in Istanbul, travels

Read More




Nevertheless, We Persisted–on reading Finnegans Wake

September 15th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Book Reviews | No Comments

Last Wednesday evening marked a milestone for a small group of us here in Santa Cruz—we came to the end of our joint reading of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Some idea of the significance for us may be gleaned

Read More




Sandy Longhorn: A Self-Exphrasis

September 13th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments

            To Live in a House of Grief

The girl born reaching
                                    insists
            on curves and swerves
adores lush fringe and silk
                                         bent
            on catching the light let in
to a room ruled
            by mourning’s rigid lines,
its cloaked shadows.
                             In

Read More




Music for Music: The Claypool Lennon Delirium

September 8th, 2017 | Music | No Comments

The Claypool Lennon Delirium

The Claypool Lennon Delirium: Serious Stuff 

by Dan Ursini ©2017 

It is a rare album which documents musicians caught in the act of finding themselves, but that is what happens during Monolith of Phobos, the

Read More




Toon Musings: A Community of Strippers

September 5th, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

I had the privilege to visit the island of Manhattan recently. It was my first time and I cannot get it out of my mind. I’ve visited, and to a greater or lesser extent, familiarized myself with a few cities:

Read More




Labor Day 2017

September 4th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Ethan Murrow

Virginia Bell

Picket-Line Girl

She cheered, that lady,

called my name—Cora

Marie—she handed me
peonies as I walked from

the wagon to the jail’s door,                               
made me believe I was

a hero.  So when the warden
told me

Read More




Ragtime Revisited

September 1st, 2017 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Ragtime

Random House, 1975, reprint 2007

by E. L. Doctorow

reviewed by Seana Graham

I first read Ragtime many years ago while I was still in college, not long after its publication. A friend had recommended it, but, much

Read More




Best of the Net Nominations 2017

August 30th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Alexandra Eldridge

Please enjoy these poems and prose poems, our nominations for this year’s Best of the Net anthology of work originally published online. Click the poets’ names to see more of their work in solo or theme-based features, and

Read More




Sophie Rosalind Steinmetz

August 28th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 2 Comments

Happy news for the EIL family: the arrival of Sophie Rosalind Steinmetz!

Sophie is the daughter of Mandy (Al-Aswad) Steinmetz, our CEO, and Thomas Steinmetz, our Technical Architect. She is the granddaughter of Basel Al-Aswad, who no doubt will tell

Read More




Via Basel: Paying Attention

August 18th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 2 Comments

Only last week I discussed Mindfulness/Meditation on EIL and how it has recently become an even more integral part of my life as I am involved in teaching it at a behavioral health center. A very short definition would be:

Read More




Noelle Harper

August 17th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Ralph, acrylic on canvas, 9″ x 12″, 2016

Darcy, acrylic on canvas, 10″ x 10″, 2017

Homer, acrylic on canvas, 9″ x 12″, 2016

Frankie, acrylic on canvas, 9″ x 12″, 2016

Quincy, acrylic on …

Read More




Diamond Dog, Emerald Ice

August 16th, 2017 | Film | No Comments

Orange grove still from Emerald Ice

Emerald Ice is a short (16-minute) film by Jesseca Ynez Simmons about (and narrated by) the poet Diane Wakoski. Simmons calls it a “docufantasy” as it is a kind of documentary in poetic form.

