Most Recent Posts

Life in the Box: Team Names

August 10th, 2022 | Television | No Comments

I’ve been thinking for a while now that people who believe mainstream media is factual, and that the last election was fair, and that facts and evidence and laws and reason still matter, well, I think we need at team

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Life in the Box: Reviewing the January 6th Hearings

August 4th, 2022 | Television | No Comments

Aug 03, 2022 : I was going to write a summary and critique of the televised January 6th Committee hearings. Then, I started seeing some very good synopses from news organizations like National Public Radio and others. See my

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Poetry: Dog Days 2022

August 3rd, 2022 | Poetry | No Comments

HarborReflections
Art by Elke Vogelsang

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Someone Just Like You

Have you ever met someone
who reminded you of yourself?

Is this world large enough to
house someone that is just like you?

Would this person be as mean

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Life in the Box: Flora

July 22nd, 2022 | Television | 1 Comment

 

I have been nibbling on a beautiful and tasty book this summer: “Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants.” I was drawn to it like a “male pollinator” lured to a flower by the “fragrance of females ready to

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Fred Lisaius

July 21st, 2022 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Mountain Garden
, acrylic on wood panel, 24″ x 30″


Every Little Thing
, acrylic on wood panel, “60” x 48″


Letting the Light Back In
, acrylic on wood panel, 48″ x 36″

Moon Glow, acrylic on wood …

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Via Basel: Essays and Anniversaries

July 16th, 2022 | EIL Blog | 2 Comments

Memory 4, by Patrick Seruwu

A favorite pastime of mine is reading short insightful articles and essays in addition to books of fiction and nonfiction. They stimulate my imagination, inform and inspire me, at times all in one sitting.

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Book Review–The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón

July 8th, 2022 | Book Reviews | 1 Comment

The Hurting Kind

by Ada Limón

Milkweed Editions, 2022

reviewed by Bethany Reid

 

In Ada Limón’s superb, tender new book, The Hurting Kind, the world has broken down. This is her pandemic book, so, no surprise: “I write

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Music for Music: Everywhen

July 7th, 2022 | Music | No Comments

Art collaboration by Jonathan Kawchuk, Tracy Maurice, and Brad Necyk

Trailblazer: Jonathan Kawchuk

By Dan Ursini ©2022

Music about a place (“A Summer Place,” “Woodstock,” “Tobacco Road,” etc.) is one thing. But I have been listening to music by a

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Via Basel: Musings and Megaphones

June 26th, 2022 | EIL Blog | 3 Comments

Art by Ben Tolman

I sit down,

The mind empty and full,

The body calm and restless,

The soul heavy and light.

Perpetual motion in solid presence.

 

I dwell in the moment,

The present moment.

A most precious and

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Birds in Poems

June 22nd, 2022 | Poetry | 1 Comment

EscapeIntoLife_Tiffen_Phyton_6
Art by Tifenn Python

Three Poems by Michael Hettich

The Pigeons

We sat in the kitchen talking about
the way the light fell through the window.

You said it made you remember something
about a particular person you’d loved
without

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Carol Coates

June 16th, 2022 | Artist Watch, Mixed-Media, Painting | No Comments


MindsEye III
, mixed media on board, 48″ x 72″


MindsEye V
, mixed media on canvas, 38″ x 56″


MindsEye VI
, mixed media on board, 48″ x 72″


MindsEye IX
, mixed acrylic media on canvas, 48″ x …

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Music for Music: Maya Youssef

June 13th, 2022 | Music | No Comments

Maya Youssef with qanun; photo credit: Nick White

Home Within: Maya Youssef

By Dan Ursini
©2022

To anyone familiar with the music of Maya Youssef, it is no surprise that her first album was produced by Joe Boyd, whose credentials

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When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes…

June 10th, 2022 | Book Reviews | No Comments

 

the fact of memory: 114 ruminations and fabrications

by Aaron Angello

Rose Metal Press, 2022

reviewed by Seana Graham

The idea for this book came from a writing workshop that the Aaron Angelo attended. The participants were asked

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Michael Hettich: New Poems

June 8th, 2022 | Poetry | No Comments

lg_intermarriage
Art by Yoko Tanaka

Some Days

I’m a vestigial bone in the body
of a nearly-extinct mammal that’s being
studied by a team of graduate students
who keep it in a cage and watch what it does

when they give

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Via Basel: Violence Unhinged

June 4th, 2022 | EIL Blog | 5 Comments

Wound, by Dan Reisner


In the past, bad news came late, in bits and pieces and invariably altered by the many communication vehicles in between. Until it happened to you it was “there,” away from you, in place and

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Via Basel: Contradictions of the  Mind

May 25th, 2022 | EIL Blog | 3 Comments

Art by Ben Tolman

I am happy for lots of reasons, mostly personal.

I am unhappy for a variety of others, communal & global.

I love and accept people, family, friends, and others not so close.

