Most Recent Posts

Matthew Guenette

September 23rd, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Jacek Yerka

The Other Way Around

My son asked for a quick bedtime story.
So I said time is the horizon of all being,
go to sleep. At which point he said
I think you’re wrong about that

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Jane Hickey Caminos

September 17th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

World Upside Down, oil on linen, 22″ x 28″


Up on the Roofie
, oil and colored pencil on linen, 24″ x 30″


Brothel Born
, mixed media on linen, 16″ x 20″


Time Out
, mixed media, 24″ …

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Via Basel: Caste, A Masterpiece

September 11th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

In October, 2016, at a social gathering in my building I met a couple who lived in the suburbs but came downtown for weekends. They were lovely, well read, and we hit it off right away with our common interest

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Music for Music: Joe Clark: Breath is Truth

September 10th, 2020 | Music | No Comments

NIU Jazz Ensemble to record “Black and Cardinal”

Music for Music: Joe Clark: Breath is Truth

by Dan Ursini ©2020

Time and again, Chicago has risen from catastrophe and soared phoenix-like toward rebirth. But these comebacks are tragically incomplete. The

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Labor Day 2020

September 7th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Lars Henkel

Two by Brian Rihlmann

Opening the Cage
 

he finally retired at 65 after
a quarter century on the job
25 years cleaning toilets
25 years waxing and polishing floors
25 years scraping kids’ chewing gum
from

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Via Basel: A Perspective on the Past

August 28th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Julie Mehretu

I have a confession to make. I believe that I’m seen as forward looking, planning ahead and being an activist concerned about our country and the planet’s future from a variety of perspectives, social, economic, and environmental. I

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Dog Days – Sue Mooney

August 20th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Digital Art, Painting | No Comments


The English Pilot


Motorcycle Yorkie


Cool Pug


Cool Lab


Minnesota Dogs


Motorcycle Dachshund


Da Tongue Corg
i

Artist Statement

It is my passions in life that have led the way to my art. I love to see people laugh, to

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For George Floyd, a Collaboration

August 12th, 2020 | Collaboration, Poetry | No Comments


Scott Poole, For George Floyd, June 2020

Scott Poole

Thoughts Behind a Mask

Wearing a mask,
thinking about George Floyd’s
‘I can’t breathe,’
thinking about Jefferson mouthing
‘inalienable rights’ as he 
pressed them into parchment,
thinking of a knee on

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Dog Days in Antarctica

August 5th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Photography by David Burdeny

Poems by Marion Starling Boyer

The Sledging Commences
                       

                                     A golden shovel for William Carlos Williams
                  
Ernest Joyce, January 24, 1915

In his great rush Mack’s risking our dogs, that I
know are unfit, and the men’s

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Book Review: Yvonne Zipter’s Greyhound

August 1st, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

 

Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound by Yvonne Zipter

Terrapin Books, 2020 

Cover art:

Tulip Greetings by Elke Vogelsang 

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

How perfect to begin this book with “Summer Lament” in a

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Via Basel: My Son, My Voice

July 27th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Dancing With Myself, Melissa D Johnston

My Son, My Voice: A Letter on the 10th Anniversary of Your Death

In nations, peoples, or even family histories, 10 years may not be enough time to look back and reflect, but

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Adrienne Stein

July 16th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Earth I, oil on linen, 8″ x 10″, 2019


Enchanted Crown
, oil on linen, 8″ x 10″, 2019


Enchantress 2
, oil on copper, 5″ x 7″, 2019


Last Light
, oil on linen 7.5″ x 11″, 2019…

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Dog Days 2020

July 15th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Joel Rea

Karen Craigo

Ex Doesn’t Answer

And he always answers, 
so I’m left to wonder 
where he is, but also 
how—did he wake today, 
did he fall, did he clutch 
at his sternum and gasp 
for air,

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Scott Klavan: In Defense of Statues

July 11th, 2020 | Theatre | No Comments

I was teaching a remote Drama/Acting class for older adults and we were reading the play You Can’t Take It With You, Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s 1938 comedy about an eccentric New York city family fighting the conventionality

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Maria Garcia Teutsch

July 8th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Frédéric Bourret

What the Condor Saw in Big Sur

At the edge–
            spotted stones
                        and roiling kelp.
The day facets me in its diamond.
            Wind-chimes are silent,
Buddha’s stone head bows.
A gap in the fence could tell–

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Via Basel: Dreamlike Reality

July 4th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Cody, Wyoming, 2006

Have you ever read a gripping mystery novel and got really immersed in it? Did you feel that you are in the story, observing the characters and witnessing the events as they unfold as if you were

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Music for Music: Chris Warner

July 3rd, 2020 | Music | No Comments

Chris Warner: Stories within the Stars

©2020 by Dan Ursini

Chris Warner, the British composer of Wonders of The Cosmos, is a person of uncommon choices.

