“I don’t like intertwined. I like intact. There is too much contact in the world. Too much intertwined. Maybe it is true that we all depend on one another, that everything in the world depends on everything else — but we also depend on the spaces in between. We need the spaces, because the spaces are where the order lies. That’s why I like maps, because they recognise the gaps between one thing and another. They stand in mute opposition to those who think that the connections are all that matter. People who reach out to others, just to touch them, even when they don’t want to be touched. People who write unexpected letters to complete strangers, because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do.”
— John Burnside, A Summer of Drowning
“I had the sense that this neighborhood would soon slip into the past just like the others, that in fifteen years it would be filled with gleaming office buildings and chic restaurants. But for now it remained unassimilated. The only other part of Manhattan that so fully gave me this illusion of suspended time was Central Park. Whenever I ran my hand over the bark of old trees and looked out onto marshy lakes and open meadows that had remained nearly unadulterated for a hundred and fifty years, I could feel that in season after season the land continued to be saved from the future and for the future.”
“Our ancestors knew something about bees that we’ve forgotten or refuse to recognize, that bees, with their incomparable senses, can sense the thin spots between worlds and break through; use their efficient little jaws to nibble a hole from universe to another.”
— Johanna Sinisalo, The Blood of Angels (peterowenpublisher)
“China has even declared itself a “near Arctic state,” a big stretch as even its northernmost region lies more than 1,000 miles from the Arctic Circle. But, Mr. Ostreng said, “When you are a big country, you can claim to be whatever you want, and people believe you.””

Cheryl Wheeler, “When Fall Comes to New England”

Yosemite National Park, CA / Photo: Patrick Tehan

“I didn’t study writing in college, I studied anthropology. I was an anthropology major, and though I took writing workshops I didn’t do English or literature, which are the more traditional ways of getting into this hustle. However, I was a reader, I read everything I could get my hands on, and — well let me say it this way, one of the benefits of not having studied literature in a traditional sense is that my relationship with the canon is not, um, a tight relationship, not an embrace. I didn’t have the canon shoved down my throat, so I didn’t acquire or reject the prejudices of the canon. I read widely and try to read without ideas of what literature has to be, or what it historically has been. It’s kind of a freeing way to read. But it also means I’m completely embarrassed by the things that I haven’t read, and I’d like not to talk about that (laughs).”

Daniel Alarcón, interviewed at LA Review of Books

His words could have come out of my own mouth, right down to the anthropology major.

Not the best photo, but it was awfully exciting to receive some advance copies of Fram in the mail today from Ig Publishing.