I disagree and reject

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Kreg Yingst

May 19th, 2022 | Artist Watch, Music | No Comments

Bird in the Wind [Vera Hall], hand-painted block print


Brotherly Love [Eric Bibb], hand-painted block print


Cotton Fields (Back Home) [Robert Johnson], hand-painted block print


Get on Your Knees and Pray [Keb Mo], hand-painted block print


Hard Times [Skip James], …

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Life in the Box: May Flowers

May 14th, 2022 | Television | 1 Comment

I was in Boston one February and the crocuses were blooming. This shocked me because I had never seen them so early—it was winter, after all, not spring.

As sure as March comes in like a lion and goes out

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The Present Thickness of the Smog

May 13th, 2022 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Moscodelphia

by Charles Rafferty

Woodhall Press, 2021

reviewed by Seana Graham

Having read a couple of Charles Rafferty’s story collections now, I may have thought I knew what to expect going into this full length novel. And in fact,

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Stuart Greenman: The Turn of the Ratchet

May 6th, 2022 | Theatre | No Comments


Socket wrench with ratchet, Wikipedia

After years of writing plays, reading about writing plays, and pondering the writing of plays, I was left with a simple question unanswered: What exactly makes a scene? Besides a bunch of characters entering,

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Mother’s Day 2022

May 4th, 2022 | Poetry | No Comments

Art by Barbara Nessim

Mother’s Day is not all flowers and greeting cards. It’s complicated for some. That’s why our celebration at Escape Into Life contains humor, darkness, frankness, edginess, whatever it takes… 

 

Jessy Randall

One Mother Drives Three

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Ceirra Evans

April 21st, 2022 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Everyone Needs a Lil’ Help
, oil on canvas, 60″ x 36″, 2021


It’s Okay  to Go Home
, oil on canvas, 35″ x 48″, 2022


Those Who Can, Leave; Those Who Can’t, Teach
, oil on canvas, 48″ x …

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Via Basel: War, Peace and Responsibility- Part 2

April 7th, 2022 | EIL Blog | 3 Comments


Art by Valerie Patterson

Before I go any further, a bit on my background on this subject:

Born and raised in Iraq for over two decades, mostly 1950s and 1960s, I was a firsthand witness to the rise of a

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Poems about Poetry, 2022

April 6th, 2022 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Tim Flach

It’s April, National Poetry Month, and we celebrate again with poems on poetry itself…! Happy reading.

Andrea Potos

When Beginning the Poem

may there be a listening
rather than a making

curiosity over expectation,

lightness and

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Book Review: The Girl Who Wasn’t and Is

March 30th, 2022 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The Girl Who Wasn’t and Is
by Anastasia Walker

bd.studios.com in New York City, 2022

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

March came in like a lamb around here and is exiting like a lion, in winter. Anastasia Walker

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Life in the Box: Why Photoshop?

March 25th, 2022 | Television | No Comments

Adobe Photoshop is hard to learn. The icons aren’t self-explanatory. The layers and masking seem indecipherable at first. Why would anyone try to learn it? My reason for learning it is that it does things I’ve always wanted to do

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Via Basel: War, Peace, and Responsibility

March 23rd, 2022 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Castle Romeo, 1954, Bikini atoll

It is generally acknowledged by historians that throughout human history the default condition was war and violence with short interludes of real peace interspersed in between. Because of advancement in the killing machines, a peak

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Life in the Box: Photography Snapshot

March 19th, 2022 | Television, Uncategorized | No Comments

We had a darkroom in our basement when I was a kid. The bathroom door would shut and keep out light, and there was room for a card table where we set up the enlarger to print photos of our

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Steven Kenny

March 17th, 2022 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


The Asteroid Hat
, oil on panel, 12″ x 12″, 2021


The Brink
, oil on linen, 36″ x 18″, 2021


The Glade II
, oil on canvas, 30″ x 22″, 2021


The Ribbons
, oil on canvas, 40″ x …

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Julie Brooks Barbour: New Poems

March 9th, 2022 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Linda Plaisted

Woman as Pylon in an Empty Lane

I make all the right moves. Blinker signals my right turn. I brake at the all-way stop. But a Dodge Ram is in such a rush they swerve around

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Dana Ellyn

February 17th, 2022 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Dodgeball (Back to School)
, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″, 2021


Doing Shots
, acrylic on board, 16″ x 24″, 2021


Birthday Selfie (Life During Quarantine)
, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″, 2020


A Level of Malaise
, …

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Men in Love II

February 9th, 2022 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Gabriel Moreno

Richard Jones

Love Poem

If it were Valentine’s Day and I in jail
and in love with the jailer’s daughter,
I’d write a letter
praising her brown eyes and long black hair.
From behind bars I’d

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Music for Music: Heirloome’s Cycles

February 4th, 2022 | Music | No Comments

Heirloome’s Cycles

By Dan Ursini © 2022

A haunting blended tone, both grounded and ethereal, defines Cycles, the latest release by a singer-songwriter who self-identifies as “queer/nonbinary Australian artist Heirloome (they/them).” This music is imbued by a unique vibe

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Via Basel: Winter Blues, and a Plea

