Summer 2016

From our new house, we can hear the weekly “air horn orchestra” protests of HB2 at the North Carolina governor’s mansion. We join in spirit–it’s too loud for Bea’s young ears. Walking home from getting ice cream on Friday, we came across a Black Lives Matter protest at Moore Square, and listened to the solemn reading of too many names. Each week, at a poetry workshop my grad students host with homeless and at-risk teens and young adults, a group made up mostly of young black men, we hear about the risks to life and liberty they must think about all the time.

I don’t know what to do except to offer some readings that been meaningful to me this summer:

Nicole Dennis-Benn on the privilege of innocence.

“Social Skills Training” by Solmaz Sharif.

Jelani Cobb on the historical echoes of NC’s “bathroom bill”

Barry Yeoman on “The 30 Years That Brought Us HB2″

Garth Greenwell’s exquisitely painful What Belongs to You

Brian Blanchfield’s brilliant Proxies: Essays Near Knowing

Aimee Nezhukhumatathil’s hopeful, magical Lucky Fish

And rereading:

Natalia Ginzburg’s The Little Virtues, with its wonderful anti-capitalist parenting advice and writing about Italy, “a country willing to submit itself to the worst governments,” where she lived under Fascist rule. (Go here to register to vote/update registration.)

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, a new NEA Big Reads selection.

(image above: pages from Citizen. List on left sadly much longer in new printings.)

 

 

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