Read More




Jesseca Ynez Simmons on Diane Wakoski

August 16th, 2017 | Film | No Comments

Diane Wakoski in a still from Emerald Ice

Jesseca Ynez Simmons is filmmaker who explored the life and work of Diane Wakoski in what she calls a “docufantasy,”  Emerald Ice, which is making the rounds of film festivals right

Read More




Via Basel: Being, an early benefit

August 11th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Cole Thompson

Many years ago when I started meditation, I  was instructed to practice Being at times instead of my constant Doing. After having accepted my type A personality over decades, one that valued action and achievement, that was a

Read More




J. Hope Stein Through the Nose

August 9th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

Occasionally, I Remove Your Brain Through Your Nose
by J. Hope Stein

Poet Republik Ltd, 2017  
Cover art by Kate Micucci 

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor 

Occasionally, I Remove Your Brain Through Your Nose is a short, funny,

Read More




Music for Music: Fernanda Takai

August 4th, 2017 | Music | No Comments

Fernanda Takai: Toy Instruments, Real Music

By Dan Ursini © 2017

I first heard of Fernanda Takai, the Brazilian-Japanese vocalist and musician, one day on YouTube, trying to check on guitarist Andy Summers. He is the ultimate journeyman, with a

Read More




Sarah J. Sloat’s Misery

August 2nd, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments

Very Grave/Very Reasonable

These poems belong to a series I began last fall when I participated in ‘The Poeming,’ a project in which poets were assigned a Stephen King book as a source text. Mine was Misery, the story

Read More




Life in the Box: Rachel Maddow and Cliff-hangers

July 31st, 2017 | Television | 1 Comment

One of my continual complaints about television news programs is that they tell a bit of “what happened today,” but rarely does their quick read-through of headlines give enough breadth and depth for serious understanding.

Enter Rachel Maddow, MSNBC cable

Read More




Life’s Matters: Gray People

July 28th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

To be black in America is to be “gray,” born into two disparate societies, each with its ideals. Navigating the rocky terrain of both societies is an everyday challenge faced by every black person in the United States. Blacks are

Read More




Karrie Waarala

July 26th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Hadieh Shafie

My Ex-Husband Went on an Ego Trip
and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

Not that it fits. These relearning years
have packed good fat back onto these wicker
bones, I am no longer a splintered shipwreck

Read More




Greg Dunn

July 20th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Drawings, Illustration, Photography | No Comments


Self Reflected 
(detail), basal ganglia and brainstem, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ x 130″, 2014-2016


Self Reflected
 (detail), thalamus and basal ganglia, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ x 130″, 2014-2016


Self Reflected
 (detail), motor and parietal cortex, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ x …

Read More




Review of Ice Mountain, by Dave Bonta

July 19th, 2017 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Ice Mountain, An Elegy, by Dave Bonta

Phoenicia Publishing, 2017

Illustrations by Elizabeth Adams

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk

During the dog days of summer, you might enjoy a bracing romp through snowy woods in Ice Mountain, by Dave

Read More




Via Basel: Just Received…

July 16th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

July 16, 2017

Dear Dad,

On this day, my birthday, I thought this would be a good time to send you this letter. In addition, in a few days it would have been seven years in earthly time since I

Read More




Dog Days 2017

July 12th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Tamara Muller

Virginia Bell

Preface

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was part of a 3-ship Spanish expedition that got caught in a storm in 1528 off the Gulf Coast of what is now Florida. He and three other survivors walked

Read More




Love in a Coffin Shop

July 5th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments

Mariann Johansen-Ellis

Richard Jones is the editor of Poetry East which, in special issues, has featured short essays about the composing process together with the poems. This summer, in a course he is teaching, he has assigned such essays to

Read More




Music for Music: Inventionis Mater

July 1st, 2017 | Music | No Comments

Inventionis Mater: Zappa Reinvented
By Dan Ursini © 2017

Frank Zappa was a deeply innovative musical thinker whose music drew on rock, jazz, doo wop, blues, lounge, classical—and made it all sound amusing.  His songs had sarcastic lyrics sung by

Read More




Accidental Critic: The Natural Way of Things

June 24th, 2017 | Book Reviews, EIL Blog | No Comments

A young woman awakens in a room she doesn’t recognize, wearing clothing she’s never seen, with no idea where she is other than the middle of nowhere. She assumes she is in a mental asylum—we’ve no idea yet as to