January 22nd, 2022 | EIL Blog | 5 Comments


Growing Weary, by Diana Lemieux

Forget the pandemic, the sickness of loved ones, and the personal setbacks. Yes, they’re difficult, but I can deal with them, and adjust, as many are doing, some more successfully than others. What really

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Marcin Owczarek

January 20th, 2022 | Artist Watch, Collage, Mixed-Media, Painting, Photography | No Comments


In Search of Arcadia II
, mixed media photography on aluminum, 26″ x 39″, 2020


In Search of Utopia
, mixed media photography on aluminum, 26″ x 39″, 2019


The Golden Age
, mixed media photography on aluminum, 26″ x …

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Book Review: Wiping Stars from Your Sleeves

January 12th, 2022 | Poetry | 1 Comment

Wiping Stars from Your Sleeves
by David James
Shanti Arts Publishing, 2021

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

Cover image: Greg Rakozy on unsplash.com

As I was wiping the dust of 2021 from the edges of the new

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Life in the Box: Breathing the Last of 2021

January 6th, 2022 | Television | 1 Comment

January 5, 2022

2021 is over. I almost said “thank goodness,” but that’s not exactly how I feel. A lot of great things happened last year. But it’s hard to take a deep breath and approach 2022 without knowing that

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Scott Klavan: The I HATE AMERICA Plays

December 31st, 2021 | Theatre | No Comments


Art by Mark Wagner

The I HATE AMERICA Plays
Broadway reviews by Scott Klavan

Girl From the North Country
Belasco Theatre, November 20, 2021
&
The Lehman Brothers Trilogy
Nederlander Theatre, December 18, 2021

This is a review of two

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Via Basel: Fifty Years

December 28th, 2021 | EIL Blog | 5 Comments

50 years, A Reflection

On this day December 28, 50 years ago, I landed in NYC on board a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) aircraft from London. In a few days I would start an internship at the Stamford Hospital

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Janet McKenzie

December 16th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Jesus of the People
, oil on canvas, 30″ x 48″, 1999


The Divine Journey — Companions of Love and Hope
, oil on canvas, 42″ x 54″, 2017


Holy Mother of the East
, oil on canvas, 30″ x …

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Dave Awl: New Poems

December 8th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Bruce New

The Points of the Star

I.

Hands, feet and head, the points of the star:
the body a trail we leave behind us in time.

Headless the body paces along the shore,
waiting for the soul

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Via Basel: Beyond Words–The irony of it

November 25th, 2021 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment


Drawing by Christopher Al-Aswad

I want you to go deep, to be non-verbal, using no vocabulary or language. Try not to think or have your mind play games with you. Can you go back to a time of your ancestors,

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Book Review: What Happened Was:

November 24th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

What Happened Was:
by Anna Leahy
Harbor Editions, 2021
an imprint of Small Harbor Publishing

Cover art by Stacy Russo, Women Gathering to Create Beauty

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

This is such a wonderful chapbook. It’s the

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Music for Music: Cevanne’s Own Voice

November 23rd, 2021 | Music | No Comments

The Voice of Welcome: Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

by Dan Ursini ©2021

There are many additional compositions on Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian’s album Welcome Party that I could eagerly talk about beyond those already discussed in part one of this article. Indeed, there are

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Music for Music: Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

November 23rd, 2021 | Music | No Comments

A Best Sort of Welcome: Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

By Dan Ursini ©2021

Lovely, unexpected connections inspire throughout Welcome Party, the debut classical album by British-Armenian composer, singer, and harper Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian. This is daring and ambitious music— yet presented in

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2021 Pushcart Prize Nominees

November 20th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Elise Macdonald, Girl with the Peacock Earring

Pushcart Prize Nominees in 2021

Please join us in congratulating these poets, whose poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Anna Leahy, “What Happened Was: My Mother Was Pregnant With Me”

Richard

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Jodie Kain

November 18th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Featherweight Champ
, graphite, pastel, white conte, 8″ x 9″, 2021


Olympian
, graphite and white conte, 6″ x 7″, 2021


The Crystal Gazer
, pastel, 16″ w by 18″ h, 2020


Grey Route Messaging
, pastel, 9″ x 14″, …

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Scott Klavan: Trouble in Mind

November 11th, 2021 | Theatre | No Comments

Trouble in Mind

By Alice Childress, Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright

Roundabout Theatre, Broadway, November 5, 2021

Reviewed by Scott Klavan

I was in the orchestra of the American Airlines Theatre, 42nd Street in the middle of Times Square, one

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Book Review: Ticker by Mark Neely

November 10th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

Ticker
by Mark Neely
Winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry 2020
Lost Horse Press, 2021

Cover art ©Teun Hocks

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

Ticker, by Mark Neely, begins with disaster—specifically, the Challenger disaster, setting

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Boo!

