I mark you archetypes:
Clean-cut fame slut
And earnest, humming wakeboard boy,
All American, what puritan joy!
And please and thankee
No hanky-panky
Do praise the Lord
No Betty Ford
‘Cause I’ve seen the seventies
And heaven, please!
It’s getting dark
And Noah’s Ark
Has got to be coming round
‘Cause that roaring sound
In the western sky
Is the fire next time,

MEGALYN ECHIKUNWOKE, co-star of writer/director Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, began acting at fourteen when she moved from the Navajo reservation where she grew up to L.A.  Echikunwoke is known for playing Nicole Palmer in the first season of 24, Kelso’s girlfriend on That ’70s Show, and Isabelle Tyler in The 4400. Her indie film credits include Who Do You Love, with Alessandro Nivola, in which she did her own singing while playing the character of a heroin-addicted lounge singer. She currently stars opposite Don Cheadle in Showtime’s House of Lies.


This week, a writerly round-up related to geography, working spaces, and literary retreats, with an emphasis on the idyllic.

We begin in Sirenland, an exclusive annual writers’ retreat founded by American author Dani Shapiro and conducted in the absurdly photogenic seaside village of Positano, Italy.  From a profile by Maria Shollenbarger in The Financial Times:

Consider this: I was nineteen years old and I was nineteen weeks pregnant.

I asked myself every day, for every one of those nineteen weeks, if I was doing the right thing. I would usually ask myself this question while I was looking in a mirror, which, right there, should tell you all you need to know about my state of mind.

And just in case it doesn’t, I will tell you now—my state of mind was not good. I did not know what I was doing. I did not know what to think about my boyfriend’s smile—a smile that stretched across his face and around the room—when he knelt before me and cupped my stomach—my stomach that never ended up getting very big at all—and traced the strokes of flat blue veins that radiated from every new swell in my body.

So Dennis Mahagin, ahem…How long have you been pursuing the art of poetry?

About a decade, I should say.


Do you really write poems while listening to Fugazi records?

I have, and do.

Already I think of her mortality,
this kitten we have rescued
from the silence of your living room.
She was your favorite; because of this,
I have sewn your ghost to her
with thread from the salvaged scraps
of the pillowcase I refuse to wash.

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

 Amelia Gray:


Book Tour Week Two: Stacy Bierlein Faces Her Snippy Self-Interviewer


The interviewer walks slowly through the garden gate, looking around, inspecting.  I notice now that the Italian cypress needs to be trimmed; the Boston ivy has survived the Santa Ana winds but is wild and everywhere.

From an obituary in the New York Times:

For all her verbal prowess, for all her prolific output, Ms. Rich retained a dexterous command of the plain, pithy utterance. In a 1984 speech she summed up her reason for writing — and, by loud unspoken implication, her reason for being — in just seven words.

What she and her sisters-in-arms were fighting to achieve, she said, was simply this: “the creation of a society without domination.”

Prior to our firsts, we call ourselves virgins. Afterwards, we call ourselves people. This transition serves as one of the basic story arcs in western literature, the crux of our mythologies and our odes, the drama of our novels and climaxes of our plays. It has formed the backbone of our libraries from the time of parchment to the age of the printing press, and it remains a viable tale even in the age of the e-book.