Literary Hub6 min readScience
A Poet and a Novelist Discuss the Literary Allure of Outer Space
Fifty years after the 1969 space landing, poet Gale Marie Thompson (Soldier On; Tupelo Press, 2015) and novelist Zach Powers (First Cosmic Velocity; Putnam, August 2019) discuss how outer space has influenced their own work. * Zach Powers: Why do you
Literary Hub7 min read
On the Human Spaceflight Program That Made Apollo Possible
The Walk, and a Sky Gone Berserk We try and plan for the unknowns. It’s the unknown unknowns that you have concerns about. –Bob Gilruth If there had been a space equivalent of Car and Driver magazine, its editors would have voted Gemini the Spacecra
Literary Hub2 min read
Gaze Upon These Heroic (and Very Good) Space Dogs!
If it weren’t for the heroism (and overall good boyness and girlness) of the following Soviet space dogs, it’s unlikely we’d be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing today. Thanks, space dogs! Ugolek (‘Little Piece of Coal’) and Veter
Literary Hub7 min read
What If We Got Stuck on the Moon?
It is never any good dwelling on good-byes. It is not the being together it prolongs, it is the parting. –Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco, The Fir and the Palm (1924) * All 24 men who flew to the moon knew they would have to face the same perils on the f
Literary Hub6 min read
At D.C.’s Newest Book Store, the Best Customers are Toddlers
Solid State Books is Washington, D.C.’s newest book store serving the H Street neighborhood. Co-owners Jake Cumsky-Whitlock and Scott Abel met while working in another D.C. bookstore back in 2004. In 2017, they teamed up to create Solid State Books w
Literary Hub6 min read
Writing Through Extreme Grief Helped Me Become Myself Again
The cover of my first book, Late Migrations, features a leaf-filled silhouette of a little girl’s face. My face. The original silhouette was made by an Alabama street artist in 1970. I was eight years old, and already I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Literary Hub6 min read
Richard Russo: On the Moral Power of Regret
Back in the late 1970s, not long after I started teaching, I began having this dream where I’m heading off to a class and at the end of an impossibly long corridor I see a group of students exiting a classroom. Somehow, I know they’re mine. A note on
Literary Hub6 min read
The Fictional Singer-Songwriter Who Got Her Own Real Album
She crept into my head one morning like a distant relative, a half-forgotten friend. A woman no longer young—in her mid-sixties, perhaps—with gray-blonde hair and dark eyes, living alone in a big old house in the English countryside. A woman with sec
Literary Hub8 min read
My Niece Is Probably the Reincarnation of Shirley Jackson
My sister has made it very clear she would like me to stop insinuating that her baby is the reincarnation of Shirley Jackson. But listen: SOME REASONS WHY MY NIECE IS PROBABLY THE REINCARNATION OF SHIRLEY JACKSON My niece is eight months old. She was
Literary Hub2 min read
Marcy Dermansky on Writing Self-Centered Men in Post-Trump America
This week The Maris Review, Marcy Dermansky joins Maris Kreizman to discuss her latest novel Very Nice. On relating to her male characters Maris Kreizman: You tell the story from many different perspectives. What was it like embodying a kind of down-
Literary Hub13 min read
11 Legendary Literary Parties We’re Sad to Have Missed
Everyone loves a good party. Especially literary people—who, aside from book parties, which technically count as “work” (ask their accountants) tend not to get out much. Or so the stories go. Literature abounds with great parties, but here I’m intere
Literary Hub5 min read
The Compelling Tales We Tell of Fictional Tigers
At first I was merely charmed. A tigress at the Louisville Zoo gave birth to a litter of cubs, and I visited weekly, watching them grow from tottering fuzzballs into leaping, pouncing youngsters. The best visits yielded stories: the day little Leela
Literary Hub2 min read
John Waters on Working for Mary Oliver in Her Bookstore
In this week’s episode of A Phone Call From Paul, Paul Holdengraber and John Waters discuss his new memoir, Mr. Know-It-All (or as he describes, a “self-help book for lunatics,” what he’s reading this summer, and his experience working for Mary Olive
Literary Hub3 min read
Steve Almond on Interesting Writing: “My Job is For it Not to Be a Trick”
Steve Almond is the guest. His new book, William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life, is available from Ig Publishing.  Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against
Literary Hub6 min read
On the Fine (and Difficult) Art of Science Writing
Albert Einstein once said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That’s the essence of a good science writer: make it simple for readers to understand but not too simple that you’re misconstruing the facts. When I star
Literary Hub7 min read