October 29th, 2021 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The Woman in Black

by Susan Hill

Hamish Hamilton, 1983, Vintage Books, 2011

reviewed by Seana Graham

You may be more familiar with this title than I was. I was just trying to find a good book to read for

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CatOber 2021

October 27th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Maremi Andreozzi

It’s CatOber at Escape Into Life, when cats appear in poems, or pictures, in sometimes scary, sometimes sweet ways. Please click the poets’ names to see more of their work, and the artist’s name to

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Lauren Tilden

October 21st, 2021 | Artist Watch | 1 Comment


Dinah in March
, oil on panel, 12″ x 12″


Covering
, oil on panel, 18″ x 24″


Jairus’s Daughter
, oil on panel, 36″ x 48″

Hurricane Ava, oil on panel, 20″ x 24″


September Wind
, oil …

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Via Basel: Why We Give

October 15th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Photo courtesy of Faith Decker for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

I am humbled and honored but mostly proud of my wonderful and generous daughter Mandy as we are both featured in this SAIC article linked below.

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Book Review: Shade of Blue Trees

October 6th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Shade of Blue Trees
by Kelly Cressio-Moeller

Two Sylvias Press, 2021

Finalist for the Two Sylvias Press Wilder Prize

Cover art: “Gingko Porcelain Light Sculpture” by Andreea Braescu

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

What a beautiful and

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A Cluster of Noisy Planets

October 1st, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments

A Cluster of Noisy Planets

Prose Poems by Charles Rafferty

BOA Editions, 2021

American Poets Continuum Series, No. 190

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

I love how this book begins, with “Greetings,” containing the sentences: “People of

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2021 Best of the Net Artist Nominations

September 30th, 2021 | Artist Watch | No Comments

Dan Reisner, George Floyd, bronze, 30 cm x 48 cm x 43 cm (Photo: Ron Kedmi)

Hansa, Madonna del Mare Nostrum (Or, Cloak of Love), oil on canvas, 125cm x 125 cm

Adrienne Stein, Earth I, oil …

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2021 Best of the Net Nominations

September 29th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Crown, by Dan Reisner

Please join us in congratulating Escape Into Life‘s poetry nominees for the 2021 Best of the Net anthology, with gratitude to Sundress Publications for offering this award series! Click the links below to find

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Elise Macdonald

September 16th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Teatime
, oil on linen, 80 cm x 80 cm, 2021


Malachite Muse
, oil on linen, 80 cm x 80 cm, 2021


Strelitzia
, oil on linen, 70 cm x 80 cm, 2021


Girl with the Peacock Earring
, …

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Book Review: Marrow of Summer

September 8th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

Marrow of Summer
by Andrea Potos

Kelsay Books, 2021

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

It’s late summer now. Already a few yellow stars from the sweetgum tree have fallen on the still-green lawn. It’s a glorious blue-sky day

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Labor Day 2021

September 1st, 2021 | Poetry | 2 Comments


Art by Salma Arastu, My God is Near and He Listens

Greg Grummer

The Field

And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth … –God

One day I went to the field which saw
the first

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Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

August 25th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Guy Billout

Like the Ashes

A somber day seems to be in store
for me.  I feel like the ashes left

behind after a fire. The wind kicks
me all around. I hear echoes of my

shouts in

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Dog Days — Yun Gee Bradley

August 19th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Paper Art | No Comments


I Feel You
, Hanji paper, 9″ x 12″, 2020


Contemplating
, Hanji paper, 12″ x 9″, 2019


Looking at You
, Hanji paper, 14″ x 11″, 2019


Take Me Home
, Hanji paper, 12″ x 9″, 2019


Bobby
(Commission), …

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Dog Days 2021

August 11th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Peter Clark

Greg Grummer 

Autobiography of Desire

     Only if I reach 100 years old will I write a very complete
     autobiography. Not before…. –Mario Vargas Llosa

As I walk down the street the wind throws birds at me

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A Family in Stratford

August 6th, 2021 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Hamnet: a Novel of the Plague

by Maggie O’Farrell

Tinder Press, 2020, Knopf, 2021

reviewed by Seana Graham

Despite the giant shadow that Shakespeare casts across our cultural and psychological landscape, there are significant gaps in our knowledge of

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Book Review: Dialogue with Rising Tides

August 4th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

Dialogues with Rising Tides
by Kelli Russell Agodon

Copper Canyon Press, 2021

Cover art: René Maltête, La bouée

What a sad and lovely book. The cover shows a hand rising up through a lifebuoy, in a cry for

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Notes on What Happens is Neither

July 30th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

What Happens is Neither by Angela Narciso Torres

Four Way Books, 2021

Cover art: “The Art of an Artist,” Alexandra Regina Morales

My notes tell me my plan was to review this book in May, and I was on

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Via Basel: A Friendship Born in Bhutan

July 27th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Basel & Wolfie in Bhutan

In January 2008, many moons ago, I embarked on a most interesting and exotic trip to The Kingdom of Bhutan and northern India. It included a nine-day trek of the Himalayan foothills in Bhutan, where

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Life in the Box: Lightness and Joy

July 22nd, 2021 | Television | No Comments

Maybe it’s the Demerol. I hope not. This morning, the day after my colonoscopy, I awoke with a feeling of lightness, happiness and a quiet glow of joy in my heart (and intestines.) Yes, a day of fasting and then

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Barbara Sabol

July 21st, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Gail Nadeau

Miss Elizabeth Bryan

Victim #71: Age about seventeen. Of Germantown, Philadelphia. Brown dress.
Bracelet, seven strands and locket with initials, “E.M.B.”