Read More




Via Basel: On Letting Go—The End

June 22nd, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

 

In a few weeks we will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau (born July 12, 1817). An American icon, philosopher, poet, and lover of the wild, this is what he said: “for a man is rich

Read More




Review of American Ephemeral by Justin Hamm

June 21st, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Justin Hamm

American Ephemeral by Justin Hamm
Kelsay Books, Aldrich Press, 2017

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk

American Ephemeral, by Justin Hamm, is a perfect book to read in the month of June. It contains strong father poems, great baseball

Read More




Theatre Review: Brits Off Broadway

June 16th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

BRITS OFF BROADWAY Festival 
59 E. 59 St. Theaters
Invincible
Written by Torben Betts 

Directed by Christopher Harper 
June 3, 2017
My Eyes Went Dark
Written and Directed by Matthew Wilkinson

June 10, 2017 

Reviewed By Scott Klavan 

Now in

Read More




Judith Peck

June 15th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Voice
, oil and plaster on board, 20″ x 16″, 2017


Steeled
, oil and plaster on board, 40″ x 60″ (diptych), 2016


The Divide
, oil and plaster on board, 40″ x 30″, 2017


Urban Dream
, oil and …

Read More




Father Poems

June 14th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Sharon Wolpoff

Susanna Lang 

Desire

The water my father aches for
is not the tap water run cold

into a glass, though his tongue
is chalky after so many days without;
 
not the spring bubbling up clear as if
there

Read More




Toon Musings: Funnies and the Paper of Record

June 13th, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

The New York Times went slumming last Sunday, and published their first all-comics issue of the Magazine. I say ‘slumming’ because the Times, alone among American newspapers (as far as I know) does not have a comics page—has never had

Read More




Toon Musings: Alternate Facts, Comic Book Style

June 6th, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

 

The recent popularity of the superhero genre brings back peculiar feelings for me; I was a fervent comic book fan back in the day, beginning with Batman and the World War Two era Blackhawk, and progressing (as many illnesses

Read More




Lana Hechtman Ayers

May 31st, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Nate Frizzell, Short Break Between Fights

Preface

On September 11, 2001, my older brother was at World Trade Center building 4 for a special certification class related to his job as an electrical engineer. After the planes hit the towers,

Read More




Life in the Box: Pop Dance

May 30th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Last week I got a Disco Divas CD at a yard sale, and as I played it in my car, I suddenly found myself happy and singing and bouncing around in my seat. It’s been many decades since I drank

Read More




Via Basel: Letting go…continued

May 29th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Phillip Compton, Marsh Creek West Shore Sunset

In my last post I discussed retirement and letting go. Even in the short time since then several opportunities that were not on my radar have materialized, some of which are really exciting

Read More




Music for Music: Nossa Alma Canta

May 27th, 2017 | Music | No Comments

Music for Music: The Singular Achievement of Nossa Alma Canta

By Dan Ursini

As you may know, one of the many, uh, unexpected impacts of the Internet on art and commerce is most/all artists now find themselves operating in a

Read More




Accidental Critic: Cast of Characters

May 26th, 2017 | Book Reviews, EIL Blog | No Comments

Cast of Characters caught my eye in the bookstore a few months ago, but I passed it by because the time wasn’t right. Having just recently finished re-reading one of my favorite E.B. White essay collections a couple of weeks

Read More




Tim Hunt

May 24th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Jurgen Burgin

Memorial Day, 1955 (Golden Gate National Cemetery, The Presidio, San Francisco, California)

The fog, ebbing from the hill,
leaves a tide line
of white stones on the green beach
where you are standing with those
who have brought

Read More




Life in the Box: Candidate Tests?

