Most Recent Posts

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

, mobile digital art, 2019

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

keeping touch
, mobile digital art, 2019

, mobile digital art, 2019

, …

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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


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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


                               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

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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?

Read More

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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International Women’s Day: Poems & Art

March 8th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Pooja Campbell

Poems and art to help us celebrate and consider International Women’s Day, 2019. Please click on the poets’ and artist’s names to see more of their work.

Risa Denenberg

Whirlwind @ Lesbos

We met in Istanbul
where your

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Music for Music: Becca Stevens

March 6th, 2019 | Music | No Comments

Becca Stevens, photo credit Harald Krichel CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Becca Stevens: Visionary As Team Player

By Dan Ursini ©2018

Becca Stevens is a gifted songwriter and arranger, singer and instrumentalist, intent on investigating the full amplitude of

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Life in the Box: TV Warning Labels

February 28th, 2019 | Television | No Comments

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time worrying about lies spread on television, radio, cable and online media. This morning I had a grand idea: let’s put warning labels on programs and news feeds to give consumers a way

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Life’s Matters: Strands of Controversy

February 25th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

In my previous column, I discussed hair types, our common humanity, and the futility of attempting to compartmentalize the black hair experience. Here, I explore the stereotypes and the dangers of conformity. When hair gets tangled in biases and prejudices,

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Julie Shelton Snyder

February 21st, 2019 | Artist Watch | No Comments

bed desert
, woodcut, 9″ x 11″, 2018

fuji-san from space
, woodcut, 10-1/2″ x 8″, 2018

fuji-san is a girl
, silkscreen monoprint, 30″ x 22″, 2018

kawaguchiko 1
, woodcut, 10″ x 17″, 2018

kawaguchiko 2
, woodcut, …

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Sandra Marchetti

February 20th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Being a Cub Fan

How many
of my life
have I spent
with hands
hoping for one
to go out.



          for the left-handed pitcher

He pointed
to me
and said:
a veteran
who might

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Life in the Box: Flagging Our Concerns

February 18th, 2019 | Television | No Comments

As we enter the third year of being terrorized by our Orange-faced President, it occurred to me that I go through stages of alarm, sort of like the years following the September 11th terrorist attack. Maybe we should think

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Because It’s Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments

Bo Bartlett, History Lesson

High School Poem

Because it’s Valentine’s Day
My teacher says we ought to read some poems
So she hangs them up all over the school.

In the hallway, a poem about trembling field mice,
A nightingale …

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Heart to Heart: Love Poems

February 13th, 2019 | Poetry | No Comments
escapeintolife Ione R 7

escapeintolife ione r 1
Ione Rucquoi, Bete Noir

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Please enjoy these unconventional love poems, and look for another valentine to appear here tomorrow. Find more unusual love poems at the end of this mini-anthology via the links to our past

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Via Basel: My 60th Birthday Letter From Chris

February 10th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Scott Kahn

On February 10th 2006 Chris penned a letter to me on the occasion of my 60th birthday, four days later (on Valentine’s Day). Because of its length (6 pages) and depth, after briefly perusing it I

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“A love story of sorts”

February 8th, 2019 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Struck: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph

by Douglas Segal

Prospect Park Books, 2018

reviewed by Seana Graham


In October of 2012, actress Susan Segal was driving home on L.A.’s Hollywood Boulevard after picking up her daughter

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Jessy Randall & Briget Heidmous: ARTARIANICA

February 6th, 2019 | Collaboration | No Comments




ARTARIANICA is the collaborative effort of Jessy Randall and Briget Heidmous. Jessy writes words. Briget draws.