How wildly the scene outside my coach window
transformed as the Day Express swept
into

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Via Basel: My Glorious Ornamental Pear Tree

July 16th, 2021 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment


In this month on the 11th anniversary of your escape and the 42nd anniversary of your birth, I humbly offer this poem:

My Glorious Ornamental Pear Tree

That was what the arborist called you,
minus the “glorious,” ten years ago.

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Bo Bartlett

July 15th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Hurtsboro, oil on linen, 70″ x 120″, 2021

Crowd Scene, oil on linen, 72″ x 132″, 2020

Georgia, oil on linen, 60″ x 80″, 2021


The Thin Veil
, oil on linen, 82″ x 100″, 2020

Motherland

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Via Basel: In Defense of Idleness and Sauntering

June 18th, 2021 | EIL Blog | 2 Comments

Not every human activity has to have a purpose or meaning. Efficiency and busyness are overrated in my book, ideas I have believed in for a while now, but which have been brought more into focus since the pandemic descended

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Mary Lou Dauray

June 17th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Indian Paintbrush and the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole Wyoming National Park, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020


Great Smokey National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 30″, 2020


Zion National Park, Utah
, acrylic on …

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Let Them Be Left: Isle Royale Poems

June 9th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

Let Them Be Left: Isle Royale Poems

by Keith Taylor

Alice Greene & Company, 2021

Cover: Kathleen M. Heideman
Illustrations: Melanie Boyle

What a charming and essential chapbook by Michigan poet Keith Taylor. It places us on Isle Royale,

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Black on White

June 4th, 2021 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Citizen: An American Lyric

by Claudia Rankine

 

Graywolf Press, 2014

reviewed by Seana Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.

                                                        Zora Neale Hurston

On the

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These Birds For Example

June 2nd, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by James Aldridge

Jennifer Finstrom

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary

     “The birds flock to her, green-black crests
     and useless claws.”
          –Elizabeth Kerper, “Magritte Explains Ornithology”
 
The week after you download a dating app, 
you give a man your

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Via Basel: Emerging From Isolation

May 29th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Over the last two decades, on a yearly basis I have attempted to go on a nature outdoor trip. It can be trekking, hiking, canoeing, or rafting and is usually far away from my Chicago home base. Most have been

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Life in the Box: Pandemic Stories

May 26th, 2021 | Television | No Comments

May 26, 2021

In the days following the CDC’s “declaration of mask independence” my vaccinated friends and I have been taking cautious steps back into pre-pandemic life. A shopping trip, a small group indoor gathering, a test drive for a

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Elizabeth Kerper

May 26th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Photography by O. Winston Link

Memorial Day

The windows behind you face east and I can see the sky lighten
in the cut out spaces between buildings across the street–
can see it but am not watching so that each

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Dan Reisner

May 20th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Sculpture | No Comments


Inspiration
, bronze, 40 cm x 25 cm x 8 cm (Photo: Avi Amsalem)


Love
, bronze, 31 cm x 48 cm x 8 cm (Photo: Avi Amsalem)


Wound
, 26 cm x 31 cm x 12 cm (Photo: Avi …

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Music for Music: De La Chica’s Agatha

May 14th, 2021 | Music | No Comments


Photo of Julián De La Chica by Stan Ptisin

De La Chica’s Agatha: Image & Silence

By Dan Ursini

Usually I write about music that is complete on its own. But this time around, let’s explore music best understood

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Mother’s Day 2021

May 5th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Michelle Morin

Donna Vorreyer

On the Beach, My Mother Comes Ashore

I preserve my sorrow in salt
as she emerges in the spray–
her face reflected in the tide
her eyes the same blue-grey
as the waves.
I

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Life in the Box: Minding my Mind

April 26th, 2021 | Television | 1 Comment

It’s not that I’ve run out of things to say, not exactly. There are still lots of words going through my head. The problem is that the things I want to say have already been said. I’ve said them. I’ve

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John Sweet

April 21st, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Dean Monogenis

dear kathryn

feels like being alive,
         like breathing,
nothing but sunlight and blue sky
at the end of winter,
the gentle collapse of dreaming cities,
                              of sleeping prophets,
and i am here in this room where

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An Assortment of Somebodies

April 16th, 2021 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Somebody Who Knows Somebody

by Charles Rafferty

Gold Wake, 2021

reviewed by Seana Graham

Charles Rafferty is no stranger to us here at Escape Into Life. We’ve not only reviewed an earlier collection of his stories but featured a

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Hansa (Hans Versteeg)

April 15th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting, Uncategorized | No Comments