How to Taste Chocolate Like an Expert
“Try to recall the smell of foods you like (such as freshly baked bread or pungent cheeses) or the aroma of nature itself: flowery, herbal, spicy. Remember the smell of a gush of rain on a hot street pavement, the tempting scent of ripening fruit, or
Literary Hub11 min read
How Contemporary Poetry Treats the Old Myths of the American Railroad
Like many Chinese-Americans, I first encountered myself in US history class as a coolie hard at work on the American railroad. In that guise, I wore a funny, wide-brimmed hat and sported a ponytail whose tip bobbed just above my waist. It was a nice
Literary Hub1 min read
‘Fatal Light Awareness,’ A Poem by Margaret Atwood
A thrush crashed into my window: one lovely voice the less killed by glass as mirror— a rich magician’s illusion of trees— and by my laziness: Why didn’t I hang the lattice? Up there in the night air among the high-rises, music dies as you fire up yo
Literary Hub4 min read
The Author of My Sister, the Serial Killer on Violence, Beauty, and Poetry
This week on Reading Women, Oyinkan Braithwaite joins Kendra and Autumn to discuss her novel My Sister, the Serial Killer. From the episode: Autumn Privett: One of the things that I really enjoyed while I was reading your book was the style you wrote
Literary Hub6 min read
Mukoma Wa Ngugi: On the Poem That Made Me Fall in Love with Words
There was a poster in my father’s office of “Poem at Thirty” by Sonia Sanchez on one side, and then running along it a powerfully elegant drawing—large hoop earrings, long bare arms through a flowing checkered dress, afro, platform shoes and all. The
Literary Hub7 min read
Brazil’s History Is Ahead of It, Not Behind
The following pieces first appeared in Portuguese, in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. * For the first time in my life, I went away on vacation. I spent entire days admiring the world, without any thought to day-to-day concerns. It was incredible. Mo
Literary Hub4 min read
A Laid-Off Journalist Takes a Job in an Amazon Warehouse
It’s 6:45 am, and I groan—actually groan out loud—as I log in to my scanner and find myself assigned to the fourth floor. Again. Nobody likes the fourth floor. Sometimes, when pickers log in and draw an assignment on four, they’ll log out and back in
Literary Hub4 min read
How Space Technology is Revolutionizing Archaeology
The human story—the story of us—is evolving at breakneck speed thanks to new technologies. Armed with new data sets, we can spin fresh tales that bring us closer to getting more right than wrong about our ancestors and ourselves. What we can find wit
Literary Hub3 min read
Kevin Alexander on the Funny, Unflinching, Cooking Memoirs You Need to Read
When Anthony Bourdain published his seminal cooking life memoir, Kitchen Confidential, in May of 2000, the cliche that chefs tell incredible stories but write incredibly boring books went down the drain. Since Bourdain, there have been an upsurge in
Literary Hub6 min read
Why a 1980s Novel of Dystopian Patriarchy Still Speaks to Women Today
For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more t
Literary Hub6 min readFood & Wine
A Chef Traces the Start of Her Career to Her Mother’s Childhood
A long time ago, as I sat on the top stair to our barn attic and marveled at all the restaurant furniture covered in years of dust, I saw everything I needed to see to know exactly what it was like. At Jenny’s, I learned how to make pierogi through o
Literary Hub5 min read
John Waters on Taking LSD at 70, Clarence Thomas, and Reading Bad Reviews
The legendary filmmaker, author, and speaker John Waters is a font of wisdom both profound and profane. In Mr. Know-It-All, an essay collection that recalls his film career and his adventures past and present, he dispenses prescriptive advice in a wa
Literary Hub4 min read
An Object Lesson in Naming Novels: Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea
First, there’s the obvious: the incantatory effect of the repetition, the rush of sibilance, the plain punch of those four syllables. It just sounds good, and any great title should sound good. It is alluring, an obvious spell (ah, the famous “buy th
Literary Hub7 min readSociety
How Extreme Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Entered American Life
Asma T. Uddin, a fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and author of When Islam Is Not a Religion, has spent her career advocating for religious liberty. She spoke with comedian Zahra Noorbaksh, host of the hit podcast #GoodMus
Literary Hub11 min readPolitics
When Bad Presidents Misbehave Do They Always Get Away With It?
The closest student of public administration before the Civil War points to the presidency of James Buchanan as the nadir of antebellum public ethics. All of the trends of corruption at the lower ranks of the government seemed to culminate in three y
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