Books Worth Reading

John Stezaker & the Not-So-Perfect Marriage

John Stezaker’s surreal, handmade collages—comprised of film stills, publicity portraits, and postcards collected from thrift stores and bookshops—are masterful studies in contradiction. They are familiar and nostalgic, but also unexpected and strange. Like a Coen Brothers film or Flannery O’Connor short story, they walk that compelling line between comedy and tragedy.

By | 2017-02-03T20:52:08+00:00 06.22.16|Books Worth Reading, Images|0 Comments

The Gorgeous Nothings: The Envelope Poems of Emily Dickinson

  For Proust," Susan Howe writes in her Preface to The Gorgeous Nothings, "a fragment is a morsel of time in its pure state; it hovers between a present that is immediate and a past that once had been present." The fragments Howe is specifically referring to are the envelopes left [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:48:44+00:00 07.18.14|Books Worth Reading, Images, The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Gorgeous Nothings: The Envelope Poems of Emily Dickinson

Skyscrapers: A Cure For Loneliness & Overconsumption? Judith Dupré on the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings

Lewis Wickes Hine, A construction worker at the Empire State Building, 1931. (Photo courtesy the New York Public Library Digital Gallery)   Books Worth Reading Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings By Judith Dupré. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 176 pages   [...]

Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)   Wisconsin Death Trip My first introduction to the work of Michael Lesy was a chance encounter many years ago with his classic [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:49:25+00:00 12.01.13|Books Worth Reading, Images, Words|Comments Off on Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

Lisa Dahl, Suburban Export, household cardboard, 1.5 x 2 x 2 inches (each), installation variable, 2011-12. View the finished installation Suburban Export here. (In-Progress photo of installation by Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)     "Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul." -Samuel Mockbee   The [...]

A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Gallery)   How do we cope with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina? Do we learn the necessary lessons and adjust accordingly, or do we simply [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:49:31+00:00 11.04.13|Books Worth Reading, Images, News, Words|Comments Off on A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

Daily Rituals: How Artists Create (And Avoid Creating) Their Art

"In my personal life, if I don't have a project, I don't have any discipline," says performance artist Marina Abramovic. Discipline and daily ritual were one of the subjects of her 2002 piece The House with the Ocean View. Abramovic spent 12 straight days living on three open platforms in [...]

I Never Knew How Blue Blueness Could Be: Maggie Nelson’s Bluets

  Helena Almeida, Inhabited Painting, 1975.© Helena Almeida, courtesy Serralves Foundation Collection, Oporto, Portugal   One of the joys of Gwarlingo is meeting art lovers from around the world. Sigrun Hodne and I found each other early in Gwarlingo's short history, and though she lives in Norway, and I [...]

Architect Says: Less Is More. Less Is a Bore.

  Tadao Ando, Church of the Light, 1989. Osaka, Japan.   Philadelphia is a city awash with memorable architecture, so it's fitting that I stumbled across The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's store, which offers a well-curated assortment of books inside of [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:50:06+00:00 06.05.13|Books Worth Reading, Design, Images, Process|Comments Off on Architect Says: Less Is More. Less Is a Bore.

Soaring High: The Art of Auto-Giros, Rocket Planes, Airships, & Strange Aircraft

    It's Friday and another week has almost come and gone without a mid-week post on Gwarlingo. Apologies to Gwarlingo readers for neglecting everyone but the poets the past 14 days. I've been traveling on business and working on an exciting (arts-related) project down in Philadelphia. While Gwarlingo is my [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:51:58+00:00 01.18.13|Books Worth Reading, Images|Comments Off on Soaring High: The Art of Auto-Giros, Rocket Planes, Airships, & Strange Aircraft

The Complete Creative Part 4 : Christian McEwen on the Art of Happiness

  "What has been planted is the I want! I want! of advertising, which thrives on envy and dissatisfaction. Advertising tells us that happiness can be bought if we will only put our minds to it." (William Blake, "I Want! I Want!" from For Children: The Gates of Paradise, 1793. [...]

What is Love? Joan Wickersham’s The News from Spain Has Some Surprising Answers

  Joan Wickersham (Photo by Nicholas Latimer)   “A story . . . can become close, airless. You cannot stay shut up in your own head anymore; you need a break, some fresh air. Let’s go outside: We’ll take a walk, down a New York City side street. It’s [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:52:10+00:00 11.28.12|Books Worth Reading, Greatest Hits, Words|Comments Off on What is Love? Joan Wickersham’s The News from Spain Has Some Surprising Answers

Rajesh Parameswaran’s Dazzling Tales of Captivity & Freedom : I Am An Executioner

    If like me, you find most summer reading lists too beachy and lacking in inspiration, Rajesh Parameswaran's I Am an Executioner: Love Stories is the perfect antidote. (After all, our brains don't go on holiday just because we do). Over the past week, I've been savoring the imaginative, moving stories [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:52:52+00:00 06.28.12|Books Worth Reading, Events, Interviews, Words|Comments Off on Rajesh Parameswaran’s Dazzling Tales of Captivity & Freedom : I Am An Executioner

What Makes a Healthy Life? Writer Roger King Explores Love & Fatigue in America

"I always thought the novel, with it’s ability to show lives in their full emotional and social complexity was the best medium for understanding and illuminating the world. I thought it more important than any non-fiction I could write as an academic, or journalist, or 'expert'; It seems an almost [...]

Believing is Seeing: Errol Morris Uncovers the Mysteries of Photography

    What makes an "honest" photograph---a "true" photograph? Is the medium of photography more factual and authentic than other art forms? What makes a photograph "a fake"? Can a photo be objective or does it always have a point of view? When does a photograph document reality? When is it [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:25+00:00 01.16.12|Books Worth Reading, Greatest Hits, Images, Words|Comments Off on Believing is Seeing: Errol Morris Uncovers the Mysteries of Photography

“Hugo” Author Brian Selznick Shares 20 Favorite Children’s Books with Gwarlingo

Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret is out in theaters today. Selznick's remarkable book won the 2008 Caldecott Medal (the first young adult novel to win the award for children's book illustration), was a finalist for the National Book Award, and was chosen as [...]

Writer Jeff Sharlet: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between

If you follow the subject of American religion, you have likely heard of author Jeff Sharlet. Sharlet has published five books on the subject, including C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy and The New York Times best seller The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of [...]

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:56+00:00 11.02.11|Books Worth Reading, Events, Greatest Hits, Words|Comments Off on Writer Jeff Sharlet: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between

Drainspotting: 61 Amazing Manhole Covers from Japan

  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. The country has elevated this humble, practical object to its [...]

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