Le Petit Prince ou l’Apprenti Sorcier
, oil on canvas, 100 cm x 150 cm, 2021


Omen
, oil on canvas, 100 cm x 150 cm, 2021


Ophelia
, oil on canvas, 74 cm x 110 cm, 2020


Pietà della

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The Truth About Poetry

April 14th, 2021 | Poetry | 1 Comment


Art by Tallmadge Doyle

Greg Grummer

The Truth of the Higgs Boson

We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry….—Niels Bohr

Since the sun is god,
there’s only starlight

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Via Basel: One Year and Counting

April 11th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by Deborah Van Auten

On March 16, 2020, I posted my first commentary on the pandemic in its early days, suggesting reflection and introspection as an antidote to the ennui resulting from the forced isolation and disruption of our

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Collaboration: Marjorie Maddox and Karen Elias

March 31st, 2021 | Collaboration | 1 Comment


Two Hearts, Two Windows
by Karen Elias

Poems by Marjorie Maddox. Photographs by Karen Elias.

Quarantine

—after the photograph by Karen Elias Two Hearts, Two Windows

Apart inside,
together they stare

not at each other
but at the worn world

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Scott Klavan on George Segal

March 26th, 2021 | Theatre | No Comments

The Two George Segals

I’d never watched the long-running ABC-TV sit-com The Goldbergs, because I was sad to see what had happened to George Segal. I was from Great Neck, the same hometown on Long Island as the actor, went

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Heather Horton

March 18th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

The Outlier, oil on panel (diptych), 54″ x 72″, 2019 (Private Collection)


The Virago
, oil on panel, 40″ x 60″, 2020 (Private Collection)


Paths to Wisdom
, oil on linen, 4″ x 4″, 2020 (Private Collection)


Paths from

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Via Basel: I Am Not

March 14th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by Anna Emilia Laitenen

Inspired by Pope Francis’s recent visit to Iraq, and complementing my post six years ago, “I AM.”

I am not Catholic, but

I am in awe of Pope Francis’s courage and compassion.

I am not

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Anna Leahy

March 10th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Seonna Hong

What Happened Was: my mother was pregnant with me

 

What happened was my mother was pregnant with me
she mapped a way through without stopping

 

What happened was the dean thought she would stop
the
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Music for Music: Dave Miller: Choosing Joy

March 4th, 2021 | Music | No Comments


Images by Mikel Patrick Avery

By Dan Ursini ©2021

The COVID-19 era is about many things, but joyful sunlit release is definitely not one of them. Yet that is precisely what comes through in the music of guitarist/composer Dave Miller’s

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Yahia Lababidi

February 24th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Emma Kidd’s Monsters

I Get It, Now

Reviewing the drama of my life
sometimes, I pause and wonder
was this or that incident intended
for my enjoyment or torment?

How about this or that person
do they represent pleasure or

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Frantisek Strouhal

February 18th, 2021 | Artist Watch, Mixed-Media, Painting | No Comments


A Tale Has Been Born
, oil printing/mixed-media work on paper, 23″ x 20″, 2020


Blissful Reverie
, oil printing/mixed-media work on paper, 24″ x 20″, 2020


The Tree of Life
, oil printing/mixed-media work on paper, 24″ x 20″, …

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Via Basel: A Tale of Two Countries

February 14th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Code of Hammurabi

75th Birthday Post

The Longest Journey, Mesopotamia to The New World

Born in the land of the ancients,
of Warriors, Kings, and Prophets.
Civilization rises and empires fall.
His roots are deep,
his ancestors steeped
in faith

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Jennifer Finstrom: Dating in Middle Age

February 13th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


John William Waterhouse, Psyche Opening the Door to Cupid’s Garden

Ex-Husband
         

               “The door swings open:
               O god of hinges, 
               god of long voyages,
               you have kept faith.”
               – Margaret Atwood, “The Door,”
         
Say instead he is the man you met

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Always a Love Poem (Valentines 2021)

February 10th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Folded paper by Eric Gjerde

Maria Garcia Teutsch 

La Garza (The Crane)

She folds the first love letter he sent into an origami crane
and sets it afloat. She watches all the pretty words float downstream, words like: ‘rare’ and

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Life in the Box: Courting Trump’s Lawsuits

January 25th, 2021 | Television | No Comments

Now that Trump is out of office without a federal self-pardon, what can we expect as far as lawsuits against him? I did a few days of searching online, and came up with a list. It doesn’t include any actions

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Life in the Box: How to Speak Democrat

January 23rd, 2021 | Television | No Comments

Our new President, Biden, the one who actually won the election by a landslide, has asked for this nation to come together and heal the divide. So, in that spirit, I am supplying a guide to those who lost the

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Toon Musings: Activity Corner, Epilogue

January 21st, 2021 | Artist Blog | No Comments

So where next for Dear Leader? He fled to his golf resort in Florida, but he is legally enjoined from living there permanently. New York City hates his living guts. In fact, in most of America he’s likely to be

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Nancy Pirri

January 21st, 2021 | Artist Watch, Sculpture | No Comments


Vera
, ceramic, stain, and oils, 16″ x 4″


Vera
(detail)