May 22nd, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Americans made a mistake in this past Presidential election. They voted for a man based on his attitude, rather than his knowledge. They intentionally chose a guy that knew (knows?) not much about government, other than that he wants to

Read More




Sharon Wolpoff

May 18th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Downtown Pistoia (Woolrich)
, oil on linen, 24″ x 16″, 2016


Studio Legale #2
, oil on canvas, 23″ x 16″, 2016


Lucca Fortress
, oil on linen, 22″ x 26″, 2016


Lucca #10
, oil on linen, 22″ x …

Read More




Theatre Review: Oslo

May 16th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

Oslo by J. T. Rogers

Directed by Bartlett Sher

Lincoln Center Theater at the Vivian Beaumont

Reviewed by Scott Klavan   
May 10, 2017 

The only thing as hard as negotiating a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians might

Read More




Under a Rock: Lockup

May 15th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Lockup: Engrossed Watching the Human Condition

Why did they steal?

Why did they kill?

Am I like them at all?

Perhaps this is what drew me in to the now-cancelled TV series Lockup. The MSNBC show ran for 25

Read More




A Semi-Arranged Romance

May 12th, 2017 | Book Reviews | No Comments

A New Dawn

by Sudha Balagopal

Laurel Highlands Publishing, 2016

reviewed by Seana Graham

Usha’s story begins when she accidentally locks herself in the bathroom of her own house. It’s a wake-up call of sorts, making her realize her

Read More




Mother’s Day 2017

May 10th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments

MotherDressGown
Lucy Capehart

Jan Bottiglieri

A History in Light

For years of my girlhood I could not make sense
of my mother’s story: her mother’s
mother, filling a lamp

while her baby played beneath the wooden table.
How the kerosene caught

Read More




Life in the Box: Visual Emotion

May 9th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Along the forest trail, morning light weaves through new tree buds and tickles tiny spring beauties for an instant. Suddenly the sound bouquet of twittering sparrows, scraping of branches with wind, and swishing creek water all stop. Click. I have

Read More




Listening to the Wind

May 7th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Audiobook with a cast of 166 narrators

A “reader” response by Kathleen Kirk (last of a 3-part series)

There were very few sound effects in the audiobook version of Lincoln in the Bardo

Read More




Still Listening…

May 5th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Audiobook with a cast of 166 narrators

Part 2 of a “reader” response-in-progress by Kathleen Kirk

I am still listening to Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders, via audiobook. Soon, I’ll

Read More




Virginia Bell

May 4th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments


Mario Gomez

Preface

In 1897, Agnes Nestor moved with her family from rural Michigan to Chicago and began to work in a glove factory.  She was 14 years old, 5 feet tall, and weighed 90 pounds. She went on to …

Read More




Via Basel: On Retirement and Letting go

May 3rd, 2017 | EIL Blog | 2 Comments

On May 1st I officially retired from the private practice of orthopedic surgery after forty years and four months in one location and mostly at one hospital, Little Company of Mary in Evergreen Park, Illinois. Although the date had been

Read More




Toon Musings: Sexytime with Turtles

May 2nd, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Their eyes met…

Why is it always the lady sea creature who falls for the shipwrecked man and renounces her species to become human?

The Red Turtle is a new film by  dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit, in a

Read More




Under a Rock: Verbally Purging on Binging

May 1st, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Doctor Who, Gilmore Girls, Weeds, Stranger Things, How to Get Away with Murder, and, of course, Orange is the New Black.

You film them? I devour them.

If you did a Google search on

Read More




Life’s Matters: The Grip of Biases

April 27th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

Life’s Matters: The Grip of Biases

Getting in Touch with Our Biases
We humans seem to be hard-wired to sort, sift, and compartmentalize, not just the experiences of our lives, but also the people with whom we interact or hear

Read More




Listening to Lincoln in the Bardo

April 26th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Audiobook with a cast of 166 narrators

A “reader” response-in-progress by Kathleen Kirk

I say “listening” because I am still listening—not at this moment (when I am beginning to write) but only after

Read More




Music for Music: Rossitza Milevska

April 25th, 2017 | Music | 1 Comment

Music for Music is our new column by Dan Ursini. He’ll be finding wonderful new music for us on YouTube!