 

First and foremost is his career, demanding a highly rarefied skillset: writing

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Life in the Box: Breath and Covid-19: Part Two

June 26th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

Having looked into questions about why and how to wear a mask and what kind of mask to make in Part One, now I turn to environmental studies to better my odds of not getting Covid-19. 

How much Covid

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Life in the Box: Breath and Covid-19: Part One

June 25th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

“A lot of people, when they hear that you can’t completely get rid of your risk, they think, ‘Well, that means that it’s inevitable… “But there are lots of things you can do in between nothing and everything.”

Vox article

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Book Review: Audubon’s Sparrow

June 24th, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Audubon’s Sparrow
A Biography-in-Poems

by Juditha Dowd
Rose Metal Press, 2020

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk

What a wonderful book. Juditha Dowd has created a biography of Lucy Bakewell Audubon, a person in her own right but also the wife

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Via Basel: Conversations, Part 2

June 22nd, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Photo by Anthony Martinelli

Over my last 43 years of practicing orthopedics I have treated patients in a variety of ways, such as medications, splinting, and surgery. However, advice and recommendations regarding their health and well being such as weight

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Sue Turayhi

June 18th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Painting, Photography | No Comments


Soul Mate
, photography, acrylic, and liquid acrylic, 16″ x 20″, 2019


Starry Night
, photography, acrylic, and liquid acrylic, 16″ x 20″, 2019


Broken System
, photography, acrylic, and liquid acrylic, 16″ x 20″, 2019


Friendship
, photography, acrylic, …

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Father’s Day 2020

June 17th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Mike Worrall

Jim Moore

Little Sainthood

On one of my good days
you could tell I lived happily here, inside
the all of it.
You could tell all was stilled,
calm as the warm hand
of my father

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Via Basel: Conversations, Part 1

June 13th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


ATMA at EIL

Confrontations, Conversations, and Reconciliations

There are relatively standard stages in conflicts, whether interpersonal, community, national, or international. First, there is disagreement and confrontation, followed by some sort of dialogue, discussion, and conversation. Conflicts can be stuck in

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Up to Scratch

June 12th, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Murder from Scratch

by Leslie Karst

Crooked Lane Books, 2019

reviewed by Seana Graham

As I’ve been reading this latest offering, fourth in the Sally Solari series written by my friend Leslie Karst, I’ve been thinking a lot about

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Music for Music: Naomi Ashley

June 10th, 2020 | Music | No Comments

Naomi Ashley: Exhilaration and Risk

By Dan Ursini  ©2020

As we try to live ordinary lives in the blur of a seismic moment in the human community, the music of roots singer/songwriter Naomi Ashley resonates especially well. The driving impulse

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Three by Jessy Randall

June 3rd, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Laura Redburn

Wang Zhenyi (1769-1797)

Come to the garden with me
and sit in the pavilion.
Imagine the table is the earth;
this crystal lamp the sun;
this round mirror the moon.

No, we’re not doing astrology.
We’re

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Toon Musings: A Challenge!

May 30th, 2020 | Artist Blog | No Comments

 

Last Sunday, the New York Times adorned its front page with the names, ages, and a short description of 1000 deceased victims of COVID-19, to commemorate the first 100,000 Americans to die of the disease. It was a stark

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Via Basel: Two Views

May 29th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the sun shines, the temperature just right. Looking out from my living room I behold a magnificent view, Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, both expansive and uplifting. Down below, slow moving cars, few walkers, runners, even

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Brian Rihlmann

May 27th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Peter Ravn; Dialog (2010)

Like a Mother

don’t you know that we’re made to
care what others think? don’t you
know that we survived for millennia
because we followed? do you not
realize that the one who says

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Linda Plaisted

May 21st, 2020 | Artist Watch, Mixed-Media, Photography | No Comments

Out of Your Depth, Photographic Mixed Media, 2020


Our Lady
, Photographic Mixed Media, 2020


Medusa
, Photographic Mixed Media, 2020


Tempest
, Photographic Mixed Media, 2020


Sojourner
, Photographic Mixed Media, 2020


Mother Nature
, Photographic Mixed Media, …

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Book Review: Mothershell by Andrea Potos

May 20th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments

Mothershell by Andrea Potos
Kelsay Books, Aldrich Press, 2020

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk

Maybe I should have reviewed this book when I first read it, but, no, I always need to re-read books before I write about them. So

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Erica Goss: New Poems

May 13th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Yellena James

Black Hollyhocks in the Old Orchard

The air around them
is charged, electric.