Briget, born 1989, is an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her website is:

Jessy, born 1969, has had poems

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Life’s Matters: Affairs of the Hair

January 26th, 2019 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Hair is the most prominent adornment of the human body. Hair, or the lack thereof, is a hallmark of our shared humanity. We take our hair for granted even as we fuss over it. We spend a lot of time,

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Maggie Taylor

January 17th, 2019 | Artist Watch, Photography | No Comments

A World of Her Own, archival inkjet print, dimensions variable, 2018

Before Breakfast, archival inkjet print, dimensions variable, 2017

Dream Pool, archival inkjet print, dimensions variable, 2018

Later, archival inkjet print, dimensions variable, 2017

Ship of

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Music for Music for Art: Vera Klement

January 14th, 2019 | Art Essays | No Comments


To start the year off with a surprise, Dan Ursini, who usually tells us about musicians he finds at YouTube in his Music for Music column, reports today on the visual artist Vera Klement.



Vera Klement’s Woodcuts

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Accidental Critic: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

December 28th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney
St. Martin’s Press, 2017

Reviewed by Kim Kishbaugh

Lillian Boxfish is 84 years old (well, truthfully, 85, but what’s a little fib among casual acquaintances?) and facing New Year’s Eve in her

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Elise Ritter

December 20th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Eternally Yours
, watercolor and acrylics, 2016

Blue Heavens Trio
, alcohol inks and acrylics, 2018

Communion of Saints
, acrylics, 2012

Stained Glass Saints
, watercolors and acrylics, 2013

Messengers of Light
, alcohol inks and acrylics, 2018


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Theatre Review: The Waverly Gallery

December 18th, 2018 | Theatre | No Comments

The Waverly Gallery
By Kenneth Lonergan

Directed by Lila Neugebauer
Broadway: Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th Street, New York, NY
December 14, 2018

Reviewed by Scott Klavan

Hyperbole makes for lazy criticism, but it’s not extreme to say that

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Toon Musings: Beastmen of Yuletide

December 14th, 2018 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Well, I see by my current iTunes playlist that it’s that time of year again: that enchanting time when a demigod strides the land, casting a seasoned eye on the children of our hapless race, carefully weighing whether they’ve behaved

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Book Review: Night Court

December 12th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Night Court
by Erica Goss

Glass Lyre Press, 2017
Winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Prize

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

Gosh, I love poetry. I have been loving these poems by Erica Goss for some time now, and

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Book Review: My Girl’s Green Jacket

December 10th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

My Girl’s Green Jacket
by Mary Meriam
Headmistress Press, 2018

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

When I read Mary Meriam’s poems in My Girl’s Green Jacket, I am tempted to think, This is someone who lives her

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Via Basel: Her Last Gift

December 6th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

The day was perfect, sunny with a chill in the air. The wind had slowed down to a gentle breeze and the waves were manageable. “The Neptune,” a comfortable boat we rented, was chugging along at a good clip in

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Pushcart Nominations in 2018

December 5th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Matheus Lopes, Manifesto

We congratulate our Pushcart Prize nominees for 2018. Please click the various links to see more poems, features, and award features, and to see more art by Matheus Lopes here at EIL. These poems resonate now, together,

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Theatre Review: King Kong

December 2nd, 2018 | Theatre | No Comments

King Kong
Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway, New York, NY

Directed by Drew McOnie

Reviewed by Scott Klavan
November  29, 2018

There’s something missing from the current musical of the classic monster movie King Kong, at the Broadway Theatre. Hard to

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Music for Music: Jacob Collier

November 23rd, 2018 | Music | No Comments

Music for Music: Jacob Being Jacob

By Dan Ursini ©2018

Last year, two songs from Jacob Collier’s debut album, In My Room, won Grammys. One was with an audacious cover of “The Flintstones” theme.

