"… Wenderoth’s speakers are not sideshow freaks for the reader to ridicule. No, they are honest and human."
Ezekiel Black on Joe Wenderoth’s IF I DON’T BREATHE HOW DO I SLEEP (Wave Books). Read the full review here.
Alex McElroy reviews Megan Martin’s NEVERS (Caketrain [a journal and press])
“And in that paradox—that writing is essentially meaningless but loaded with meaning, that it is done for oneself but cannot be stomached by oneself, that its bromides about truth and realness and commitment are false and fleeting, that writing does not make one any better than anyone else despite the comfort believing so gives us—Nevers finds its greatest strength.”
Bernard Perlin (American, 1918-2014), The Farewell, 1952. Casein on fiberboard, 34 1/8 x 47 1/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Contributors’ Corner: Jeff Tigchelaar
Jeff Tigchelaar’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Pleiades, LIT, North American Review, The Offending Adam,Flint Hills Review, and The Wallace Stevens Journal, and in anthologies including Best New Poets, Verse Daily, and Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland (Ice Cube Press, 2014).
Can you share a moment that has shaped you as a writer (or continues to)?
I once yawned during a keynote address by Salman Rushdie, thinking I was safe in a sea of a thousand faces, but he stared right into my eyes and now he lives in my soul.
What are you reading?
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Elizabeth Ellen’s Fast Machine. Also: A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, from Woodley Press, edited by Becca J.R. Lachman.
Can you tell us what prompted your poems in HFR?
“There’s This Thing”: I was stopped in my tracks in the Kansas University Library by the artwork I’ve tried to give words to.
“Frontier”: You know how you get in airplanes?
“Strange Dream, or Dale Murphy”: It was the dream!
What’s next? What are you working on?
Some chapbooks: one that lampoons artist statements (it’s called I Am Interested in Beauty); one that channels Robbie “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle; and one that enumerates my many years as a plasma “donor.”
Also putting the finishing touches on my full-length collection Certain Streets at an Uncertain Hour: The Kansas Papers, coming this year from Woodley Press and spectacularly illustrated (?!) by Lawrence, Kansas artist Charlotte Pemberton.
Take the floor. Be political. Be fanatical. Be anything. What do you want to share?
You’re more beautiful than people give you credit for, Kansas, but sometimes you’re tough to be around.
More comics: Robert Loss reviews THIS ONE SUMMER, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (First Second Books)
“Mariko and Jillian Tamaki give life to a cast of complex and unique women that covers multiple generations, including supporting characters like Windy’s granola mother and her cranky grandmother. This is a perspective too long ignored in the comics medium, and thankfully that’s beginning to change.”
Paul Henry (Irish, 1876-1958), Spring in Wicklow. Oil on canvas, 12 x 10 in.
The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.
Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg. Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:
Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.
First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:
…the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.
She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)
Christopher Jonassen’s investigation of worn-out frying pans.
Thayaht (Italian, 1893-1959), Gabbiani [Seagulls], 1931. Oil on board, 37.8 x 46 cm.
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