They look so impossibly dark
as if they had absorbed all

of the colors of other flowers,
purple-black like the sheen

of oil

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Scott Klavan: Directing Night Shadows

May 8th, 2020 | Theatre | No Comments


Photograph of Anna Akhmatova with husband and son


Scott Klavan: Poetry on Stage: Directing Night Shadows

So how do you direct a new play about poetry and poets, when most Americans rarely read poems, don’t like them much, and, certainly

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Mother’s Day 2020: Mothers & Moleskine

May 6th, 2020 | Moleskine, Poetry | No Comments


Bunny Mazhari, Moleskine journal

Yvonne Zipter

Cleaning Fish, Post Lake, July 1941

I always thought the photo of my grandfather
and his brother, with the scarred wooden table

between them on which they are gutting fish,
was about them, about

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Round about Earth Day, 2020

April 24th, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The Overstory

by Richard Powers

Norton 2018, paperback 2019

reviewed by Seana Graham

Near the beginning of Richard Powers’ remarkable, expansive novel centering around a motley crew of individuals who become activists for the trees in their lives, he recounts

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Via Basel: The List

April 20th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by Philipp Igumnov


The List

What follows is not a poem or an essay, not advice or education, nor even insight or inspiration.

Just an acknowledgement of what arises from the heart when it abides in stillness, then pours

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Life in the Box: Pandemic of Laughter

April 18th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

So, we’ve been at this stay-at-home-thing long enough to laugh at it, I guess. The internet jokes just keep rolling on in. Who writes all these? Who makes all those memes and vids? Everyone, it seems.

My favorite silly video

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Accidental Coping: Comfort Reading

April 17th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Has anyone else been having trouble reading?

One of the ways my anxiety seems to manifest is in an inability to concentrate well on reading. This is disconcerting in many ways, but most especially because reading has always been my

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Billie Bond

April 16th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Sculpture | No Comments


Blinded by the Light 1
, porcelain, clinker, and emulsion, 28 cm x 18 cm x 15 cm, 2019


Breathe
(bronze), bronze, resin, and gold, 90 cm x 50 cm x 60 cm, 2019


Breathe 1
(detail), black stoneware, resin, …

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Richard Jones: Poems from Avalon

April 15th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Rodney Smith

The Mind

The mind is an ancient and famous capital…
—Delmore Schwartz

All down the steps of these long decades
I have enjoyed living inside my mind,
an ancient capital, ruined and eternal,
as great a

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Toon Musings: Illustrated Life

April 14th, 2020 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Barbara Remington died recently, which set me to thinking about literature, illustration, and my relationship to both.

My father dabbled in cartooning. I used to love to watch him draw; it was  exhilarating to see him effortlessly create silly characters

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Accidental Coping: Streaming Live

April 2nd, 2020 | Music | No Comments

On Sunday, I tuned in on Facebook to a live living-room concert by folk singer Richard Thompson. I didn’t know about it in advance, just happened to be on Facebook when one of my friends shared that it was happening.

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Poetry is All Around Us: Poems on Poetry 2020

April 1st, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art in nature by Ernst Haeckel

Happy National Poetry Month to us all! Here are some poems that reference poetry itself, or poets. Find links to more such poems at the end, and click each poet’s name for more of

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Via Basel: Circle of Being: Expansion & Contraction

March 28th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Half Life in Full Circle
, by Duy Huynh

 

Except for medical personnel, first responders, essential workers, and others on the front line in this COVID-19 pandemic, most of us including myself have been at home for a week,

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Music for Music: Time Falling

March 27th, 2020 | Music | No Comments

The Mindful Pleasures of Time Falling

By Dan Ursini ©2020

Time Falling by Dutch composer Michel van der Aa is filled with mindful pleasures. This indie/alt-pop release on the Disquiet label deals with alternate realities, soul travel, and remote states

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Marion Starling Boyer

March 25th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Photography by Camille Seaman

Frostbite, Last Team on the Barrier

Ernest Wild, March 24, 1915

On half rations we headed to safety camp
fifty miles north, day after day, small steps.
By the time we got there I could barely

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Scott Klavan: The Show Might Not Go On

March 24th, 2020 | Theatre | No Comments

A report on theater in New York City during COVID-19

Hello from New York City, the center of the coronavirus outbreak in the USA. Having written many theater reviews for EIL over the past five years, I wanted to report

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Life in the Box: On A Roll

March 24th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

It was a dark and stormy morning. Raining so hard that my in-car surveillance was opaque. I couldn’t see out my car window without running the wipers full-speed. I was following a tip that Super Target was getting an overnight

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Suchitra Mattai

March 19th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Mixed-Media | No Comments


Demerrara Dreams
, gouache and Mattai’s mother’s sari on printed fabric, 66″ x 52″, 2019

(Photo by Wes Magyar)


Silence
, mixed media on fabric, 48″ x 37″, 2019 (Photo by Wes Magyar)


My Life is Not My Own
, …

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Via Basel: A Perspective in the Age of Coronavirus

March 16th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

 

Friday, March 13, 2020 in Normal, Illinois
Photo credit: Basel Al-Aswad

Via Basel: Solitude, Reflection, and Introspection in the Age of Coronavirus Pandemic—A Perspective

The shift was as sudden as it was dramatic. From thriving globalism, hyper-connectivity actually and

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Via Basel: Uncle Ramzi, A Tribute

March 8th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Via Basel: Uncle Ramzi, Earliest Family Immigrant, A Tribute