The other Grammy was for

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Angela Narciso Torres

November 21st, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Barbara Schneider

Warm Spell, February

For the first time in weeks the wind doesn’t cut like an insult.
My dog feels it too. I slacken her leash so she can dig her nose

in the wet underbrush, letting her sniff

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Life in the Box: Consider the Source

November 19th, 2018 | Television | No Comments

My post-election pledge to myself is to encourage my friends who share political views on Facebook to check their facts. It’s not as easy as it sounds. People who express strong feelings already think they have all the facts they

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Toon Musings: Stan the Man

November 17th, 2018 | Artist Blog | No Comments

It is with some sadness that I note the recent passing of Stan Lee, impresario extraordinaire. When I started reading comic books, I started out with DC—the home of Batman, Superman, the Flash, and Blackhawk. They were mostly bland, upright

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Accidental Critic: Citizen Illegal

November 16th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Citizen Illegal
By José Olivarez
Haymarket Books, 2018
BreakBeat Poets series

I’m a couple generations away from the immigrant experience. My grandparents on one side emigrated from Sweden in the early 1900s, met and married in this country. On the

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Lebohang Kganye

November 15th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Photography | No Comments

You couldn’t stop the rain in time, inkjet print on cotton rag paper, 2018

(Inspired by Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver)

The nameless ones in the graves
, inkjet print on cotton rag paper, 2018

(Inspired by Athol …

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Music for Music: R+R=Now

November 3rd, 2018 | Music | No Comments

Marco Migani aka Inserrirefloppino collage art 

Collagically Speaking, They Have Arrived

By Dan Ursini © 2018

Collagically Speaking, the title of the first album by R+R=NOW, nicely sums up the music of this band.

The word “collagically” evokes the

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Día de los Muertos

November 2nd, 2018 | Book Reviews, Uncategorized | No Comments

Ghostographs: an Album by Maria Romasco Moore

Rose Metal Press, 2018

reviewed by Seana Graham

I was initially a little disappointed that Ghostographs wasn’t released quite in time for me to review for Halloween, but now that I’ve read

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Toon Musings: Peanuts and Me

November 1st, 2018 | Artist Blog | No Comments

When a young person gets the urge to draw stuff, quite often they will pick an already established work and copy the shit out of it. My particular muse, as a pre-adolescent, was Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. I had

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Rob Carney: Cats & A Witch

October 31st, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Anne Siems

You Are Here→

I will never, despite the spinning,
fly off the Earth.

It’s just not possible.
The grip that holds it all together—

all the oceans and coffee cups,
wheat fields and butter knives,

porches and

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Via Basel: Sanctuary, Two Poems

October 26th, 2018 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

Mary Daniel Hobson

Sanctuary, Two Poems

Webster’s Dictionary defines sanctuary as “a place where someone or something is protected or given shelter.” It can also mean a room in a church, synagogue, etc., where religious services are held. For me

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Lunacy: Poems on the Moon

October 24th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Natasha Newton

Erica Goss

Hunter’s Moon

We’re bones in October,
toys for the wind
whose fists pound children

to the ground,
bell the pleated skirt
I wear in fifth grade,

blasting my ears with
a desert people’s
sharp syllables.


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Jeanie Tomanek

October 18th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

, acrylic on paper, 15″ x 12″, 2018

One Good Reason
, oil, 30″ x 30″, 2018

Paper Doll
, oil, 40″ x 30″, 2017

Stars in Her Crown
, oil, 40″ x 30″, 2018

, oil, 20″ …

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Jeannine Hall Gailey on the Moon

October 17th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Remedios Varo

The Night I Get Diagnosed with MS Under a Blood Moon
A coyote appears on the road. This is not a metaphor.
There are scavengers. Smoke hangs in the air
and the red face of the moon is

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Book Review: Wives’ Tales

October 10th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Wives’ Tales
by Marjorie Maddox
The Seven Kitchens Press, 2017
Editor’s Series 3.03

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

In fairy tales, as in life, there is always so much I don’t understand. Ah, that is probably the point—interpretation,

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It’s CatOber!

October 3rd, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Mattijn Franssen

It’s CatOber again at Escape Into Life. Look for the (subtle and not-so-subtle, present and missing) cats in these poems & photos….

