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Hypocrites: Innocents Now Rule!!

Francine Tyler
Inspired by student outrage at the link between politicians and the National Rifle Association, the poet find hope in the no-longer-so-innocent next generation.


Ava DuVernay Cautions Against Premature Victory Lap for Hollywood’s Diversity Gains

Rebecca Sun Hollywood Reporter
Ava DuVernay As Ava DuVernay prepares to release Disney’s eagerly anticipated A Wrinkle in Time adaptation, which has put her in the history books as the first woman of color to direct a film with a $100 million-plus budget, she cautions against thinking that Hollywood has finally solved its diversity problems.


America’s First “Food Spy” Traveled the World Hunting for Exotic Crops

Anna Diamond Smithsonian Magazine
David Fairchild demonstrates a new crop spraying technique in 1889. A new book, The Food Explorer, tells the story of botanist David Fairchild who, in the 1890’s, sleuthed out over 200,000 kinds of fruits, vegetables and grains around the world. Thanks to his findings, the USDA distributed many new seeds and crops to farmers throughout the states.


Bad Election

Jennifer Michael Hecht American Poetry Review
How bad is bad? asks the poet Jennifer Michael Hecht, in this wrenching ballad of worse to worst.


The New ‘Heathers’ Is a Trumpian, LGBT-Bashing Nightmare

Samantha Allen Daily Beast
The original Heathers were a group of croquet-playing WASPy socialites; the new Heathers are comprised of a plus-size girl, a genderqueer student, and a black girl. In other words, this is less a reboot and more an intentional inversion of the original concept, built on the premise that the bullied have since become the bullies.


Why Do White People Like What I Write?

Pankaj Mishra London Review of Books
Writers once busy in prestigious magazines rationalizing war and torture are now confronting the obdurate pathologies of American life that stem from America’s original racial sin. Coates wonders why those once fierce in defending bloody imperial missions now embrace him for describing American power from the rare standpoint of its internal victims. Yet the danger for Coates is not so much seduction by power as a distorted perspective caused by proximity to it.


“Up to Their Necks in Fuel”: On Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art

Jonathan Farmer Kenyon Review
This poet and this book have just won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award based at Claremont Graduate University. The prize is given to a mid-career poet, and is one of the top literary prizes given in the United States. It is a significant testament to the power of Smith's work. This review shows wide-ranging and powerful art that Patricia Smith practices.


Natalie Portman Acknowledges Annihilation Whitewashing is ‘Problematic’

Jordan Crucchiola Vulture
Portman and her co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh say they only learned about the race of the characters in the film’s source material this week. When asked to comment on the controversy, Portman said, “Well, that does sound problematic, but I’m hearing it here first.” Leigh added, “It’s probably a valid criticism. I didn’t know that.”


Name That Orange! The Modern Farmer Guide to Orange Varieties

Dan Nosowitz Modern Farmer
These are a very few of the many varieties of oranges. Oranges were likely first cultivated in southern China (references to the fruit can be found in region’s literature as far back as 314 BC). They’ve since been hybridized, re-hybridized, and altered so much that there are hundreds of orange varieties throughout the world. Can you tell the difference between varieties?
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