The Japan series: the gold of small things

Haiku is treated with reverence in Japan and its practitioners number around 8 million within the country alone. Outside of the country, haiku has its fans, but like many non-Japanese who encounter it, I lacked an awareness of the complexity and history behind this three-lined poetry. In visiting Japan, I sought to redress this. I […]

The Romantics

In 1967 The Beatles told us that love is all we need. In 1973 England, Rebecca Budde has the sort of crush on the red haired sort-of guitarist Dave that only a 15 year old girl can have. But just as she and Dave actually begin to see each other, the Budde family up and […]

What I read to the dead

Polish-Jew Wladyslaw Szlengel was a burning ember of Warsaw’s pre-war literary scene. Then came World War II, and Szlengel was forced underground, where he chronicled life in the Warsaw Ghettos and the advancement of the German Nazis in his poetry. What I read to the dead is a comprehensive collection of these poems, translated into […]