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On Twenty One Pilots

I can plot the course of my maturation in Twenty One Pilots concerts. Twenty One Pilots: a rock band that sounds like it would live in the same cage as Blink 182 or Matchbox Twenty, if only because they all have numbers in their names. The band’s lead singer, Tyler Joseph, is small, plays the…

Listening to Stories

Listening to Stories In 2012, John Colapinto wrote an article for the New Yorker entitled, “The Pleasures of Being Read To,” in which he countered literary critic Harold Bloom’s claim that in order to fully appreciate a book, “you need to have the text in front of you”. Colapinto argued that audiobooks are brilliant mediums…

On Hanging Poetry In Your Dorm Room

My freshman year dorm wall was, as most tend to be, a collage of magazine clippings and postcards and poems. The effort that went into the placement was haphazard, but the curation itself was meticulous. I had spent months beforehand filing the scraps away in a bright yellow folder emblazoned with my name in red marker that still sits (filled with rejected wall hangings) in my desk today. How do we choose what art we hang? The act of curating one’s dorm decor is complex. The dorm wall is intimate enough that it can only be inspected by those invited…

Finding a Room of One’s Own in the Modern Day

As both an English major and a woman, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is considered in my respective circles to be something of a starter Feminist Bible. In it, Woolf suggests that a woman who wishes to write must have a room of her own, which is just a way of saying that she needs a personal physical space and the financial independence to obtain it. Because majoring in English means I’m also a frequenter of libraries and coffee shops, I find the literal idea of a room of one’s own to be increasingly attractive: there is a sense…

Vespers

Ah-AH ch. Oh come onnn. For two weeks now I haven’t been able to sneeze. To complete a sneeze. Complete a sneeze? Sinus impotence—the inability to consummate the act of sneezing. Wonder if that was sinful, just a minute ago. Pretending, as I flicked water off my toothbrush, to be a priest sprinkling holy water on the congregation. That knobbed, metallic instrument. What’s it called? Yeah, no problem! Strange how I hold doors open—moving my feet forward while an arm lingers awkwardly behind. Creates violent torsion of my midsection. Perhaps it’s admirable? Removing my face and body from the deed.…

Discovering Richard Feynman

I spent three of my four high school summers, in between pre-college programs and summer swim team, shelving books at my local library. I envisioned it as romantic, glamorous, the kind of thing quirky and intelligent girls who roll their hair into ponytails around uncapped highlighters (in a strange imitation of the more culturally offensive trend of chopstick-like hair décor) do for a summer volunteer position. I thought I would be able to read the volumes as I shelved and stocked, and I certainly thought I would be allowed to sit down sometime in my four-hour shift. I was wrong…

Poetic Traditions on Twitter

I don’t think it would be wrong to say that most people, old and young, aren’t particularly enthralled by old poetry. Metric and stylistic traditions in poetry are things to fear. Too much work has to go into understanding the choices that inform the meaning of the poem. For a lot of people, high school…

Poetry, Prose, and Rock ’n Roll

Poets don’t usually open for rock shows. But Shea Stadium — no, not the real one, but a DIY venue in a warehouse in Brooklyn filled with Christmas lights and Mets logos — encourages the strange. So on a cold night in early October, poets Margaret Ross and Jenny Zhang and author Leslie Jamison took…