Bops and Bans: Leila’s Ten-Year Dance

Mashrou’ Leila, which translates roughly to the Nighttime Project or The Overnight Project (or perhaps it means Leila’s Poject, with Leila meaning night and also being a popular girl’s name in the Levant) as an ode to all-night jamming (or, as I like to think, a cheeky nod to nighttime “fun”), is a Lebanese indie-rock band that formed in 2008 on the campus of the American University of Beirut. The band is popular (dare I say, considered basic even) amongst the Middle Eastern studies/indieovers’ community in the West since their inception 11 years ago, and have been dubbed “The Arab world’s most influential independent…

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A Defence of Science

Growing out of a Fall 2017 project initially submitted for Professor Richard Sacks’ “The English Sonnet” course at Columbia University, Emily Sun’s essay is an analysis of a critical edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Sonnet—To Science.” The edition was produced by Sun herself from a number of existing editions of the poem, and is contained…

Falling for You

The two halves of my heart collided when Netflix released You: a terrifying and nail-biting thriller that seems designed for the English major in all of us. Originally based on a book of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, You is about Beck, an NYU MFA-candidate, and Joe, a bookstore clerk who’s pursuit of her is deeply unsettling. His dorky affinity for literature adds to an overall charm that renders his stalker behaviors even more startling. But the best parts were the literary easter eggs that spark hours of conversations and the craziest analyses I’ve ever seen. To start with…

It’s National Jazz Poetry Month, Kinda

If you’re reading this, you probably know that April is National Poetry Month. But did you know it’s Jazz Appreciation Month, too? Even if it’s a total coincidence (there are only twelve months, after all), as a jazz musician and something of a poet I’ve always naturally linked the two media. And you don’t just find the connection in beat poetry. Sidney Bechet, one of the greatest New Orleans jazz musicians of all time, once described jazz music as “a lost thing finding itself.” Isn’t that exactly what poetry is, too? The Romantics’ longing for childhood innocence—that’s what jazz is…

A Harried Review of Captain Marvel

Even with the wild costumes, breathtaking special effects, and badass fight choreography in Captain Marvel, I couldn’t take my eyes off Brie Larson’s hair. I did not want to be looking at her hair—this was, after all, the first time Marvel Studios had produced a movie with a female superhero headlining. I had watched each…

Reading Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree

Midterms season is probably not the best time to read an 848-page novel pertaining in no way to your exams, but the mind has curious ways of reorienting your priorities at the exact moment you most need them to remain resolute. That is the briefest explanation of how I came to read The Priory of…

A Reflection on Cowboy Poetry

It was by pure coincidence that I encountered news of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A short blurb from a New York Times caught my attention and directed me to an article covering the event (linked below). It seemed like a niche celebration of a part of American life that dried up decades ago. I…

Writer’s Block, Dickinson, and the Interior

I don’t remember when poetry came into my life…

Selected Works by Women Writers: A Recommended Reading List

In honor of International Women’s Day, the board has put together a list of works written by women that we feel people should be reading more. Enjoy! Gertrude Stein – “Melanctha” “Stein wrote ‘Melanctha’ in an immensely innovative style that removes narrative authority and places plot firmly in present tense. The novel rejected the conventional…

Entering Middle Earth … and Staying There: The J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit at The Morgan

Going to the Tolkien exhibit at The Morgan Library was for me a bit of time travel. My dad had read me The Hobbit and all of the The Lord of the Rings as bedtime stories when I was in second grade. My childhood was dotted with references to Middle Earth—an Eowyn halloween costume, a…

Kenneth Koch Poetry Prize Winners

Congratulations to the recipients of the Kenneth Koch Poetry Prize in honor of our 100th volume: Mackenzie Turgeon CC’21 for her poem “American Studies for Black Kids” and Morgan Levine CC’22 for her poem “Ballad for O’Keefe Finding an Angel in a Canyon.”

100th Volume Retrospective: Happy Autumn Fields by John Ashbery

John Ashbery won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and many other prizes. This poem was published by the Review over twenty years after he had earned his M.A. from Columbia. Happy Autumn Fields by John Ashbery I call it (though I’m no authority)The big syndrome, of when everythingLies down together. The pointed roofsThat called…

100th Volume Retrospective: from “Dakar Doldrums” by Allen Ginsberg

At Columbia University, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and other beat poets got to know each other. Many of them were published in the Review. from “Dakar Doldrums” by Allen Ginsberg IV Twenty days have drifted in the wakeOf this slow aged ship that carries coalFrom Texas to Dakar. I, for the sakeOf little but my causelessness of…