Month: April 2021

Alicia Garza: The Dynamics of Power 

Let’s begin by saying that movements are not started with hashtags and there is a lot more to creating real change than promoting a social media platform. And then let’s talk about Power, about addressing very intently and purposefully the power dynamic of white supremacy and patriarchy and changing that power dynamic. Then let’s talk about what happens when you openly address that invisible power dynamic and the shadows that stirs up in every corner of our culture. Then let’s talk about how that power dynamic tries to shut you down. Then let’s expose that we are talking about...

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Willa Cather’s My Ántonia: An Unusually Beautiful Read

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent reading of Willa Cather’s 1918 novel My Ántonia. There is something soothingly beautiful about it, in part due to the nostalgic quality the narrator, Jim, brings to the story. Jim is thinking back over his childhood, growing up the late 1800s on the Nebraskan plains and in the town of Black Hawk. He tells the story from his perspective, this perspective crafted by Cather, of course. A central figure in Jim’s past is Ántonia, an immigrant from Bohemia, a girl he grows up with and always admires and loves. Well, mostly. There are those...

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Cathy Park Hong (Korean American b.1976): Writing the Language of Change

Cathy Park Hong’s poetry is powerfully unique. In a reading I watched on YouTube, part of The Loft Mentor Series filmed in Minneapolis in 2014, Hong says that she likes to make up worlds and even languages. Her books are often stories of characters who inhabit these worlds with their own language. Her poems beg to be read or spoken aloud. Alive, they jump up off the page. For some it may be an adjustment to adapt to this form: the different language and alternate worlds. As a reader, this was a shift for me. I found I needed...

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Happy 100th Birthday to Betty Friedan!

On February 4, 2021, Betty Friedan would have turned 100 years old. Although she passed away 15 years ago (on her birthday, a 1-in-2,800 chance!), she has not been forgotten, and there are those working in an intentional way to keep her legacy alive. Often called ‘the mother of second wave feminism’ (1960s to 1980s), Betty Friedan had a “passion for the possible,” and persevered in moving the needle toward greater gender equality as much as one woman could. Far from perfect, yet brave, bold, and driven, this “visionary” accomplished more than is often realized. Her book The Feminine...

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