The year was 1957, President Eisenhower was in the White House. Iraq was ruled by a king but had a nascent parliamentary democracy and in general political and economic stability. My

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Jessy Randall: Women in Math and Science

March 4th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Photography by Adrien Broom

Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749)

I’m pregnant again, trying
to finish my book. To save time,
I stop lifting the pen between words.
I’m up until five in the morning.
I keep awake by plunging
my arms

Read More




Music for Music: Hawley

March 2nd, 2020 | Music | No Comments


Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada Familia nave

Hawley: Music at the Granular

By Dan Ursini ©2020 

There are lots of reasons why it can take forever to come up with a good song. Even a simple tune of familiar ideas requires the

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Valerie Patterson

February 20th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Mourning Doves
, watercolor, 27″ x 35″, 2020


Down Main Street
, watercolor, 27″ x 35″, 2019


Reminiscence
, watercolor, 27″ x 35″, 2018


Through the Doll
, watercolor, 27″ x 35″, 2019


Entering the Fairy Tale
, watercolor, 27″ …

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Life in the Box: Letters to the Editor

February 19th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

I’ve been writing a lot lately, sometimes to let off steam, but often to express sentiments in my local newspaper. Quite a few have been published, too. So I thought I’d do a quick summary of how to write those

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Lovin Bug Villanelles as Valentines

February 14th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Suzanne Stryk

Christina Lovin

Some Females Fake Death to Avoid Nasty Suitors

Dragonflies, damselflies, darners, or darters,
meadowhawks, skimmers, snake feeders—regardless,
these females fake death to avoid nasty suitors,

a trick we could use for unwanted ardors.
You’ve

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Valentine’s Day 2020: Pure Ecstasy

February 12th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Ed Ruscha

Jim Moore

Pure Nebraska

Just the two of us in a little motel room, surrounded on all sides by pure Nebraska.

***

After hitting my own ear on the car door at 10 P.M., fell asleep: stupid, hurting,

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Toon Musings: Oscar’s Animated Shorts

February 9th, 2020 | Artist Blog | No Comments

 

It’s Oscar time again! Time to see what sterling examples of animation the ossified Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences considers the Best of the Best. Some enterprising company having released a program of the Oscar-nominated animated shorts,

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Accidental Tooning: Buoyant

February 5th, 2020 | Artist Blog | No Comments


Cartoon by Phil Maish

Kim Kishbaugh

Buoyant

An octopus doesn’t have eight arms
rather six
plus two legs
the legs to crawl
the arms to swim
to eat
occasionally to be eaten

What we know
we do not know
we

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D. R. James

January 29th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Greg Dunn

One’s Obsessions

          —for Marvin Bell

Like gates to a labyrinth, they unlock
imagination to euphoric, mazed
brains, inflammatory wildernesses
of appreciation, magnetic sumps
of innuendo censored from belief.
Studies of blunt insurrection toward truths,
studies of

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Via Basel: Just Mercy

January 20th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

In December 2016 my friend Emil handed me a book as part of our annual book gifting in the holidays, assuring me that it will leave a lasting impression. I had just read The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel

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Accidental Critic: True Confessions

January 17th, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

True Confessions 1965 to Now
by John Guzlowski
Darkhouse Books, 2019

Reviewed by Kim Kishbaugh

Despite the fact that John Guzlowski’s poems have been featured more than once on Escape into Life, it was through Twitter that I

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Ellen Von Wiegand

January 16th, 2020 | Artist Watch | No Comments

The Memory Settled Over Her, linocut, 12″ x 12″, 2019


I Was in a Trance
, linocut, 16″ x 16″, 2019


Traces of Home
, linocut, 8″ x 12″, 2019


Afterglow
, linocut, 12″ x 8″, 2019


High Up

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Erica Goss: Madness, Fire and Rain

January 15th, 2020 | Literature Essays | No Comments


Gavin Hammond

One winter day when I was nine years old, the dulcet tones of an acoustic guitar came through the two-inch speaker of my green plastic transistor radio, accompanied by a man’s gentle, melancholy voice:

            Just yesterday morning, they

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Matthew Murrey: New Poems

January 1st, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Michelle McKinney, Pieces of Me series

Four Lights

Each point lit its spot
in an arc that was easy
to sight across the dark sky.
At the west end bright, white
Venus descending, while rising
rust-orange in the

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Via Basel: Ring Out, Wild Bells

December 31st, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

As we “let go”of this year and “accept” the new one, there is nothing I can write that is remotely as eloquent and precise as Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells.” Published in 1850 in a different time

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Patrick Seruwu

December 19th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Drawings, Painting | No Comments

Strength, acrylic on canvas, 100 cm x 85 cm, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harmony, acrylic on canvas, 75cm x 90cm, 2019

Memory 4, collage on canvas, 90cm …

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Via Basel: Father Tom Hurley