Vera 2


Iris
, ceramic, stain, and oils, 14.5″ x 4″ (detail)


Iris
(detail)


Iris 2


Kika
, ceramic, stain, and oils, 18″ x 4″ (detail)


Kika
(detail 2)…

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Toon Musings: Activity Corner, Day 25

January 20th, 2021 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Well, it’s a wrap. Dear Leader has Left the Building, and is now just another bitter old bigot, nursing his many resentments, up to his bushy eyebrows in debt, and facing a lifetime in legal jeopardy. There were some nervous

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Book Review: Three-in-One from Blue Lyra Press

January 13th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments

Self-Portraits by Susanna Lang
Year of Convergence by Jennifer Grant
God of Sparrows by Christina Lovin

Three chapbooks bound together as Delphi Series Vol IX (Blue Lyra Press, 2020)

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

First, praise for the

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Toon Musings: Activity Corner, Day 13

January 8th, 2021 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Most people I know think wind turbines look rather majestic. In addition, they symbolize a better, cleaner, more responsible and sustainable world; indeed, they’re helping bring it about. Dear Leader hates ’em. He cares nothing for living sustainably or responsibly

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Via Basel: 3 R’s and a Labyrinth

January 8th, 2021 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by Mike Worrall

I am part of a small meditation community that has met on Sunday evenings every other week for many years. Until the pandemic hit us, we gathered in a hall generously provided to us in a

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Toon Musings: Activity Corner, Day 11

January 6th, 2021 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Dear Leader is not happy. Congress is meeting to certify someone other than him to be president! What’s a statesman-patriot to do?! Why, exhort your fanatical, cultlike followers to stage your very own Reichstag fire-like disruption of the proceedings

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Richard Jones: New Year, New Poems

January 6th, 2021 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Elise Ritter

One day he decided he wanted to live

in Vienna, to waste the summer musing,
maybe all of autumn, too, drinking sweet
tea in cafes and eating Sachertorte, listening
to Mozart and Brahms. He took a

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Book Review: This is Not…the End of the World

December 30th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments

(This is Not a) Mixtape for the End of the World
by Daniel M. Shapiro
Published by bd-studios.com in New York City, 2020
Cover design by luke kurtis
Art by Stephen Tornero

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

This

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Toon Musings: Activity Corner

December 27th, 2020 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Remember those advent calendars that always appeared during the holidays–the ones that counted down to Christmas? Sure you do! Well there’s another hotly anticipated event we’re all counting down to. Let’s count down together, shall we?

White House Advent calendar

Join me here every

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Lauren Camp: New Poems

December 23rd, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Julie Blackmon

Revenge of Winter and Future       

Upslant of light. A licorice wind along runnels of sky.

My left hand in a red glove on the bent spokes of a turquoise bike.

I ride uphill along the dominion

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Via Basel: Successes, Failures, and Disasters

December 21st, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Serious Moonlight by Carol Lukitsch

What an irony: we crave success, but it’s mostly fleeting and rarely educational. We abhor failure, though it can be deeply transformative. As with all of you, over the years I’ve had my share of

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Sarah Summers

December 17th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Illustration, Painting | No Comments


Snowman Cuddles
, 2019


Presents for the Dogs
, 2019


Festive Tree
, 2019


Tree Peonies
, 2020


Long-Tailed Tit on Apple Blossom
, 2020


Fawn in the Snow
, 2019

Artist Statement

My work is endlessly inspired by and

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Life in the Box: Photo Challenges

December 14th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

One of the earliest things you learn as a photographer is that looking at famous artworks will help develop your eye for lighting, placement, balance, and design. Most photographers embrace the possibility of using their camera as not just a

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Briefly…

December 11th, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction

edited by Zoë  Boissiere and Dinty W. Moore

Rose Metal Press, 2020

reviewed by Seana Graham

Although I’ve become more aware of flash fiction through a circle of writers I

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Book Review: Hotel Almighty by Sarah J. Sloat

December 9th, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Hotel Almighty by Sarah J. Sloat

Sarabande Books, 2020

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

Travel is out of the question, so the only hotel I’m staying in these days is Hotel Almighty by Sarah J. Sloat. Or

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Life in the Box: Deep Thoughts about Deep States

December 7th, 2020 | Television | No Comments

I’ve been in a deep state before… a deep state of meditation. That’s the kind of deep state I believe in and enjoy.

