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Posts Tagged ‘life’

The Eye Behind the Camera: Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson

By Nick OlsonApril 20, 2017

When we first see the close-up of the dead bird on the ground, we wonder why. It’s only a few scenes later that we return to the site of the bird to see two young children, twin brother and sister, asking their mother and grandfather if they can go outside to bury the dead bird.…

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Finding My Sister in Young Adult Novels

By Natalie VestinApril 18, 2017

Lately all I want to read are young adult novels about sisters. Young adult (YA) lit has a simplicity that creeps up on you. It’s about falling in love and obligations to the world outside of our daily concerns. And it’s usually disturbing as hell, reflective of how, though we say we lose innocence, as…

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Palm Fronds

By Bryan BlissApril 13, 2017

My daughter held the palm frond as if she’d never seen such a thing. I gave mine a perfunctory wave. We were both visitors, standing in the foyer of an elementary school turned church. The pastor was a friend, but in the ten minutes before a worship service—especially during Holy Week—I wasn’t going to latch…

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God is a Wild Old Dog

By Christiana N. PetersonApril 12, 2017

God is a wild old dog / Someone left out on the highway —Patty Griffin “Wild Old Dog” It is the first week of spring and I sit in the small cemetery on our community property. The bench underneath me is green and mossy from the confusion of a mild winter that left us with…

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Poetry Friday: “In Tandem”

By Fred MarchantMarch 17, 2017

Here is a poem that takes aim at our clichés about aging and death. It does so with subtle cleverness, by putting “in tandem” an old spruce tree and the nursing home resident to whom the poem is addressed. Though there’s no stanza break, the poem divides into two parts, each of nine lines. The…

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Poetry Friday: “The Cartographer of Disaster”

By Kathleen L. HousleyFebruary 24, 2017

Sometimes a poet will take a familiar story but re-tell it from the point of view of a minor character. That’s what Kathleen L. Housley is doing in “The Cartographer of Disaster”: she gives us the biblical story of Noah and the Flood from the viewpoint of the raven that Noah sends out after the…

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Visiting Martin Luther in Minneapolis 

By Natalie VestinFebruary 13, 2017

A few weeks ago, I visited the Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Before I left to catch the train, I popped my Swedish great-aunt’s small ceramic squirrel into my bag, knowing that she’d want to come in some way. (She’s likely forcing a plate of pepparkakor and…

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To Run and Not Grow Weary, Part 1

By Jeffrey OverstreetJanuary 25, 2017

So, why Chariots of Fire? Why is that what I chose for tonight’s movie? Netflix is recommending all kinds of recent, highly rated titles. Why revisit this old DVD? It happened like this: Two hours earlier, I’d taken the car, planning to drive north to a waterfront park to work on my novel. I planned…

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Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea

By A.G. HarmonJanuary 24, 2017

It’s impossible to speak of Kenneth Lonergan’s film Manchester by the Sea without alluding to its major premise: Some events in life simply can’t be overcome. However, stating that conclusion does not betray the work’s plot, because from the outset the story depicts a man upon whom a terrible blow has been dealt. There is…

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The World at Midday

By Natalie VestinJanuary 23, 2017

I spent Christmas Eve with my mom last month for the first time in years. It was unexpected; she was happy and well. All through the drive to my aunt’s house—Dad at the wheel, Mom turning the music up—my sister and I watched the lights and thought about extraordinary transformations. How anything is possible, though…

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