December 13th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

…Someone You Should Listen To…

We have all shared this experience. You come across something exciting, refreshing, and beautiful and before you even fully digest it you get the urge to share it and spread it to all in your

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#VToo

December 13th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments


Evidence of V: a novel of fragments, facts, and fictions

by Sheila O’Connor

Rose Metal Press, 2019

reviewed by Seana Graham

Judging by the popularity of Henry Louis Gates’s PBS show Finding our Roots and genealogy websites like Ancestry.com, learning

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Life in the Box: Addicted to Mean

December 12th, 2019 | Television | No Comments

I sent the following two paragraphs to my local newspaper this morning: 

Today’s conservative “news” sources spread unfounded conspiracy theories and take character assassination to a new level. But it is nearly impossible to convince their viewers that what they

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Pushcart Nominations in 2019

December 4th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Kelly O’Connor, Wonder

Please join us in congratulating the poets listed below, who are nominated for a Pushcart Prize for their work published at Escape Into Life during the calendar year of 2019. Click each link to see the poem

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Toon Musings: Nuts!

November 26th, 2019 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Several cartooning notables passed from the scene in the last few months. I wrote about Stan Lee about a year ago; this past August we lost Richard Williams, the genius animator responsible for A Christmas Carol, The Thief and

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Life in the Box: Iowa’s Got Prez

November 25th, 2019 | Television | No Comments

What is it like to live in Iowa in the months prior to the “first in the nation caucus?” Busy. And this year with 20+ candidates trying to connect with Iowa Democrats, it can be dizzyingly busy. We start to

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Maremi Andreozzi

November 21st, 2019 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Isabella Clara Eugenia as painted by Clara Peeters
(Painted Ladies Series), acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 40″, 2019


The Ecstasy of Sister Plautilla Nelli
(Painted Ladies Series), acrylic on paper, 24″ x 20″, 2019


Clara’s World: Clara Peeters 

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Alicia Hoffman

November 13th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Janet Rickus

Self-Portrait as Alexa, as Negative Capability

O for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts.  
O origin story, original myth. This is an ode

to prototype, to empyrean fire. For I was made—
yes. Manufactured

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Toon Musings: Larson Redux

October 24th, 2019 | Artist Blog | No Comments

The cartooning world is abuzz; apparently, Gary Larson is bringing back his seminal comic panel The Far Side over 24 years after laying down his pen. Visitors to his website are greeted with a cartoon of a man in a

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Music for Music: Alev Lenz

October 23rd, 2019 | Music | No Comments

Alev Lenz: Soul to Soul

By Dan Ursini © 2019

Alev Lenz is a German-Turkish pop singer-songwriter with a huge gift for orchestrating  connections—among musicians, within the music itself, and between the composer and the listener. She has surfaced through

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Scott Klavan on Betrayal

October 22nd, 2019 | Theatre | No Comments

Betrayal
By Harold Pinter

Directed by Jamie Lloyd
Broadway—Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St., New York, NY

Reviewed by Scott Klavan – October 17, 2019

Betrayal, by Harold Pinter, opened on Broadway in January

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Gary Justis

October 17th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Digital Art, Photography | No Comments

DuZinc, digital image with Photoshop manipulation, finished archival print, 48″ x 32″, 2018

The Sweater, digital image with Photoshop manipulation, finished archival print, 48″ x 32″, 2018


Fire Cat
, digital image with Photoshop manipulation, finished archival print, …

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Via Basel: Ode To Frank

October 15th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

I recently lost a dear friend, Frank Lettiere, who by any measure was the most colorful, spontaneous, and unconventional character I have ever encountered. This past Saturday at his favorite bar on Chicago’s south side, family and friends gathered to

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Scott Poole: Poems from Vacancy

October 9th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

One day Scott Poole the poet discovered he was an also artist. Since then has created an art chapbook called Vacancy. Here are selections from it—poems and paintings, both by Scott Poole.

Spring

Perhaps all of us want to

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Rob Carney & Scott Poole: The Last Tiger

October 8th, 2019 | Collaboration, Poetry | No Comments


Art by Andrea Offermann

Poets Rob Carney and Scott Poole have collaborated on a book of poems based on the news. It’s called The Last Tiger is Somewhere and is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2020. Here are a few

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CatOber 2019: Cats, a Catbird, and the World

October 8th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Greg Mort

Rob Carney

King Midas

I get that the guy’s an idiot,
but how is this the cat’s fault?

From claws and purring
to a golden coma,

from eyes full of lightning
to an object lesson in greed;

not

Read More




2019 Best of the Net Nominations

October 2nd, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Duy Huynh, Metamorphosis of a Metaphor

2019 Best of the Net Nominations

for work published between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019

Please join us in congratulating Escape Into Life’s poetry nominees for Best of the Net. Click the

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Hear, Hear!

