Welcome to Blurbed, a round-up of literary recommendations from the editors and contributors at the Columbia Journal! Each month, Blurbed features a curated list of things to read, events to attend and news from the Journal.
What to Read
“The Trauma Floor: the Secret Lives of Facebook moderators in America,” The Verge
As someone who spends time on Twitter, I’m familiar with people on both sides of the political aisle complaining about the site’s seeming inability to moderate what goes on within it. Of course there are people who are tasked with rooting out questionable content, it’s just they’re not often heard from. Here’s a stunning look at some.
Territory of Light, Yuko Tsushima
New translation, originally published in twelve parts in real time; follows a newly single mother of a two-year-old in 1970s Japan.—Lindsay Becker, Second Year Fiction Student
“Tove Jansson’s ‘The Island,'” The Paris Review
Every person has a short list of writers they become evangelists for. One of mine is Tove Jansson, gifted to me by Jeff Vandermeer, who regularly recommends her novel The Summer Book. This recently translated essay of hers will give you a taste for her magic.
What to See & Do
March 7: Max Ritvo Poetry Series: Featuring Brenda Hillman
Head up to Columbia for our annual reading series, this instance featuring Brenda Hillman, in memory of Max Ritvo.
March 9: Meditations on Wallace Stevens: Brentano String Quartet
A poem inspiring a string performance and that in turn inspires an event that brings together those parts. Yes, hello, sign me up.
April 14: On the Poetic License of Maps with Susan Schulten
Maps real and imagined are one of the archival rabbit-holes I go down regularly despite there being no practical reason for it. This extends to anything Susan Schulten writes.
Words to Write By
“I like poems that are daggers that sing. I like poems that for all the power of the sentiments expressed, and all the power to upset and offend, are so well made that they’re achieved things. However much they upset you, they also affect you.”