Sunday, March 18, 2018

Thought for the Day

Everyone has a      burning building      inside them.
~ Nick Lantz

Quoted from Nick Lantz, "Ruin", in American Poetry Review, Vol. 47, No. 2, March/April 2018, page 34

Lantz is the author of We Don't Know We Don't Know (Graywolf Press, 2010), The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors' House (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), How to Dance as the Roof Caves In (Graywolf, 2014), and You, Beast (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017).

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Pooja Campbell, Everybody's Got a Hungry Heart, 2017
Oil on Canvas, 48" x 36"
Copyright © Pooja Campbell


I could not be more delighted than I am today to present in this month's Artist Watch for the online arts magazine Escape Into Life the work of the superbly talented painter Pooja Campbell.

A native of Bangalore, India, Pooja came to the United States in 1995 and, after earning a fine arts degree and studying textile design, settled in Maryland. In addition to attracting the attention of private collectors, Pooja's work, which is highly distinctive in style and easily identifiable for its bold, tropical-like colors, has been exhibited around the U.S. and in India.

Today's Artist Watch features eight images of Pooja's spectacular paintings, her biography, her Artist Statement, and her social media addresses. 

Pooja maintains a studio at Artist & Makers Studios, 11810 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, MD 20852. If you're in the area, be sure to stop by to introduce yourself and see Pooja's paintings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Trio of Don't-Misses

Take note of and don't miss the following:

★ A new documentary about Andy Goldsworthy, Leaning Into the Wind (Magnolia Pictures, 2016), directed, photographed, and edited by Thomas Riedelsheimer, is playing now in theatres. Shot between 2013 and 2016, the 93-minute English-language film, which includes Goldsworthy's daughter and assistant Holly, captures the artist at work in urban settings, dense forests, jungles, and fields of grain using such natural materials as mud, leaves, bark, rocks, clay, bracken, and even sheep to create site-specific works. Goldsworthy's locales include Scotland, France, and the United States. See the trailer at the title link above or as it appears on Vimeo, below. The documentary is an official selection of the San Francisco Film Festival, scheduled for April 4-17.

Reviews or Other Articles at Film Forum, Hyperallergic, Variety, and Screen Daily

Leaning Into the Wind on FaceBook

★ "Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings", a major survey of the work of photographer Sally Mann, opened March 4 at the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and continues through May 28. Featuring more than 100 images, the show is organized into five sections: "Family", "The Land", "Last Measure", "Abide with Me", and "What Remains".

Related programming at NGA includes a public symposium, "History, Photography, and Race in the South: From the Civil War to Now", April 14, 10:30 a.m., East Building Auditorium; and two lectures, also in the East Building: "Crossing Paths", April 21, 12:00 p.m., and "The Evidence of Things Seen and Unseen", May 20, 2:00 p.m. 

A traveling exhibition, "A Thousand Crossings" will appear at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (June 30 - September 23); The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California (November 20, 2018 - February 10, 2019); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas (March 3, 2018 - May 27, 2019); Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (June 17, 2019 - September 22, 2019); and High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (October 19, 2019 - January 20, 2020).

A 320-page exhibition catalogue (see image below) is available.

Cover Art, Sally Mann Exhibition Catalogue

★ What is it like to leave . . . your partner or your family, your career or job, the only place you've called home, or even your life? In Last Works: Lessons in Leaving (Yale University Press, January 9, 2018), Columbia University professor of religion Mark C. Taylor looks at writers' and thinkers' final reflections to discover how people confront and experience leavings and endings and to better understand the lessons others offer about life and living. Taylor's subjects include, among others, philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, medical doctor and father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, and novelist, essayist, publisher, and critic Virginia Woolf.

Cover Art

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thought for the Day

. . . the extraordinary is waiting quietly. . . Light is in both
the broken bottle and the diamond. . . .
~ Mark Nepo

Quoted from Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening (Conari Press, 2011), page 24

Mark Nepo, Poet, Spiritual Writer, Philosopher, Healing Arts Teacher

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Artist Mindy Alper in Short Doc Film

When you have time, watch the 40-minute Oscar-winning documentary about Brooklyn-born artist Mindy Alper, Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (2018). (The 405 is a California freeway. Its name's significance is explained in the film.)