Now I’ve heard tell about a deep state that is bad, mysterious, and shrouded in evil. Apparently,

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Music for Music: Demons and Angels

December 4th, 2020 | Music | No Comments

The Wood Demons: Rare and Welcome

By Dan Ursini  © 2020

I am always excited about debut albums by bands which have been around for a while. The best of them include songs with the seasoned strength that results from

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Via Basel: Recipient of Generosity, A Blessing

November 26th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Twenty four years old, graduated from medical school and just done with my two years of compulsory military service while I was serving in the Iraqi Armed forces in Jordan, I immediately traveled to Lebanon and was delighted to arrive

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Music for Music: Simeon Walker

November 20th, 2020 | Music | No Comments

Simeon Walker: Essential Space

By Dan Ursini, ©2020

British composer and pianist Simeon Walker is a leading UK figure in the Modern Classical movement. His new album, Winnow, is about a volatile subject: leaving behind a religion that was once

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Anthony Apesos

November 19th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments


Beached
, oil on canvas, 28″ x 22″, 2019-2020


Beginning
, oil on canvas, 28″ x 22″, 2019-2020


Cliff
, oil on canvas, 28″ x 22″, 2019-2020


Crest
, oil on canvas, 28″ x 22″, 2019-2020


Dragon
, oil on …

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Scott Klavan: Journey Into Zoom

November 16th, 2020 | Theatre | No Comments


Art by Mike Worrall

There hasn’t been live indoor theatre in New York City since March. Many theatre-related jobs have melted away, temporarily or permanently, from actors and directors and playwrights, to costume and lighting designers, stage managers, from waiting

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Via Basel: Resilience, Restoration…

November 13th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Traces of Home by Ellen Von Wiegand

Resilience, Restoration, Reconciliation

Reaching back to my own past when I was facing major life-shattering events, estrangement, divorce, and finally death of loved ones, going through these three phases–resilience, restoration, and reconciliation–was essential

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Toon Musings: Supremacy Isn’t Green

November 12th, 2020 | Artist Blog | No Comments

 

So here we sit, in the murky wake of a hotly contested election, watching the actual President having an actual temper tantrum, refusing to accept the results—and fully supported in this effort by the leadership of his actual political

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2020 Pushcart Prize Nominees

November 11th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by Duy Huynh 

Please join us in congratulating our Pushcart Prize nominees. Here are their poems, published in 2020 in Escape Into Life. You can click each poet’s name to see the work as it first appeared. The

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Fiction by Jessy Randall

November 5th, 2020 | Fiction | No Comments


Art by Heather Benning

The Lump

by Jessy Randall

The first time Hazel noticed the lump was when she got up in the night to use the bathroom. Half asleep, she lurched down the hallway, trailing her hand along the

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Accidental Critic: 1001 Afternoons in Chicago

October 30th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments

“Not that he had anything particular in his mind to write about. But the city was such a razzle-dazzle of dreams, tragedies, fantasies; such a crazy monotone of streets and windows that it filled the newspaper man’s thought from day

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Accidental Critic: Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey

October 23rd, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

 

Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey: A Novel

by Kathleen Rooney

Penguin Books, 2020

Reviewed by Kim Kishbaugh

More than six months into a pandemic isolation we initially hoped would last weeks, it’s hard not to think and speak

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Shrödinger’s CatOber 2020

October 21st, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by Helen Sear

Matthew Murrey

Buried

Today our cat died—
the one that liked to sleep
on my chest, head by my chin—
and I’ll have to take the shovel
out back and start digging.

One love of my

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Two Offerings from Empty Bowl Press

October 16th, 2020 | Book Reviews, Poetry | No Comments

HOLD FAST by Holly J. Hughes

Empty Bowl Press, 2020 

THE BLOSSOMS ARE GHOSTS AT THE WEDDING: EXPANDED EDITION by Tom Jay

Empty Bowl Press, 2019

reviewed by Bethany Reid

Recently Empty Bowl Press sent me two books. I

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Steve Maphoso

October 15th, 2020 | Artist Watch, Drawings, Painting | No Comments


everything seems so bright
, acrylic on stretched canvas, 65 cm x 55 cm, 2020


everything seems so bright
, acrylic on stretched canvas, 65 cm x 55 cm, 2020


everything seems so bright
, acrylic on stretched canvas, 40 …

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Music for Music: Ranjana Ghatak: Stunning Debut

October 13th, 2020 | Music | No Comments

 

Ranjana Ghatak: Stunning Debut

By Dan Ursini ©2020

Ranjana Ghatak’s bold debut album, The Butterfly Effect, opens with considerable drama and surprise. This gifted vocalist trained in the tradition of the Classical Music of India, and that is

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Greg Grummer

October 7th, 2020 | Poetry | No Comments


Art by David Vogin

Adam, In Search Of Music

     I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music.

     I see my life in terms of music.Albert Einstein

Hmm, this bone would make
a nice flute, if

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Lost and Found

October 2nd, 2020 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Oreo, by Fran Ross

Greyfalcon House, Inc. 1974, New Directions, 2015

reviewed by Seana Graham

Sometimes, books arrive too early. Or maybe it’s just that they have to help create the audience that will later be ready to

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Via Basel: An Assault

September 30th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by eX de Medici

Last night I was assaulted in my own apartment. No, it was not an intruder. Sitting on my couch I turned on the TV to watch the presidential debate just like millions of other citizens

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2020 Best of the Net Nominations

September 30th, 2020 | EIL Blog | No Comments


Art by Josh Keyes

Please join us in congratulating Escape Into Life’s poetry nominees for Best of the Net 2020, for work published between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Click the links in the list below to revisit

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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