Poets on Borders: Perspectives at Poetry International

Poets on Borders: Perspectives at Poetry International

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Literary magazine Poetry International, based at San Diego State University, promotes a wide range of voices and publishes translations from around the world. The magazine’s blog published a series of conversations with international poets about borders, in response to US President Donald Trump’s order for the construction of a wall between the US and Mexico.

What is a border? What does it mean to live on or cross a border? Can you be a citizen of a border, of language? Here’s a sampling of poets’ responses to these questions.

Kwame Dawes (Ghana)

For most of my life, borders have happened in the pristine mute halls of airports. Uniformed smiling agents decide who I am and where I can go. For decades, the short walk to the kiosk, no matter where in the world I am, is filled with disquiet, anxiety, and sometimes fear.

Roberto Castillo Udiarte (Mexico)


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‘Just Pure Greed’: A Journalist Exposes Jared Kushner’s Baltimore Housing History

‘Just Pure Greed’: A Journalist Exposes Jared Kushner’s Baltimore Housing History


Jared, meet Kamiia Warren. Your company nearly ruined her life.

ProPublica’s Alec MacGillis has an infuriating new story in The New York Times Magazine on a company called JK2 Westminster L.L.C., which for years relentlessly pursued former tenants of its Baltimore-area housing developments for unpaid rent. In Warren’s case, the single mother of three had received written permission to break her lease early, and she owed no rent, but Westminster sued her anyway — for $3,014.08. She ended up losing on a series of technicalities — she did not have a lawyer — and the company went so far as to garnish her wages from her in-home elder-care job.

The company, meanwhile, ignored multiple complaints about poor upkeep and disrepair in its housing developments.

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The Internet Won’t Prioritize Quality Without an Intervention

The Internet Won’t Prioritize Quality Without an Intervention


In an interview with The New York Times, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams admits to David Streitfeld that he thinks the internet is broken — and apologizes for the role Twitter played in the ascendency of Donald Trump.

President Trump has said he believes Twitter put him in the White House. Recently, Mr. Williams heard the claim for the first time. He mulled it over for a bit, sitting in his Medium office, which is noteworthy only for not having a desk.

“It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in that,” he said finally. “If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.”

Trump’s campaign slogan may as well have been Extremity First, a strategy his supporters considered the conscious technique of a mastermind playing 4D chess with the media. What the internet is missing, Williams argues, is an ethical framework, a new business model that…

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Into the Woods: Three Personal Essays on ‘Twin Peaks’

Into the Woods: Three Personal Essays on ‘Twin Peaks’


The return of Twin Peaks fills me with dread. It’s an excited dread — I can’t imagine not watching the third season of a show that has shaped my teenage years, and which I never expected to see brought back to life. But the unease is real. If it stinks, can its failure leave the original wholly intact? (I doubt it.) If I think it’s great, can I trust my own reaction? To what extent can I decouple aesthetic judgment from the thick ropes of nostalgia that bind the mythology of the show to my carefully constructed narrative of coming of age?

I watched the original two seasons of Twin Peaks as a ninth-grader in suburban Tel Aviv. The world it depicted was not simply foreign; beyond the sheer power of narrative and emotion this was a largely hermetic surface. It invited obsessed, but mostly context-less, fandom. U.S. viewers have…

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breaking the surface


I remember swimming at the lake by our reserve. My brothers and cousins and me, we would dive deep, after we had swum out far enough that we couldn’t touch the bottom anymore. We would hold our breath, trying to be the last one to rise to the surface. I remember opening my eyes and floating in that space between light and dark, watching the sun shimmer through the water in soft waves. Looking at the light, feeling the burn in my lungs, and finally, finally, breaking through the glass of the water, gasping, sputtering, wiping my eyes and laughing.

This last month felt like I constantly trying to break through the surface.


And it’s hard for me to admit that. I’m not superwoman, but I do “a lot.” I’m in my PhD. I own my own business. I write and manage this blog. I’m a single parent…

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Sketchy character…



Last year I was feeling the need to get back to drawing and sketching. Photography and photoshopping are both fine, but the creative skills required to get a decent photo aren’t quite as engaging as those required to produce an image on paper from scratch.

c101bc36685673-5725bde1ae1b9 Science fiction doodles are my ‘default’ – my inspiration since childhood, and a genre I find easiest to get into  so an easy way to get back to sketching.

Apart from anything else, these days it’s too easy to edit out your mistakes. I wanted to recover the ability to draw with bolder strokes and fewer errors.

61928636685673-5725bde1aed09 Doing sketches every day is a good way to get back into practice – forcing yourself to draw even when you don’t feel particularly inspired is a good way to develop techniques for when you do feel inspired again.

To add a bit of challenge, I decided to…

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A Porker of a Personal Best!

A Porker of a Personal Best!

Ashley Rae - SheLovesToFish.com

There’s nothing quite as exciting for me as when the ice finally fades away and the open water season begins. It’s like Christmas except it lasts for 8 months, give or take, depending on the duration of the winter. This open water season I’m aiming to try new experiences, target species I’ve yet to catch, and hopefully crush some new personal bests.

I could hardly contain myself when the boat and truck reunited for the first time this year!

IMG_20170413_191856-01 Awwww yeah!

The very first open water trip of the year was a new experience for me: targeting brown trout out on Lake Ontario. I’ve only ever caught one brown trout (along with many steelhead) while fly fishing and centrepin fishing in Lake Ontario tributaries.

2edf3-browntroutashleywm An autumn brown trout in full spawning colours I caught while fly fishing. Magnificent colours on this fish!

Targeting browns via boat has been a dream of mine as…

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How Three Authors Promote Their Books with Widgets

How Three Authors Promote Their Books with Widgets

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If you’re an author, promoting your books on your website — and making it easy for people to buy them — is a must. You can use widgets to promote your work in different ways, from clickable book covers to links on Amazon. Need ideas? Take your cue from these three authors.

A quick click to your book’s website

Cathy O’Neil, a mathematician who blogs at Mathbabe, is the author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Cathy first uploaded the image to her Media Library, then used a bit of HTML in a Text Widget to display the image and turn it into a link. For more, read Widgets 101.

At the top of her sidebar, Cathy displays a book cover image — in a hard-to-miss yellow shade — which…

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