Both film and animation, the documentary by director and writer Frank Stiefel allows Alper to talk openly and frankly about her life and her art — drawings and papier-mache sculptures that reflect her experience of and feelings about depression, anxiety, and other physical and mental problems. She speaks movingly about her dark and isolated childhood and her need for and ability to love. Interviews, reenactments, and artwork complement the story of Alper's life, which includes commitment to a mental institution, electro-schock therapy, and a 10-year period during which she could not speak.

A resident of Los Angeles, California, Alper is a remarkable and inspiring person whose acclaimed gift for art-making is a key to her survival.
(My thanks to Hyperallergic, which published an article about the documentary, "This Oscar-Winning Short Doc Animates the Life of an Unpretentious Artist" (March 6, 2018).)

Note: Go to the film's Website to see the trailer (see link above); the full documentary is no longer available via YouTube, where I first watched it in its entirety.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Thought for the Day

. . . sometimes only nothing can open the door to something else.
~ Barbara Hamby

Quoted from Barbara Hamby, "Athena Ode", in Bird Odyssey (University of Pittsburgh Press/Pitt Poetry Series, March 2018). The text of the poem was published in The New Yorker (January 25, 2016).

If you've never read Hamby, look her up (plenty of poems are online and on her Website). She's a terrific poet.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday Short

Cover Art
Today's Saturday Short is the trailer for Luisa A. Igloria's new poetry collection, the marvelously titled The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia Publishing, March 2018). Igloria produced the trailer with Belgian video- and sound-artist Swoon (a.k.a. Marc Neys) with whom she has collaborated on at least five other filmpoems.

If you are unfamiliar with the poetry of Igloria, who maintains a daily poetry writing practice at poet Dave Bonta's Via Negativa blog, I encourage you to browse her pieces at Dave's blog or at Igloria's own Website, and then order a chapbook or full-length collection to read. You will not be disappointed in this immensely talented poet.

Igloria, who lives in Virginia and is a professor of creative writing and English at Old Dominion University, has written more than a dozen poetry collections, including Ode to the Heart Smaller Than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014) and Night Willow (Phoenicia, 2014), and three chapbooks, and is published in numerous literary journals and periodicals, as well as anthologies. She is the recipient of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (for her poem "Auguries") and the 2014 May Swenson Poetry Award, just two of many honors that have deservedly come her way.

Luisa A. Igloria Website

Swoon Website 

Phoenicia Publishing Website

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jutta Pryor's 'Nailing Remembrance.... (Filmpoem)

Take six minutes from your day to view Jutta Pryor's beautiful film of poet Farkhonda Akbar's "Nailing Remembrance". Music and sound production are by Lisa Greenaway.

Akbar is a Ph.D. candidate in diplomacy, international politics, and strategic studies at Australian National University. She is a member of the Hazara ethnic group in Afghanistan.

My thanks to Dave Bonta at Moving Poems for posting this excellent film.

Jutta Pryor on FaceBook

Jutta Pryor at Vimeo

Farkhonda Akbar on Twitter

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Thought for the Day

Solace is the beautiful, imaginative home we make
where disappointment can go to be rehabilitated.
~ David Whyte

Quoted from David Whyte, Consolations (Many Rivers Press, 2015), page 217

David Whyte, Poet, Author, Speaker, Organizational Thinker

David Whyte TED Talk ("A Lyrical Bridge Between Past, Present and Future", 2017)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short presents the trailer for Nowhere to Hide (2016), a documentary by Zaradasht Ahmed that details the Iraq War and its effects on Nori Sharif, a nurse, and his family. In Arabic with English subtitles, the film was the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2016 IDFA Winner for Best Feature-Length Documentary, the 2017 Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking, and the 2017 Best Documentary Award of the One World Human Rights Festival. 

Read Hoshang Waziri's article "Iraq & the Wounds That Never Heal" at New York Review of Books Daily, February 9, 2018.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Because they died of cold . . . (Poem)

I wrote the poem that follows a few days after the news article referenced was published. The story was, and remains, haunting. Because those who died deserve to be remembered.

The piece, sourced in the headlined article, can be read as two poems that ultimately come together. 


Because they died of cold . . .

Frozen on a snowy mountain
How 7 years of war ended for 15 Syrian refugees
~ The Washington Post, February 6, 2018

Because they wanted only to escape

               The elderly were the first to fall.