September 27th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

There There

by Tommy Orange

Knopf 2018, Vintage Books 2019

reviewed by Seana Graham

I happened to start reading this book on my way home to Santa Cruz from the greater Bay Area. My sister had dropped me off at

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David James

September 25th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Maggie Taylor, Dream Pool

A Thin Space

“But a love poet must somehow make love/if only to language…”
                                            —Dennis O’Driscoll, “To a Love Poet”

I’m having a moment, you say

as we sit at a table by

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Global Climate Strike Day, September 20, 2019

September 20th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Alexis Rockman

To support Greta Thunberg, 350.org, and the students who began a push for more climate awareness on this particular day, Friday, September 20, 2019, and all through the week to follow, we offer these artists/works of art and

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Nebiur Arellano

September 19th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Outlaud, acrylic on silk organza, 39.5″ x 79.5″, 2018-2019


Our Wall
, acrylic on silk organza, 39.5″ x 22″, 2018-2019


Swallow
, acrylic on silk organza (double painting*), 79.5″ x 22″, 2018-2019


Glazing (Veladura)
, acrylic on silk organza …

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Music for Music: This Is Bric-a-Brac!

September 11th, 2019 | Music | No Comments

This Is Bric-a-Brac!

by Dan Ursini ©2019

The history of popular music is, to a point, a chronicle of remakes. There can be all kinds of reasons for re-doing a big hit from the past—most of them on the safe

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Via Basel: Indiana Jones Explores Alaska

September 8th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

If Indiana Jones was investigating locked secrets of old civilizations, mine involved glaciers that predated them by thousands of years. I alluded to some of the natural Alaskan wilderness with all its magnificence in my last post in July. It

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Birds of a Feather: Poetry & Art

September 4th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Stefano Unterthiner, Albatrosses

Karen Craigo

Ex Ornithomancer

He thinks one time he spotted
a frigate bird by the cove, way 
off course, but maritime winds
might pull anything his way. 
He shows me where he saw 
the mandarin duck,

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Work Poems, Labor Day 2019

September 2nd, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Art by Drew Tyndall

It’s Labor Day, when many of us, ironically, have the day off work…to read poetry and admire art! Many others celebrate International Workers day on May 1.  Whenever and however you celebrate, thanks to us all

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Bulletproof by Matthew Murrey

August 28th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Bulletproof by Matthew Murrey
Jacar Press, 2019
Book Cover Design by Daniel Krawiec             

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

Matthew Murrey, whose poems I have read for many years, is a really sweet guy. That he has written

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The Inheritance by Justin Hamm

August 21st, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Review of The Inheritance by Justin Hamm
Poems and Photographs
Blue Horse Press, 2019

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

The Inheritance is divided in two: Poems in the first half, Photographs in the second. I count myself

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Peter Clark

August 15th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Collage, Mixed-Media | No Comments


Chi Chi
, mixed media, 34″ x 30″, 2019


Bullie for You
,  mixed media, 41″ x 41″, 2019


American Idol
, mixed media, 48″ x 76″, 2017


Dasch of Taste
, mixed media, 24″ x 35″, 2016


Dasching Red

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Life in the Box: Green Bees

August 12th, 2019 | Television | No Comments

A strange thing happened to me after I wrote a blog piece about green birds. I discovered a bright metallic green bee species! Have you ever seen a green bee? Me neither!

This bee, actually two of them, must

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Poems with Weather in Them

August 7th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Judith Mullen

Rob Carney

Why We Have Rain

One day, tired of a changeless sky,
a river and a raven

had a shapeshifting contest, each one
chasing the other’s idea downstream.

When the river thought about mist rising

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Scott Klavan: Ain’t Too Proud

August 4th, 2019 | Theatre | No Comments

 

 Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations

Broadway—The Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th Street, New York, NY

Written by Dominique Morrisseau

Directed by Des McAnuff

Reviewed by Scott Klavan on August 2, 2019

I’ll start

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Jim Moore

July 31st, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Art by Mario Soria

The ecstasy now
 

is simply my hand scratching my head
underneath what is left of my hair
and noticing the rolled cuffs–plaid–
of the man exiting the parking lot.
Or “the man existing the parking lot,”

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Via Basel: A Birthday Celebration in the Wilderness

July 27th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

On July 16th I was in the midst of a week long rafting adventure on the mighty Copper river in Alaska, which is fed from 26 glaciers and is about half a mile wide in some areas. In this wilderness,

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Accidental Critic: Grab a Snake by the Tail

July 26th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Grab a Snake by the Tail
by Leonardo Paduro
Translated by Peter Bush
Bitter Lemon Press, 2019

Reviewed by Kim Kishbaugh

I’m a bit of a sucker for mysteries and police procedurals. Doesn’t matter in what format: novel, short story,

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Music for Music: Joe Clark & Arcana

July 25th, 2019 | Music | No Comments

By Dan Ursini ©2019

Usually I provide YouTube video links to songs I write about. But in this article I am also providing links to the album versions of the same songs at Bandcamp. They provide a much better