Music for Music: Charting the Endless Music Video Horizon—a Vista of Digital Information the Size of a Polar Continent: Rossitza

Read More




Life in the Box: News Roundup

April 24th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Life is changing quickly, so here’s a collection of updates on current topics. Links to related columns and articles are included below the “author” paragraph.

Itching for a Fight:
So in recent weeks, our President has presided in:  dropping the

Read More




Theatre Review: Come From Away

April 23rd, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

Come From Away
Book, Music & Lyrics by Irene Sankoff & David Hein
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Broadway—Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th Street, New York, NY

Reviewed by Scott Klavan
April 19, 2017

Canadians’ reputation for being modest,

Read More




Accidental Critic: Earth Day

April 22nd, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Today is Earth Day, and my recent reading has me in the right frame of mind. I’ve been comforting myself lately by re-reading (for what my mother would have declared the umpteenth time) one of my favorite authors: E.B. White.

Read More




Duy Huynh

April 20th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | 1 Comment


Counting on the Cosmos, acrylic on wood panel, 30″ x 30″, 2017


Recursive Dream Study, acrylic on wood panel, 24″ x 36″, 2017


River of No Regrets, acrylic on wood panel, 18″ x 18″, 2017


Seahorse Oddisea

Read More




Under a Rock: Shameless and Proud

April 13th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Where on Earth have I been for six years?

If, unlike me, you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the masterful hit series Shameless (U.S.) that aired its first episode in January of 2011. I won’t bore

Read More




Review of Haunted City

April 12th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Haunted City by Julie Brooks Barbour
Kelsay Books, Aldrich Press, 2017
Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

The poems in Haunted City, by Julie Brooks Barbour, are indeed haunting. They read like a book of scary fairy tales

Read More




Life in the Box: Picking Up

April 10th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Life is more than politics. I’m taking a week off to consider “other stuff.”

I made five dollars last week by picking up other people’s trash. It’s a new hobby of mine, paid in 5-cent increments.

Let me back up:

Read More




Theatre Review: The Hairy Ape

April 7th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Richard Jones at The Park Avenue Armory
Reviewed by Scott Klavan
April 1, 2017 

Gamestop, the preeminent video game store chain, put up a loss in earnings this past quarter of 11%

Read More




Toon Musings: The Chicago Imagists and “Low Art”

April 6th, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

L’Art Populaire!

I am blessed to live in Chicagoland— that’s what we call it here— deep in Flyover Country. Because of its central location, it became prominent in many industries, and because it was an industrial hub, it grew to

Read More




Random Goodness

April 5th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

April is National Poetry Month, and poets celebrate in a variety of ways. Many write a poem a day with writing groups or in online workshops. Some devote themselves to reading poetry books in April, and many attend or give

Read More




Accidental Critic: I Am Not Your Negro

April 4th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment
By Allan warren (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

“The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story.”

-James Baldwin

By Allan warren (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

By Allan Warren (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

I Am Not Your Negro, a

Read More




The Freedom Caucus isn’t Freeing Anyone  

April 3rd, 2017 | Television | 1 Comment

 

Life in the Box: The Freedom Caucus isn’t Freeing Anyone

Soldiers have a saying, “Freedom isn’t free.” In some circles, you might hear that soldiers have laid down their lives for our freedom. These word are said in the

Read More




Guest Blogger: Justin Hamm

April 1st, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

 

Justin Hamm on the Making of American Ephemeral 

In more than one interview over the years, a certain curly-headed, Wayfarer-wearing rock-poet claims all his songs are autobiographical—that is, if you know where to look. Which seems like it must

Read More




Christine Cardellino

March 16th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Hansel and Gretel, acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 38″ x 34″, 2016


Sleeping Beauty
, acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 24″, 2016

Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins, acrylic and collage on canvas, 48″ x 36″, 2017

Red

Read More




Via Basel: The Vigil

March 13th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Remembering Rosalind Al-Aswad

(died March 13, 2003)

 

The Vigil 

Her bedroom, coal mine dark,
cold and damp, windows
shuttered. Her breath, slow
and labored, gurgling,
stop and go.