And could not go by sea.

               The ground was hard.

Because they were a mother, sister, wife

               The guide moved on,

Three daughters and a son

               His journey seven hours from Jdaidit Yabws.

Grandchildren, nieces, a sister-in-law

          Their price, per person: paid.

Because the mountain lifted before them.

               The women, behind, tired.

Because they wore plastic sandals

               The children did not keep up,

Because Lebanon meant more than risk

               Lay down in wind and cold—

Disguised as death's own face.

               A bush of thorns one's bed.

                       A cot of snow another's cover.

Because Shihab slipped and cracked his ribs

               Sarah, 3, in his arms—

And Beshayer slept, her cheek frostbitten

               Life-less? He could not say.

Because the bottom of the mountain was far

          The miracle and the milestone: Some of them lived.

Because this is a story of fifteen Syrians

          Out of hundreds of thousands gone unnamed

Let us call them Hasba, Mishan, Abu Hashish, Yasser, Abed

          Amal, Mohammed, Goufran, Hanan.

2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Thought for the Day

Love isn't a perfect state of caring. It's an active noun
like 'struggle.' To love someone is to strive to accept
that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
~ Fred Rogers 

Quoted from Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers (Hachette Books, 2003)

Fred Rogers (a.k.a. Mister Rogers) (1928-2003), Children's Television Personality, Musician, Puppeteer, Writer, Producer, Presbyterian Minister

Jonathan Merritt, "Saint Fred", The Atlantic, November 22, 2015

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, a documentary on the PBS American Masters' "Thirteen" series. Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, the documentary premiered January 19, 2018.

The African-American playwright, journalist, and activist Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) is most famous for A Raisin in the Sun, which opened on Broadway in 1959.

Read Chris Jones, "'My Name Is Lorraine Hansberry': New PBS Documentary Tells Her Story", Chicago Tribune, January 18, 2018.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Wolf Kahn, High Pink Sky, 2016
Oil on Canvas, 52" x 52"
© Copyright Wolf Kahn
Courtesy of the Artist and Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe


I am privileged today to showcase the internationally known painter Wolf Kahn and his work in my new Artist Watch feature at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Once a student and studio assistant of Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), Wolf Kahn lives and works in New York City and Brattleboro, Vermont, when he is not traveling the world to create his atmospheric and vividly colorful landscapes.

Today's Artist Watch column includes seven images of Wolf Kahn's beautiful watercolors from his November-December 2017 exhibition at his gallery Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe in New York City, a biography, a brief statement about his work, and the artist's Website and gallery representative.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Poem for Lent

Not only is today Valentine's Day (see the poem preceding this post); it also is Ash Wednesday. Below is a poem I first posted in February 2010. I think it's worthy of reprise during Lent.

Passing Time in Lent

If you have never made offense,
whose gospel do you follow?

If you have never gospel followed,
to whose arms do you run to escape the sin?

If you have never smudged the ash,
for whose sins must you be sorry?

If you have never felt too full,
where do you create the space inside?

If you have never denied your want,
how do you know how hunger feels?

If you have never given up,
how do you learn to receive?

If you have never crossed the desert,
by what clock do you watch sun rise and fall?

If you have never offered your table,
what claim do you make on feast prepared?

If you have never consumed the bread,
at whose altar do you sacrifice?

If you have never sat with emptiness,
out of what do you fashion your hope?

If you have never done the mourning,
what sign do you accept it's spring?

If you have never seen spring light,
from whom did you learn to sing?

© 2009-2018, Maureen E. Doallas

Some of my other Ash Wednesday poems:

"Prayer for Ash Wednesday" (March 9, 2011) 

"Ash Wednesday" (February 17, 2010) 

Hush. . . Stay. . .Go (Poem for Valentine's Day)

Hush . . . Stay . . . Go

The lone rose of your breath
on my cheek rests lightly,

like some mid-winter silence
in the small hours before

your sweet complaint has
turned to fire. The taste

of you — a hush from far
away — is magic, a song lifting

a heavy web of dews from
mouths of milk-white blossoms.

You learn my real dwelling
has no pillars, and flower.

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

Image: Free Clip Art

This poem is sourced in the "Top 10 Dip Into Poetry Lines", a random selection of the words proving perfect for creation of a love poem.