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Melissa D Johnston

July 18th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Digital Art, Photography | No Comments


dancing with myself
, mobile digital art, 2019


broken-free
, mobile digital art, 2019


at the end of a dream
, mobile digital art, 2019


keeping touch
, mobile digital art, 2019


reach
, mobile digital art, 2019


emerge
, …

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Dog Days of Summer 2019

July 17th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Heidi Lender

Elizabeth Kerper

Old Yeller

I said I would not, could not, listen to a book where the dog
died and my mother said okay, slotting the last cassette 
of Anne of Green Gables back into place

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Toon Musings: An Aylan of Our Very Own

July 13th, 2019 | Artist Blog | No Comments

It seems I’ve reached a time in my life when I am doomed to revisit issues previously addressed. Last time it was the reaction to that dumb Trump/Netanyahu cartoon. Today’s regurgitation regards dead refugee kids and editorial cartoonists’ reaction to

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Life in the Box: The Lost Consonan’

July 1st, 2019 | Television | No Comments

I’ve been thinking about Eliza Doolittle lately. That scene in “My Fair Lady” where she’s supposed to speak more clearly with a mouth full of marbles. Which never made any sense—a mouth full of marbles makes it impossible to say

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Jennifer Finstrom and Elizabeth Kerper

June 26th, 2019 | Collaboration, Poetry | No Comments

 


Jeff Felker

In this collaboration between poets Jennifer Finstrom and Elizabeth Kerper, Jennifer confides in literary figures about her divorce, and Elizabeth writes poems about female characters who are not the protagonist of a literary work. In the last

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Patrick Dougher

June 20th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Mixed-Media, Painting | No Comments


Angels on the Block
, collage and acrylic on paper, 18″ x 24″, 2017


Divine Fertility #1
, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2017


Knowledge and Power
, diptych, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 36″ …

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The Grey Lady Shoots the Messenger

June 19th, 2019 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Toon Musings: The Grey Lady Shoots the Messenger

When last I graced these pages, I wrote about a botched political cartoon: a ham-handed attempt to criticize the fraught relationship between Bibi Netanyahu and our own grifting, dim-witted, wannabe fascist president.

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Passing Through Humansville by Karen Craigo

June 19th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Passing Through Humansville by Karen Craigo
Sundress Publications, 2018

Cover art by Charli Barnes at Charcoal Studio 
Image credit Peter Bagi

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

I met Karen Craigo once, briefly, at an AWP Conference. (She probably

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Via Basel: Little Man in the Big House

June 17th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

 

The Big House in Baghdad, Part 3

The descent of the afternoon summer sun goes on simultaneously with the rise of the people in the Big house. A beehive of activity again, after being dormant for awhile, working adults

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Father’s Day 2019

June 12th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Alexander Landerman

Richard Jones

Notre Dame

My daughter and I traveled without our family,
visiting the week before the church burned.
We stayed in a good hotel on the Left Bank
and walked everywhere—Deyrolle, Ladurée —
all the places a

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The Way We Live Now

June 7th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The After-Normal: Brief Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet

By David Carlin and Nicole Walker

Rose Metal Press, 2019

reviewed by Seana Graham

In this latest Rose Metal Press offering, two friends who are writers—or writers who are friends–and live

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Via Basel: Little Boy in the Big House

June 3rd, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

As a little boy I was so happy I believed this must be the paradise adults talk about: I could roam the Big House at will, find secret rooms, explore dark closets, and unlock strange old chests. There was even

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Scott Klavan: King Lear at the Cort Theatre

May 19th, 2019 | Theatre | No Comments

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Directed by Sam Gold

Broadway: Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., New York, NY

Reviewed by Scott Klavan on May 17, 2019

The expression “He who yells is wrong” came to mind more

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Jordan Nassar

May 16th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Textile | No Comments


Fog Is Pouring Over History
, hand-embroidered cotton on cotton, 25.5″ x 19.5″, 2018


You Confused My Heart
, hand-embroidered cotton on cotton, 12″ x 34″, 2018


Far Over the Sea
, hand-embroidered cotton on cotton, 19″ x 22″, 2018…

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Music for Music: Pauchi Sasaki

May 15th, 2019 | Music | No Comments


Pauchi Sasaki, photo by Edi Hirose

Pauchi Sasaki: One-Person Micro-Culture

Part 3 of Classical:NEXT Series

By Dan Ursini © 2019

Pauchi Sasaki is a deeply gifted Peruvian-Japanese composer from Lima. In 2016 she was selected to apprentice under American

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Music for Music: Amanda Gookin

May 14th, 2019 | Music | No Comments

Amanda Gookin & the Forward Music Project

Part 2 of Classical:NEXT Series

By Dan Ursini © 2019

Cellist Amanda Gookin was disturbed because in the classical music culture, social issues are seen as appropriate content for a private chat among

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Life in the Box: Green Birds

May 13th, 2019 | Television | No Comments

This morning I saw a female goldfinch in a yellow tree. They matched. That got me wondering: Why aren’t there more green birds?

Okay Google: Why aren’t there more green birds?

