Greatest Hits

An Occupy Writers Update: 13 Observations by Lemony Snicket & More

By |10.18.11|

I’ve had a few emails from readers asking for an update on the Occupy Writers project, which was unveiled on Friday.

The list, which was the brainstorm of writers Jeff Sharlet and Kiera Feldman, began with almost 200 signatures, but has burgeoned […]

Creative Spaces: A Legendary Songcatcher Inspires Two Musicians on a Vermont Farm

By |10.09.11|

Two weeks after Hurricane Irene I’m wandering the back-roads of Marlboro, Vermont, making my way to Robin MacArthur and Tyler Gibbons, also known as the music duo Red Heart the Ticker.

Route 9–the main thoroughfare between Brattleboro and Bennington–is closed because […]

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95 Rare Color Photographs: America in Transition

By |10.02.11|

Recently, I stumbled across a small online collection of rare color images taken by photographers from the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. The above photograph of Jack Whinery and his family was so remarkable and surprising that I […]

The Urban Frenzy of Olive Ayhens

By |09.11.11|

Labor Day is behind us and school is in session, which means there are gallery shows galore opening this month. If you’re in New York and looking for an anecdote to all of the 9/11-themed shows currently on view, you […]

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Sonny Rollins: “It’s All about Space”

By |09.07.11|

Today is the birthday of jazz legend Sonny Rollins. At the age of 81, Rollins is still touring, making new music, and recording records.

The long, remarkable career of Sonny Rollins is a good example of how sustaining it can […]

Barry Underwood: Transforming the Familiar into the Extraordinary

By |08.28.11|

Imagine for a moment an Ansel Adams photograph. Any Adams’ image will do.

What does it look like? Do you see a landscape in black and white? Is it in a frame? Is it small? Large? Is the image on a […]

The Sunday Poem: Jane Hirshfield

By |08.27.11|




Of Yield and Abandon


A muscular, thick-pelted woodchuck,
created in yield, in abandon, lifts onto his haunches.
Behind him, abundance of ferns, a rock wall’s
coldness, never in sun, a few noisy grackles.
Our eyes find shining beautiful
because it reminds us […]

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The Art of Poetry Bombing

By |08.24.11|

What if cities that have endured horrendous, wartime bombings could experience a different sort of “bombing”–one that would bolster the morale of its citizens, instead of breaking it?

In my introductory article on street art, I discussed yarn bombing, a new […]

Rockefeller Center’s Secret Roof Gardens

By |08.21.11|

Inhabitat has just published a short piece on Rockefeller Center’s hidden rooftop gardens. The Center has been maintaining these gardens for the past 75 years, but public access to the gardens is a rare event.

According to Inhabitat, the […]

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Drainspotting: 61 Amazing Manhole Covers from Japan

By |08.14.11|


One of my favorite book discoveries this summer is Drainspotting by Remo Camerota. The book celebrates an array of fascinating manhole cover designs from Japan. According to Camerota, nearly 95% of the 1,780 municipalities in Japan have their very own customized manhole covers. […]

  • Yarn bombing

This Revolution Is For Display Purposes Only: A Street Art Primer

By |08.04.11|

On March 9, 2010 an artist named Sparrow Philips was convicted of defacing personal property in the Auckland District Court. The piece that got him arrested showed a man painting money over graffiti tags. According to Philips, “the money bags […]

Olafur Eliasson: Your Blind Passenger

By |07.25.11|

Olafur Eliasson, the Danish artist who brought the sun to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and created man-made waterfalls in New York City, has a new project at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen.

Eliasson’s installation Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger) […]

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Designer Milton Glaser on Creativity and the Fear of Failure

By |07.22.11|

You may not know graphic designer Milton Glaser by name, but you undoubtedly know his work. He is best known for the “I ♥ NY” logo, his “Bob Dylan” poster, the “DC bullet” logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005, and the “Brooklyn Brewery” logo. […]

The Discomfort Zone: Love and the Male Novelist

By |07.14.11|

Female writers are sentimental and have “a narrow view of the world.” At least that is how V.S. Naipaul sees things.

Back in June, in an interview at the Royal Geographic Society, Naipaul was asked if there were any female writers he […]

Gwarlingo Visits the Tate Modern

By |06.22.11|

This week I paid a visit to the Tate Modern in London. The museum is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world with over 4.7 million visitors a year. Currently, the Tate has special exhibitions by Joan […]

MacArthur Fellow Anna Schuleit & the Whole Sweep of Trying

By |05.31.11|

Welcome to the first installment of “Creative Spaces,” a regular Gwarlingo series that will focus on the creative habits and work spaces of visual artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and other talented individuals.

I’m excited to kick off the series with an […]

Gwarlingo’s Guide to Residency Programs

By |05.04.11|


What do Quentin Tarantino’s Resevoir Dogs, Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and the musical Grey Gardens have in common? All of these works were created during a residency at an artist retreat.*

Through the decades artist communities […]

Movie Barcodes

By |03.28.11|

The use of color in cinema has been on my mind in recent days because of a site called Movie Barcode, which offers a new way of experiencing a film. Movie Barcode compresses every frame of a […]

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Ira Glass Talks about the Creative Process

By |03.23.11|


In the following clip, Ira Glass, the host of NPR’s This American Life, gives some useful advice to writers, journalists, and broadcasters about the art of telling a good story. Remember the method you learned in college–opening […]

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Hedgehog in the Fog: A Short Animated Classic by Russia’s “Golden Snail”

By |03.19.11|

If you’ve never seen Yuriy Norshteyn’s Hedgehog in the Fog, then you are in for a special treat. And if you have seen it, you owe it to yourself to revisit this classic, animated film.

Hedgehog in the Fog is one […]

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

By |03.19.11|

The Guardian’s two-part series “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction” has been a popular topic of discussion in the writing community in recent weeks. The idea was inspired by Elmore Leonard’s “10 Rules of Writing,” which originally appeared in The New […]