Some of My Other Valentine's Day Poems:

"Hard Kiss" (February 14, 2017)

"Hershey's Got No Baby Ruth" (February 10, 2015)

"Sweethearts" (February 14, 2013)

"Finding Love Within 18 Miles" (February 14, 2010)


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Eleventh of January (Poem)

The Eleventh of January

They place you on your side,
intending to relieve your pain,
its source wanting to be found.

Already, you have been in hospital
more than ten days, the pain sharp
like the edges of each broken bone

in your spine. They find the tear,
an obstruction, note the swell
of your abdomen (like your belly

must've been when you were child-
bearing). They administer morphine,
Butran, so many other drugs —

those names I can't remember —
doses always at maximum levels.
You reach far into your memory

bank, chatter on end without sleep.
They call it hospital delirium,
let it run its course — as it does

before sleep slips into your room.
They review your DNR order,
make clear that surgery is not

an option, inform your daughters
the end of your stay draws near.
We consider the few possibilities,

agree on what's needed that is
not enough. By day 15 you are
anchored for a move, not the last

you will make, your future without
date certain until that morning
beginning the eleventh of January.

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thought for the Day

. . . All great artists must be able to create a machine
that can make things that they cannot predict. . . .
~ Jerry Saltz on Artist Philip Guston

Quoted from Jerry Saltz, "How Philip Guston, America's Great Painter of the Night, Completely Reinvented the Sublime", Vulture, May 24, 2016 (The article also can be found in New York Magazine, May 30, 2016.)

Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic/Columnist, New York Magazine

Philip Guston (1913-1980), Painter and Printmaker

Philip Guston at The Art Story

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday Short

Yayoi Kusama 
Photo Credit: Harrie Verstappen

Today's Saturday Short introduces Heather Lenz, director, screenwriter, and co-producer of the documentary Kusama - Infinity (Tokyo Lee Productions, 2018), who talks briefly about her film, which premiered in the documentary competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The 80-minute feature, in Japanese with English subtitles, was produced by Lenz, Karen Johnson, Dan Braun, and David Koh. It will be released this year.

Artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), who voluntarily lives in a mental institution in Japan, is known for her soft sculptures and polka-dot creations and only now is receiving a level of attention denied her for much of her life. Her work, including paintings, works on paper, sculptures, installations,  and performance art, has been exhibited in numerous galleries and many museums, among them the Tate Modern in London ("Yayoi Kusama", February 9 - June 5, 2012), the Museum of Modern Art ("Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958-1968", July 9 - October 6, 1998) and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City ("Yayoi Kusama", July 12 - September 30, 2012), and at The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. ("Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirror Rooms", February 23 - May 14, 2017). The exhibition "Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors" can be seen through May 27, 2018, in Ontario, Canada, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The inaugural exhibition at the Yayoi Kusama Museum, Tokyo, "Creation is a Solitary Pursuit, Love is What Brings You Closer to Art", is on view through February 25.

Kusama Infinity on FaceBook

Yayoi Kusama Website 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Thought for the Day

What we were at the beginning is only a vague patch
of colour contemplated from the edge of what we have become.
~ Elena Ferrante

Quoted from "Elena Ferrante: 'I loved that boy to the point where I felt close to fainting'" (First of Weekly Series), The Guardian, January 20, 2018

Elena Ferrante, Novelist, Author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), and Neapolitan Quartet* (Europa Editions, 2012-2015); Nonfiction Writer, Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey; Children's Book Author, The Beach at Night

* The Neapolitan Quartet comprises My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short is a performance by the composer, musician, and film director Laurie Anderson and San Francisco's Kronos Quartet of "The Water  Rises/Our Street Is a Black River" from the 2018 album Landfall. The album was inspired by Anderson's experience of Hurricane Sandy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The boat cemetery (Cento)

The boat cemetery

Never shall I forget

The lengths they will go to      Women
on the way      Drawing lots             Children
of the same sea      Drawing lots

You brought this upon yourself
        The will of the waves

                The girl in the front row

      One red shoe

                        Little pieces of home

      The wounds you cannot see
God      An irrevocable decision     is not to blame


The above lines, including the title of the cento, are a selection from the names of chapters in Dr. Pietro Bartolo's book Tears of Salt: A Doctor's Story. The final line comprises two chapter titles ("God is not to blame" and "An irrevocable decision") split in two.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thought for the Day