Google: There is a lot of green in nature

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Molly Spencer: Mother-ish Poems

May 12th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Abigail Reynolds, Double Cube Room

Because I Want to Give Them More Than the Small, Gray Stone

of my sorrow, I take them to see the traveling exhibit,
the girl with the pearl on her ear.

I say, Look—the painted

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Mother of Five, Fairy Godmother to All

May 10th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The Lark

by E. Nesbit

Hutchinson and Co, 1922, Penguin, 2018

reviewed by Seana Graham

 

Oh, Pallas, take your owl away,

And let us have a lark instead

                    –Thomas Hood  (epigraph)

 

Although Gore Vidal wrote in a 1964

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Music for Music: Emma O’Halloran

May 10th, 2019 | Music | No Comments

The Energy of Discovery: Composer Emma O’Halloran

By Dan Ursini © 2019

Recently, I was contacted by Classical:NEXT, a big  annual networking event in Europe for Classical/Art/New Music. It is held in the Netherlands in Rotterdam, a great music

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Mother’s Day 2019

May 8th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Adam Hunter Caldwell

John Guzlowski

My Mother’s First Winter in Germany

a sonnet

My mother never thought she’d survive

that first winter in the slave labor camps.
She had no coat, no hat, no gloves,
just what she was wearing

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Life in the Box: Humor and Humanity

May 2nd, 2019 | Television | No Comments

Henny Youngman was the comedian who memorialized the phrase, “take my wife… please!” Come to find out, his wife would laugh along with the crowd at his jokes, even though he made her look, well, not as smart as the

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Toon Musings: The Latest Kerfuffle

April 30th, 2019 | Artist Blog | No Comments

I love a good political cartoon—always have. I used to read my dad’s Bill Mauldin collections in my youth, and have fairly extensive collections of my own of cartoons by Jeff MacNelly, Pat Oliphant, and Tom Toles. I like the

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Via Basel: The Big House in Baghdad

April 28th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

 

Via Basel: The Big House in Baghdad

In the early 1930s my maternal grandfather, Abdul-Ahad, a successful merchant, moved his family from Mosul, his ancestral city, to Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, to expand his business. They lived in

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Jennifer Finstrom: Poetry and Divorce

April 24th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Dwayne Butcher

 

A continuation of our celebration of National Poetry Month 2019 with poems about poetry, here by Jennifer Finstrom, who uses them to write about divorce…..

 

I Confide in the Lady of Shalott about My Divorce

And

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Martha Ensign Johnson

April 18th, 2019 | Artist Watch | No Comments


What ails the hemlocks?
, copperplate etching, 12.5″ x 12.5″, 2019


What is being eroded?
, multiplate copperplate etching, 12.5″ x 12.5″, 2019


What are we stripping away?
, zinc etching, 12.5″ x 12.5″, 2019


Is this ‘stabilizing’?
, multiplate …

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Poets on Poetry

April 17th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


L’Animal dans la decoration

Erica Goss

Inexact

                               An Evening With Marvin Bell, 6/28/16, Eugene, Oregon

The man sitting next to me
wears a pink shirt. His smile
is like a sleek rangy animal.
It makes me greedy and grateful
 
at

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Music for Music: Clair de Lune and The Enigma

April 16th, 2019 | Music | No Comments


Roxane Elfasci

Music for Music: Clair de Lune and The Enigma

By Dan Ursini ©2019

On YouTube there is a music video of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” which is spellbinding, a rendition of exquisite tenderness.

The number of views is

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Life in the Box: Teachers in the Sky

April 2nd, 2019 | Television | No Comments

Back before the world was surrounded by satellites, back before the internet, back before color television–can you even imagine that far back? There were phones and there was hot-and-cold running water, but there wasn’t television everywhere, especially in rural areas

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Via Basel: Activism & Mindfulness

March 31st, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Being an activist these days is in vogue again, maybe a revival of the sixties. Some credit probably goes to the Trump phenomena and the high energy reaction. Personally I have not identified myself as such most of my life

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Women’s History Month 2019: Poets, Poems, Art

March 27th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments


Jeanie Tomanek, Were I But Whole

Angela Narciso Torres

Pantoum with Lines from Lucille Clifton

It’s a long time after, and I just wanted to know.
What was it like on the boat?
I wonder what became of our Mama?

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Kaetlyn Able

March 21st, 2019 | Artist Watch, Drawings, Mixed-Media, Painting | No Comments


Some Things That Fly There Be
, scratchboard drawing and mixed acrylic painting on claybord, 20″ x 16″, 2018


Our Share of Night to Bear, Our Share of Morning (soldier #3)
, scratchboard drawing and mixed acrylic painting media on …

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Dog Days

August 7th, 2013 | Poetry | 1 Comment

Lisa Ann Watkins

The dog days of summer are those terribly hot days in July and August when even dogs don’t want to get up! But here are some fine poems—with dogs in them—that manage to keep their cool!

Sarah

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