Holding the moment still,
stoic dad, two children
embracing, waiting, tears

Read More




A Belarusian Chorus

March 11th, 2017 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Voices from Chernobyl: the Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (Tchernobylskaia Molitva)

by Svetlana Alexievich, translated by Keith Gessen

Editions Ostojie, 1997, Dalkey Archive Press 2005, Picador 2006

reviewed by Seana Graham

 

I wasn’t at the meeting

Read More




Life in the Box: If I Wanted War

March 6th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

Light verse (or shall we say dark verse) by columnist Nancy Heather Brown

 

If I wanted war, I would dream and I would scheme,

And I would look around the world for places to demean.

Let’s see… Israel’s a

Read More




Life in the Box: When Life Begins

March 1st, 2017 | Television | No Comments

When does a tiny collection of cells in a woman’s body go from being a bunch of cells on life support—to being a person? When does that intangible “spirit” enter the body and stay there? When does one person—the potential

Read More




Accidental Critic: Church of the Informed Citizen

February 26th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

These are confusing and uncertain times, politically. Here in the U.S., we live in a country divided, a chasm separating left from right, urban from rural, sister from brother. It’s enough to make many of us avoid the news, avoid

Read More




Justin Hamm, Poems

February 22nd, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments

Oklahoma

Where grown-old pickups go
to live out their remaining days.
The rusty, the crusty, the boxlike in body,
the last of the clunker-cash refugees    
parked outside of midcentury diners
or near the downest and dirtiest dives—
or else half

Read More




Kelle Sauer

February 16th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Photography | No Comments

Salubria, digital photograph, 4″ x 3″


Untitled
, digital photograph, 4″ x 6″


Freesia
, digital photograph, 6″ x 4″


Le Rose del Mattino
, digital photograph, 6″ x 4″

Anne’s Lace, digital photograph, 4″ x 6″

Ivy

Read More




Scott Klavan on Political Theater

February 15th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

Zachary Walsh

BRACE YOURSELF: POLITICAL THEATER AHEAD!

An Essay by Scott Klavan 

Twenty-one months before his death, in March of 2007, the great British playwright Harold Pinter appeared on Charlie Rose’s PBS interview show. Rose tried to ask Pinter

Read More




Via Basel: Hamilton, A Perspective

February 14th, 2017 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Born in Iraq (Mesopotamia), also called The Cradle of Civilization, it came naturally to me to have an interest in history. Prior to any of my many trips over the years, be it to sightsee, hike, or just visit friends,

Read More




Life in the Box: Oath of Truth

February 13th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

This is the oath of office every U.S. Senator and Representative swears to verbally, and in writing, on the first day of their service:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the

Read More




A True Account of Stolen Love

February 8th, 2017 | Poetry | No Comments
EscapeIntoLife_ErinCone7

EscapeIntoLife_ErinCone7
Erin Cone

Love Poems for Valentine’s Day 2017

Dave Awl 

You Won’t Remember This

You won’t remember this but I think I knew I loved you
when you stuck up for me in PE class.
You won’t remember this but

Read More




New Year, New Era–New Language

February 3rd, 2017 | Book Reviews | No Comments

 

 

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World

by Ella Frances Sanders

Tenspeed Press, 2014

reviewed by Seana Graham

 

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s

Read More




Toon Musings: Dilbert’s Delusional Dad

February 1st, 2017 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Hey, folks! Are we having fun yet? The last time I wrote you, it was shortly before the election and I was soul-sick of the whole sordid enterprise. At that point I was sooo sick of Donald Trump, and was

Read More




Life in the Box: Reflected Bits

January 30th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

 

Did you know Narcissism is a psychological disorder? I looked it up on Mayo Clinic online, and some of the symptoms include:  

     –Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.
     –Exaggerating your achievements and talents.

