Samantha Keely Smith
Samantha Keely Smith‘s artwork represents a striving to reconcile the inner world of instinct and the tidal sweep of our emotional life, with an external world that is both beautiful and hostile in its natural grandeur. She attempts to map the place where these worlds intersect.The translucent layers of paint, contrasting soft ethereal brushwork and harder edged sweeping gestures, echo this divergence and depict a timeless place that hovers between dream and reality in a way that is simultaneously alluring and menacing. The work exhibits the struggle between and among the variety of human impulses: impulses that are as necessary as they are contradictory, and which therefore constantly undermine our psychic and social coherence even as they endow us with vitality, soul, and life.
Gisella Perl was forced to work as a doctor in Auschwitz concentration camp during the holocaust.
She was ordered to report ever pregnant women do the physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who would then use the women for cruel experiments (e.g. vivisections) before killing them.
She saved hundreds of women by performing abortions on them before their pregnancy was discovered, without having access to basic medical supplies. She became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz”.
After being rescued from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp she tried to commit suicide, but survived, recovered and kept working as a gynecologist, delivering more than 3000 babies.
I want to nail this to the forehead of every anti-abortionist who uses the word “Holocaust” when talking about legal abortions.
Jenny Gill: Thomas Greene Wiggins is a fascinating historical figure. When did you start conceptualizing a narrative around his life and experience?
Jeffery Renard Allen: I first became interested in writing a fictional narrative about Tom Wiggins in 1998 after reading a brief account of his life in Oliver Sacks’ book An Anthropologist on Mars. Here was a guy who was one of the most famous people of his time, probably the most famous pianist of the 19th century, the first African American to perform at the White House, who had somehow slipped through the cracks of history. I was also intrigued by Sacks’ description of Tom’s stage performances, which were ahead of their time in his ability to play three songs at once in different keys and play compositions that mimicked non-musical phenomena.
Continue reading →
Jeffery Allen’s #CCproject “Song of the Shank” is now available for purchase through Graywolf Press. The novel is based on the life of fabled 19th-century African American pianist and singer Blind Tom, pictured above.
"love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea"
- E. E. Cummings, “[love is more thicker than forget]” E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962 (Liveright, 1994)
"And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered."
- Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook (via walkingtheplanes)
"The French called this time of day “l’heure bleue.” To the English it was “the gloaming.” The very word “gloaming” reverberates, echoes—the gloaming, the glimmer, the glitter, the glisten, the glamour—carrying in its consonants the images of houses shuttering, gardens darkening, grass-lined rivers slipping through the shadows. During the blue nights you think the end of day will never come. As the blue nights draw to a close (and they will, and they do) you experience an actual chill, an apprehension of illness, at the moment you first notice: the blue light is going, the days are already shortening, the summer is gone."
- Joan Didion, Blue Nights (via mother-iron)