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Art Talk with Leyya Tawil of Dance Elixir

March 7, 2012 by Paulette Beete Leyya Tawil’s Dance Elixir. Photo by Liz Payne “[Artists are] contributing to everyone by trying to push a healthier, more hopeful humanity forward. I feel like that’s our responsibility.” — Leyya Tawil Although Detroit native Leyya Tawil has always danced, she was actually on track to be an engineer […]

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Art Talk with poet and translator Gregory Pardlo

February 7, 2012 by Paulette Beete Gregory Pardlo. Photo by Thomas Sayers Ellis. “We tend to underestimate the psychic costs of writing lyric poetry. It’s already a dangerous effort that requires considerable amounts of character and self-awareness.” — Gregory Pardlo Gregory Pardlo, recipient of a 2006 NEA Literature Fellowship for a Translation Project, is the […]

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Art Talk with Theaster Gates

February 6, 2012 by Paulette Beete Theaster Gates. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane, University of Chicago Magazine “Artists have to live passionately and deeply, share what they want, do what they can.” — Theaster Gates As you’ll learn in the interview below, for Theaster Gates, there is no clear division between canvas and community, between artwork […]

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Art Talk with Kara Walker

February 1, 2012 by Paulette Beete Kara Walker. Photo © Chuck Close. “I think there are many open-ended questions that artists can pose and we can ask communities to feel empowered enough to reply, respond, rebel, and feel amazed by the relentless spiraling of thought and image and action that is the artist’s profession.” — […]

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Art Talk with Kim Roberts

January 31, 2012 by Paulette Beete Kim Roberts. Photo by Dan Vera. “I think place exerts a powerful influence over what we write, how we write it, and how we see ourselves.” — Kim Roberts Poet, editor, historian—Washington, DC writer Kim Roberts wears many hats with aplomb. Roberts’ reputation is international: her work has appeared […]

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Art Talk with Beate Minkovski of Woman Made Gallery

January 18, 2012 by Paulette Beete Beate Minkovski. Photo by Jennifer Bisbing “I was a rebel before Woman Made Gallery was born, and I am a rebel because of it.” — Beate Minkovski Chicago artist Beate Minkovski never meant to start an art gallery. She and fellow artist Kelly Hensen were just looking for a […]

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Art Talk with NEA Lit Fellows Benjamin Percy and Jennifer Percy

December 12, 2011 by Paulette Beete Benjamin Percy and his sister and fellow writer Jennifer Percy. Photo by William J. Adams “The writer’s life is spent alone—at the desk—the missives we write equivalent to notes in a bottle tossed into a midnight sea.” — Benjamin Percy Not only does writing apparently run in the blood […]

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Art Talk with Chinese poet Xi Chuan

November 1, 2011 Translation by Xi Chuan and Katie Schulze Xi Chuan during his visit to the U.S. for the Push Open the Window book tour. Photo by Katie Schulze “Thought is like flying, though flying gives you vertigo,/ which is why I don’t always want to be in thought.” — Xi Chuan, from “Exercises […]

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Art Talk with Chinese poet Zhou Zan

October 12, 2011 Zhou Zan. Photo by Katie Schulze “though shaped like banners, the women/never indulge in dancing in the wind — from “Wings” by Zhou Zan Zhou Zan, a native of China’s Jiangsu Province, is a poet, translator, and scholar. She edits the journal Wings, which is devoted to women’s poetry, and has also […]

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Art Talk with Linda Pastan

September 14, 2011 by Paulette Beete Linda Pastan. Photo by Oliver Pastan In her poem “Traveling Light” award-winning poet Linda Pastan writes, “our lives have minds/of their own.” And it is these minds that Pastan illuminates in her deceptively quiet poems in which we are revealed by what we take notice of, by which objects […]

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