Virginia Smith Rice 

Frequency (If There’s a Face There Should Be an I)

Tonight is

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Best of the Net Nominations 2018

September 26th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Tanya Johnston, [re]-surfacing

Best of the Net Nominations 2018

for work published between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018

Please join us in congratulating Escape Into Life’s nominees for Best of the Net. Click the links to revisit these

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Life in the Box: Optimistic Fall

September 24th, 2018 | Television | No Comments

September songs are always in a minor key. They are about Summer Ending and Winter Pending. They are about wishing summer would last longer. That’s just wrong!

Fall is its own world of changing colors and winds that blow warm

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Can You Hear Us NOW?

September 21st, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

What She Was Saying: Stories

by Marjorie Maddox

Fomite, 2017

reviewed by Seana Graham

I’ve read several short story anthologies lately, and have found myself wondering at times about the best way to read them. Does it matter what

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Gail Nadeau

September 20th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Collage | No Comments

No Moon in the Eastern Sky

She’s Disappearing

The Soft White Dress and Bouquet

The White Dove

Almost Midnight

Drawing A

Velvet Dress for Olivia

Note: The artist’s original collages are 16″ x 20″; they can be printed archival …

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Virginia Smith Rice

September 19th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Julia Zanes

Grief Inflammation

A room filled with what has been
disowned :  names, a disfigured religion or two,
a host of paper waifs that slip between rails
and stick underfoot until there is nowhere

left to stand. Nowhere, I

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Accidental Critic: Moonglow

September 14th, 2018 | Book Reviews, EIL Blog | No Comments

Michael Chabon’s “Moonglow” bills itself as a novel—the label is right there on the cover. But it’s much more than that as well. It’s equally a quiet, funny, sentimental and probing memoir—or perhaps “memoir”—so much so that the reader might

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Jamie Martinez

September 14th, 2018 | Artist Watch | No Comments



Silver Passage to the Underworld


Artist Statement 

My process involves constructing, deconstructing and fragmenting images, data, and information geometrically into triangulated segments. My recent paintings, work and projects investigate the relationship, communication, and documentation of the exchange

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Theatre Review: THE TRUE

September 12th, 2018 | Theatre | No Comments

The True by Sharr White
Directed by Scott Elliott
Produced by The New Group
Off Broadway @ The Pershing Square Signature Center

Reviewed by Scott Klavan, Preview, Saturday matinee, September 8, 2018

With his recent play The Other Place,

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Via Basel: From Baghdad to Chicago

September 11th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

From Baghdad to Chicago: Memoir and Reflections of an Iraqi American Physician
by Asad A. Bakir
Archway Publishing, 2018

A commentary by Basel Al-Aswad

When my friend Asad told me several months ago that his memoir has finally been

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THE EMPTY SPACE 50 Years Later

September 7th, 2018 | Theatre | No Comments

A theater essay by Scott Klavan

The Empty Space, by the British director Peter Brook, was published in 1968, to both admiration and discomfort. Derived from a series of lectures begun in ’65, its description of the state of

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Labor Day 2018

September 3rd, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Roberto Peluce

Rob Carney

When I Went to Work as a Snow-Globe Designer,

I didn’t do it for the usual reasons.
I did it to get some practice in

before building my house at the bottom of the ocean.

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Music for Music: Khruangbin

August 24th, 2018 | Music | No Comments

Khruangbin: Tight Pocket, Global Reach

By Dan Ursini ©2018

Khruangbin is a rock guitar-bass-drums trio which at the very least is creating the first serious updates in surf/exotica music since Dick Dale’s 1962 cover of “Misirlou,” which so memorably opened

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Anniversary of the Eclipse

August 21st, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Alejandro Colungo

Mather Schneider

Eclipse, August 21, 2017

I drive to Hermosillo solo
through the midsummer inferno       it’s the day of the eclipse
like a preposterous sentience behind the sun and sky
will slide open a peephole
to look down

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David Ehrlich

August 16th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Photography | No Comments

Not-for-Beginners Yoga

Please Please Please Please Please

Portrait (With Pinned Ear)

Singing for My Supper

Dog-Gone Happy

Darn Squirrel

I Could Use a Big Hug

They Will Not Make Me Smile

Note: The captions are the editor’s own.