Read More




Theatre Review: Beauty Queen of Leenane

January 29th, 2017 | Theatre | No Comments

Photographs: © 2017 Richard Termine
PHOTO CREDIT – Richard Termine

The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Garry Hynes
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Reviewed by Scott Klavan
Jan. 25, 2017

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is

Read More




Life’s Matters: Embracing Peace

January 27th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

The word ‘peace’ comes up a lot these days. We want peace throughout the world, peace in our country, peace in our communities, and peace of mind within ourselves. We long for the tranquility and equilibrium of peace. We all

Read More




Life in the Box: Creative Path

January 23rd, 2017 | Television | No Comments

When you are creative, you face many decisions, the most important of which is—what do you want to create and share with others? It doesn’t matter whether you use music, paint brushes, dance steps or words; what matters is using

Read More




Alexandra Eldridge

January 19th, 2017 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

to-hold-infinity
To Hold Infinity
, mixed media, 20″ x 17″, 2016

60 x 48
The  Ceaseless Process of Becoming
, mixed media, 60″ x 48″, 2016

sweet-delight-1-2
Sweet Delight
, mixed media, 60″ x 48″, 2015 

How to Teach a Soul to Fly, mixed

Read More




Via Basel: A Letter on Martin Luther King Day

January 16th, 2017 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

17th May 1957: Back view of American civil rights leader and Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968), dressed in black robes and holding out his hands towards the thousands of people who have gathered to hear him

Read More




Life in the Box: Reality Check

January 11th, 2017 | Television | No Comments

There have always been many reasons to distrust “The Government”—especially regarding war-related propaganda—but, in general, most reporters have trusted government statistics for decades. American Census data, reports from bureaus of Labor, Justice, Transportation, Economic Analysis, and hundreds of others feed

Read More




Life in the Box: 2017 Strategic Thinking

December 26th, 2016 | Television | 1 Comment

chumpcaveman-sm

Okay Democrats, progressives and liberals, buckle up for a rough ride for the next 4 years (at least.)

From the campaign, we know President Chump’s usual operating strategies. Let’s summarize:
1. Don’t over-think it.
2. Scare the public.
3. Be

Read More




Via Basel: Year End Message 2016

December 22nd, 2016 | EIL Blog | No Comments
escapeintolife jzanes 8

escapeintolife jzanes 8
Julia Zanes

Year End Message from the Founder’s Father

escapeintolife jzanes 2Dear Family, Friends, and EIL Readers,

This year 2016 has been a difficult and challenging year from a personal and collective perspective. My family has had our share of serious illnesses,

Read More




Toilet Guy by Scott Klavan

December 20th, 2016 | Theatre | No Comments


Sailor Song, HQ by Aaron Reichert

Aaron Reichert

For the past few years, I have been collecting audition notices, or “breakdowns” for actors. Basically, I’ve been interested in the most ridiculous ones I could find. Today, I am presenting my favorites. These are all actual notices,

Read More




Mud, Sweat and Tears

December 17th, 2016 | Book Reviews | No Comments

raymondc_wThe Muddy Season

by Matthew Raymond

Black Lawrence Press, 2016

reviewed by Seana Graham

She was born in the muddy season, with the rain coming steadily down and the villagers standing at the window looking in. Pulling her blue

Read More




Michelle McKinney

December 15th, 2016 | Artist Watch | No Comments

veil-1
Veil 1, suspended sculpture in woven copper, 350mm x 350 mm x 250 mm, 2016

veil-2
Veil 2
, suspended sculpture in woven brass and gold wire,

350mm x 350 mm x 250 mm, 2016

veil-3
Veil 3
, suspended sculpture

Read More