Defending the Letter “On Justice and Open Debate” in Harper’s Magazine

On July 7th, Harper’s Magazine published a letter on its website that was signed by more than a hundred prominent writers, scholars, intellectuals and leaders of organizations. Most prominent among the prominent signers include J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, Noam Chomsky, scholar and commentator, Margaret Atwood, novelist, Salman Rushdie, novelist who certainly understands the… Read More Defending the Letter “On Justice and Open Debate” in Harper’s Magazine

The “Human Rights Poetry” of Yevgeny Yevtushenko Very Relevant Today

By John Frederick Kaufman Speaking of his poetry, here’s what Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who died yesterday in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of 84, told the Associated Press in an interview back  in 2007: “I don’t call it political poetry, I call it human rights poetry; the poetry which defends human conscience as the… Read More The “Human Rights Poetry” of Yevgeny Yevtushenko Very Relevant Today

Resist the “Instapoets”: a quick poem for the young

There are some things, like poetry, that cannot come easy if the thing is likely to last. Some advice: don’t enter a building or a poem (or any long-term relationship) that is not carefully constructed for what you risk is deconstruction of all you thought you stood upon– the present fails to slam the past and you fall until you… Read More Resist the “Instapoets”: a quick poem for the young

Reflections on “postmodernism” upon the death of Professor Ihab Hassan

Though perhaps only of interest to students of American literature, the death this past week of former UW-Milwaukee English professor Ihab Hassan made news because he is credited for creating the term “postmodernism” to describe a style of thinking and writing prominent in the latter half of the 20th century, say after the trauma of… Read More Reflections on “postmodernism” upon the death of Professor Ihab Hassan