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Some Short Sharp Shocks

August 11th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

A Bright and Pleading Dagger

by Nicole Rivas

Rose Metal Press, 2018

reviewed by Seana Graham


For the last twelve years, the wonderful Rose Metal Press, which specializes in hybrid genres, has sponsored a contest for flash fiction

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An Edinburgh Education

August 4th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 

by Muriel Spark 

Lippencott, 1962. Harper Perennial, 1994 

reviewed by Seana Graham 


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, for those who don’t know it, is a short novel which has

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During the Dog Days…

July 25th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

Elke Vogelsang

During the dog days of July this year, I saw a lot of dogs walking with their humans in the early morning hours along the beach at Twin Lakes State Park in California. We all walked along in

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Life’s Matters: Celebration

July 24th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

In my previous posts, “Social Tolerance is Unacceptable,” “Do Tolerance Laws Change Society?” and “A World of Social Acceptance,” I explored social tolerance, how laws in my previous posts can promote intolerance, and moving

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Life in the Box: Defying Denial

July 23rd, 2018 | Television | No Comments

If there’s one thing the 12 steps (for addiction relief) teaches: denial is the enemy. Embrace reality—no matter how harsh—and you have taken a step towards wholeness.

Denial in America? It’s epidemic now. Real people, in powerful positions, are denying,

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Mark Pugh

July 19th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

Autoportraitism, oil on panel, 36″ x 60″, 2017

Boy at the Edge of the World
, oil on panel, 30″ x 48″, 2018

Celestial Navigation
, oil on panel, 36″ x 48″, 2017

Gathering Apples (the way she remembers

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Music for Music: Brazilian Girls

July 13th, 2018 | Music | No Comments


Music for Music: Time Is On Their Side

by Dan Ursini © 2018

The Brazilian Girls are a brave, fun band—longtime dance/jazz/poptronica practitioners blessed with nonpareil artistic stamina. They have just released their first album in ten years, Let’s

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Dog Days 2018: Year of the Dog

July 11th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Kate Bassett

Yvonne Zipter  

On Berteau Avenue

Lines so deep in his face they are small ravines.
A few yellowed teeth ride the wave of his jaw,
as he tells me about his trip with his father
to a greyhound

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Rob Carney on Fireworks

July 4th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Fred Tomaselli

Rob Carney

Political Science

One summer the people of Kalispell had too much paint. Driving into town, I saw a car slap-dashed with yellow—must have been two-hundred cartoon lemons—and a homemade signboard bolted on the roof: “Dale’s Sales

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Music for Music: Articles Instead of Reviews

June 29th, 2018 | Music | No Comments


Igor & Marina, Jazzmen

Why I Write Articles Instead of Reviews of YouTube Music 

By Dan Ursini © 2018

All the statistics I have seen about YouTube music have two things in common: they involve a very large number,

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Life in the Box: What to Do?

June 27th, 2018 | Television | No Comments

With the world turning upside down and all, I have been clinging to a little prayer, a small branch that keeps me from falling into the great abyss: “let me do what is mine to do, and let me release

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Via Basel: Interview with Kyra Woods, Part 2

June 25th, 2018 | EIL Blog | 2 Comments

As a reminder to EIL readers this is 2nd part of my interview with Kyra Woods on May 25th, 2018, at the downtown offices of the Chicago Chapter of the Sierra Club. Please refer to Part 1 in link below

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Life’s Matters: A World of Social Acceptance

June 25th, 2018 | EIL Blog | No Comments

In her previous two posts, Social Tolerance is Unacceptable and Do Tolerance Laws Change Society?  Billie Wade explored social tolerance and how laws can promote intolerance. Here, in Part 3 of this four-part series, she looks at possibilities for moving