Activism is what love looks like in public.
~ John Grauwiler

Quoted from “Response to ‘All the Dead Boys Look Like Me’ by John Grauwiler” in Bullets Into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence (Beacon Press, 2017), page 155

John Grauwiler, Gays Against Guns Co-founder and Activist

The poem “All the Dead Boys Look Like Me” was written by Christopher Soto.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Losing My Mother (Poem)

Losing My Mother

It is 1:47 a.m. when the call comes,
shattering sleep the way waves
break on Florida's shell-stocked shores.

Even before my sister's voice thrusts
through the silence, I, a mother, too,
know to expect nothing but bad news.

How to navigate the steady storm
of tears, hear out the stuttered words,
one after another so slowly spoken

between the breaths of the one
delivering, the one receiving —
"She's gone." — and never again

to be that lonely child looking up
into her mama's eyes, seeking
forgiveness for love's clearly blind.

© 2018 Maureen E. Doallas

Also see my poem 'for Mama' in the comments section of this Tweetspeak Poetry post.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Thought for the Day

it’s possible
the eye knows
even where there should have been a lake
~ Rosmarie Waldron

Quoted from Rosmarie Waldrop’s Poem “The Round World” (The excerpt appeared in a December 15, 2017, interview with the poet and translator in the Words Without Borders Daily.)

Rosmarie Waldrop, American Poet, Translator, and Publisher

Words Without Borders

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Yarrow Slaps, A Picture of Me
Acrylic on Wood Panel, 18" x 24", 2017
Copyright © Yarrow Slaps


Today's Artist Watch at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life introduces Yarrow Slaps, a musician, curator, and painter who lives and works in San Francisco.

Inspired by Mission School artists, Yarrow takes his subjects from their sources. His portraits, which he has exhibited in both solo and group shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles, are imbued with a distinctive street aesthetic and reflect Yarrow's long exposure to many different kinds of urban lifestyles and perspectives. Yarrow has been an artist-in-residence at San Francisco's deYoung Museum and is the recipient of an individual artist grant from the city. He co-curates with Auguste Somers the artist collective SWIM. (Read a review of the 2017 group exhibition "Lil SWIM" at Art Enthusiast. Also see the review at Juxtapoz.)

Today's Artist Watch feature includes six images of Yarrow's paintings, an Artist Statement, and a brief biographical profile.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In Memorium

In Memorium

Nancy Louise Hindle Doallas
August 19, 1927 - January 11, 2018
Ft. Myers, Florida

May peace be with you, Mama.

You think this is just
another day in your life?
It’s not just another day.
It’s the one day
that is given to you today.
It’s given to you. Today.
It’s a gift.
~ Br. David Steindl-Rast

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thought for the Day

Sometimes the flaw in our character 
is the hole through which God enters.
~ Haroon Moghul

Quoted from Haroon Moghul, How To Be a Muslim: An American Story (Beacon Press, 2017), page 64

Haroon Moghul, Pakistani-American Writer, Academic, Journalist, Television Commentator, Public Speaker; Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America; Senior Fellow and Director of Development, Center for Global Policy

Haroon Moghul on Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Saturday Short

Today's Saturday Short is the trailer for Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film (2017) from director Sam Wainwright Douglas. The 74-minute documentary is about the conception and construction of a two-mile-long artwork by the interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity* between the borders of Mexico and the United States. The work comprises 28 ten-foot balloons, each bearing a pair of "open eyes", an indigenous cultural symbol, that float over the border wall dividing Douglas, Arizona, from Agua Prieta, Sonora. The balloons serve as "a metaphorical suture stitching together cultures that have inhabited these lands long before borders were drawn."

A screening of the film will take place on January 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. The presentation, co-sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian, is free. A discussion with producer David Hartstein and artist Cristobal Martinez follows the screening.

* The collective includes artists Raven Chacon (Navajo), Cristobal Martinez (Mestizo), and Kade L. Twist (Cherokee), who have collaborated with Steven Yazzie and others to investigate through an indigenous lens public perceptions, beliefs, and actions and their effects on indigenous cultures.

Postcommodity on FaceBook