The Reading Room

“The Reading Room,” a regular feature of 
the A-Line: a journal of progressive thought, will highlight fiction and non-fiction of note in this salon-style series. We encourage you to return to this section of the journal regularly to select from exciting content.

Image Credit: Bethany Collins, Too White To Be Black, (2014). Graphite, charcoal, and latex paint on Arches paper 29 × 41 in. © Bethany Collins, Courtesy of Patron Gallery, Chicago.
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 4

Be (In) Water: A Note on the Black Otolith

The first time that I heard the word “otolith” was in a brief video from the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London. In it, their “curator of fish,” James Maclaine, demonstrated the new scanning technology that would allow him to examine the undigested stomach contents of the Museum’s rare, preserved […]

Image Credit: Yashua Klos, Mask (Non-Functional) with Pyramid Headdress, (2014). Paper construction of woodblock prints on archival paper 60" x 45". Courtesy of the artist.
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 4

Cultural Memory and Public Space: Dispatches from Canada

As in the United States and England, statues have been toppled and street names debated in Canada. The statue of John A. Macdonald came down in Montreal on August 29, 2020. Ma(d)Donald you ask? Well, in this case, the first prime minister of Canada (1867–1873, 1878–1891), associated with completion of […]

Image Credit: Yashua Klos, God of The Ghetto, (2015). Paper construction of woodblock prints and graphite on archival paper — 35" x 45". Courtesy of the artist.
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 4

Signifying Blackness

I remember reading Black feminist scholar Audre Lorde’s essay “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” and I was captivated by her use of the capitalization of Black, Color/ed, Black women, Black lesbianism, and Black men throughout the essay, while at the same time demoting “white” and “america” to […]

Image Credit: Susan Bee, Votes for Women, 2018, 30" x 40", oil, enamel, sand, linen, Courtesy of the artist
Arts & Culture / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Poetic Citizenship and Negative Dialectics

Poetry is best that governs least. No it isn’t. Poetry and citizenship are inconsolably incommensurable, conjoined at the heart but beating time to different drummers. From time to time. Aesthetic justice is symbolic and dwells next to, not in, the world of political action. Give me a break! The politics […]

Image Credit: Lois Mailou Jones, Paris Rooftops, Montmartre, 1965, Courtesy of the Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust
Arts & Culture / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Almost Another Spring: Elegy for Our Moment

“But God, such a long journey ahead for you and me”
~ Andre Brink
i
this is a hard poem to begin.
old hopes return just piece by serrated piece,
teeth of cut glass but making way for tears-
see how my finger tip is polished with water – […]

Image Credit:Nanette Carter, Cantilevered #40 (Teetering),2018, oils on Mylar, 1' x 1' 9.75", Courtesy of the artist
Arts & Culture / International / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Jeff Nuttall’s Bomb Culture Revisited: Art, Politics, and the Underground 1

Jeff Nuttall (1933-2004) was a British artist, poet, critic, actor, and musician. The author of almost forty books, Nuttall was involved in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) from the late 1950s, and then played a major role in the British counter-cultural scene. During the 1960s, Nuttall edited My Own […]

Image Credit: Charles Frederick, Una Noche del SIDA, 2018, Courtesy of the artist
Arts & Culture / Health / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Last Night While I was Dreaming

last night while I was dreaming                 two of my dearest friends (old loves) visited me (needing a place to stay they said         as had once always been so)                       […]

Image Credit: Gopal Dagnogo, Chairs and sneakers, 2018, 180 x 180cm, Courtesy of the artist
Arts & Culture / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Cringe and other poems

Cringe
That’s how the earth wore you, bent,
Crushed by the sky, too,
As if the blue
Had always been too
Heavy with rain, scent
And chance, but not the chance […]

Image Credit: Arthur Jafa, Micah, 2017, (2004), Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome
Arts & Culture / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Sufficient Knowledge

Look carefully, describe what you see. Choose a landscape provoking interest. Mull that carefully again and again. Concoct an assumption: what       have you pursued, how does it work? Gather evidence, examine its relevance. Calibrate each fragment’s adequacy. Dissatisfied, pursue a new assumption. If clarity seems possible, push […]

Image Credit: Nanette Carter, Cantilevered #42 (Teetering), 2018, oils on Mylar, 1' x 1' 9.75"
Arts & Culture / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Introduction to Furious Flower Profile

Introduction I am excited to introduce the readers of the A-Line: a journal of progressive thought to the work of the Furious Flower Poetry Center. Furious Flower, the very name speaks to the literary activism and agency that birthed the nation’s first academic center dedicated to African American poetry. Our […]