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Scott Klavan: Hamlet Parody

June 23rd, 2018 | Theatre | No Comments

Domencio Gnoli


The Danish Prince Association (DPA) has protested against the portrayal of their members in the classic play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. At a press conference in Copenhagen on Wed., Fjord Clogsen, head

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Book Review: Santa Cruz Noir

June 22nd, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Santa Cruz Noir
Edited by Susie Bright

Akashic Books, 2018

It’s officially summer! I started my summer reading with Santa Cruz Noir, a collection of new noir stories, all set in Santa Cruz. I’m headed there later this summer

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Manal Deeb

June 21st, 2018 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments
Granada by Manal Deeb

Faithful by Manal Deeb

Faithful, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″, 2016

Flash by Manal Deeb
, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″, 2015

Fix Me Deeper by Manal Deeb
Fix Me Deeper
, mixed media on canvas, 24″ x 20″, 2015

Golden Beauty by Manal Deeb
Golden Beauty
, mixed media on canvas, 24″ x 20″, …

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Father’s Day 2018

June 17th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Dean Pasch, The Freudian Cabinet

Paulette Beete  

Instructions for a Poem with Grief

Write an elegy:

Transmute should have been into fact.

Admit only there was a slight unraveling.

If you are feathered with need or hunger become another

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Paulette Beete: Finding Her Father

June 13th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Shai Kremer

Falling Still

My father who is 70 never tells me
I love you when I say it

as a good-bye: I love you then
silence. I imagine my words hurtling

from my mouth, a spray
of bullets aimed

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Via Basel: Interview with Kyra Woods, Sierra Club

June 11th, 2018 | EIL Blog | 1 Comment

The offices of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, headquartered in Chicago on the 15th floor of 70 East Lake Street, are ordinarily a beehive of activity with workers and volunteers all over the place. But on Friday morning,

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Book Review: A Bag of Hands

June 6th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

A Bag of Hands
Mather Schneider
Rattle, Studio City, CA, 2018
Rattle Chapbook Prize Selection
Runner-Up in 2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

I love the sheer honesty of Mather Schneider’s poems. He’s a poet

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Book Review: Girlie Calendar

May 30th, 2018 | Book Reviews | No Comments

Girlie Calendar
by Mary Meriam
Headmistress Press, 2014
The Lillian Trilogy, Book 3

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirk, EIL Poetry Editor

Really, you could open this Girlie Calendar to any page, and it would be the perfect date. Today, a

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Toon Musings: I am a Grinch

May 29th, 2018 | Artist Blog | No Comments

Let me explain. I was reading an article about one writer’s disillusionment with one of his heroes, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Diaz. Apparently, Mr. Diaz has, despite his enlightened writing on toxic masculinity, been found to have engaged in it

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Scott Klavan: Angels in America

May 22nd, 2018 | Theatre | No Comments

Heather Horton

Angels in America
By Tony Kushner 

Directed by Marianne Elliott
Broadway—Neil Simon Theatre
Part I: Millennium Approaches– 5/8/18; Part II: Perestroika- 5/20/18

Reviewed by Scott Klavan

Angels in America by Tony Kushner is the best new American

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Carola Schapals

May 17th, 2018 | Artist Watch, Painting | No Comments

House to Protect a Dream
, oil on canvas, 120 cm x 160 cm, 2018

Norwegian Green
, oil on canvas, 100 cm x 150 cm, 2018

Sink Down the Green
, oil on canvas, 140 cm x 170 cm, …

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Susan Slaviero: Mother & Father

May 16th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Rafal Olbinski

The Year of Fires and Floods

Think of natural disasters as domestic, something
smaller than in those movies where the beautiful
blonde scientist escapes a tsunami in a well-timed
helicopter with a wisecracking pilot—a love interest

to keep

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Mother’s Day 2018

May 9th, 2018 | Poetry | No Comments

Geoff Mitchell, Drop

Rachel Dacus


Mother, you found me fresh
and fondled my small face, ears, and toes.
A foundling yourself, you opened
your blanket to let me into a soft space
where I grew, sometimes sheltered from the

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