Movie Review: ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ — Meryl Streep at Her Most Delicious (and Discordant)

August 23, 2016 by Alexandra MacAaron

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By Alexandra MacAaron

“People may say I ‘can‘t’ sing,” Florence Foster Jenkins once said, “But no one can ever say I ‘didn’t’ sing.”

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Poetry Sunday: ‘After the Divorce, I Hold a Yard Sale,’ by MaryAnn Corbett

August 21, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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The real genesis of the poem was in the many yard sales typical of our neighborhood, which includes a number of rental properties and student tenants. The sight of those intimate materials of daily life displayed in all their imperfection and disorder has always given me a pang because they stand for the way our lives and loves change.

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Happiness, Liberty, Life? Politics and Art

August 16, 2016 by Stacia Friedman

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By Stacia Friedman

How does art created 10, 20, or even 50 years ago speaks so loudly to issues that dominate headlines today? Is the current presidential race taking us forward or “back to the future?”

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‘Movie Logic’: 7 Impossible Things Regularly Seen in Films

August 16, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

I thought about the number of things that regularly happen in “movie logic” that are psychologically or physically impossible (or improbable). Films that avoid these devices are better for it.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Lucifer at the Starlite,’ by Kim Addonizio

August 14, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

The message is dark, so what makes the poem so wickedly funny? One is its irreverence—how it deflates the power and importance of something sacred.

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Grace Visits: Artist Judith Henry

August 11, 2016 by Grace Graupe-Pillard

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By Grace Graupe-Pillard

This August, our frequent arts contributor and artist herself Grace Graupe-Pillard is making studio calls. This week she shares with us her visit with Judith Henry, who for over 40 years, has created evocative multimedia artworks that explore the friction between our interior lives and public selves.

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Movie Review: ‘Café Society’ — Simple Pleasures from a Seasoned Director

August 9, 2016 by Alexandra MacAaron

By Alexandra MacAaron

If the story sounds simple, it is. There are moments of Woody Allen’s philosophical musings: “Life is a comedy written by a sadistic comedy writer;” “Unrequited love kills more people than tuberculosis;” and “The unexamined life is not worth living. But the examined one is no bargain either.” But nothing very weighty. ‘Café Society’ isn’t going to rock your world, but it’s a nice way to spend an evening and makes a very pretty picture.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Why Publish?’ by Rhina Espaillat

August 7, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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What I found interesting was the extent to which Rhina Espaillat was able to make this very personal poem—why she, in particular, writes—into a question of universal application and significance.

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Women of the World—a Photo Essay

August 3, 2016 by Alice Pettway

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By Alice Pettway

Most of my travels happen outdoors. The places I feel most alive are sidewalks, trails, courtyards, and parks. The women below are simply the women outdoors who have caught my eye as I wandered in the world.

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Movie Review: Motherhood Takes a Holiday in ‘Bad Moms’

August 2, 2016 by Alexandra MacAaron

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By Alexandra MacAaron

The audience at my matinee was all women, many clutching glasses of wine. And, if their reaction was any indication, ‘Bad Moms’ is a laugh riot. What was tickling their collective funny bone? One word. Relatability. After all, what overworked and underpaid mother hasn’t fantasized about running away from it all?

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Women, Comedies, and Making Statements About Women in Comedies (In the News)

August 2, 2016 by Women's Voices For Change

Can women just be funny and raunchy without always having to make a statement that women ‘can’ be funny and raunchy.

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Poetry Sunday: Guest Editor Susan Cohen on ‘Dark Prison Ledger,’ by Lynne Knight

July 31, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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“Dark Prison Ledger” responds to the release of a Congressional report, a one-day or one-week news story. Will the poem speak to us longer than the particulars of that government document? In any case, the debate over torture continues. In any case, these times are compelling more poets, compulsive observers of their interior lives, to open the window as well.

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The Pleasure of Summer Reading: Jennifer Haigh

July 28, 2016 by Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

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By Cecilia M. Ford, Ph.D.

If you want to have a string of intensely enjoyable summer afternoons, I suggest you spend them in Bakerton, PA. A has-been coal town in western Pennsylvania, this place and its various residents is the subject of a series of novels by Jennifer Haigh. One of the most interesting things about Haigh’s writing is the way she shows how small twists and turns, minor mistakes, or missteps can make all the difference in what follows.

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Examining a High-Stakes World of Inequity in ‘Equity’

July 26, 2016 by Alexandra MacAaron

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By Alexandra MacAaron

What makes ‘Equity’ particularly interesting — and probably broadens its appeal — is the fact that it’s less a women’s movie than a movie whose main characters happen to be women. At its core is a suspenseful story that could be about Wall Street wizards of any gender. But, within that story, the movie does explore several intriguing feminist themes.

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Poetry Sunday: ‘Her Art,’ by LaWanda Walters

July 24, 2016 by Rebecca Foust

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By Rebecca Foust

The loss in “Her Art” is of a mother’s ring; its broader subject is poetry (or even all art) and the extent to which it can and should be a vessel carrying the grief for human loss.

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