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And then there was St. Kevin and the blackbird

And then there was St. Kevin and the blackbird

Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney died today. He was the most deeply rooted of poets, rooted in his native Irish soil and in the every day language of every day people. Here's a wonderful poem that shows his gifts, "St. Kevin and the Blackbird."

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  • French noble family tree, 15th century illuminated manuscript.

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Scheduling interviews with field biologists is absolutely crazy-making. I've been trying to connect with one woman for a month, but she's either traveling by mule up the spine of Baja California or tracking the spread of invasive species in the Sonoran Desert. Last week she was exploring remote islands off Southern California known for their dolphin nurseries. My life is *so* not that exciting.

6 days ago

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I heard this story last night on the BBC--there's a village in India where every baby is given both a name and a melody at birth. Everyone in the village knows each person's tune, and they use them to identify themselves. It's your song, and you might sing it as you walk around so people know where you are. It was magical. (The link seems to be for the entire episode--I couldn't find a clip of just that segment--sorry.)

In a remote village in north east India, new babies are given a tune as well as a name. The ancient custom Jingwrai Iwabei, Grandmothers' So...

1 week ago

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I finished writing the Armory Show book almost a year ago, but it took me until now to move all the reference books from the shelf right next to my desk. It feels weird--like I'm breaking up with the topic. It's not you, Armory Show, it's me. I just need some space. Like, physically, I need that desk space.

1 week ago

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What People Are Saying

"Lunday supplies a sharp narrative history of the famous 1913 Armory Show in New York, which helped to introduce the American public to modern art. . . . A vivid, compelling portrait of the Armory Show and its lasting influence on American art." - Kirkus

"Brilliantly chronicles the American art world’s fateful collision with European Modernism and the game-changing innovations of Picasso, Matisse, and Duchamp at the famed Armory Show of 1913. . . . Lunday captures the sights and sounds of the era as well as the intellectual and social background behind the Armory Show’s genesis in this must-read account of a truly pivotal moment in art history." - Jonathan Lopez, author of The Man Who Made Vermeers

“This is one of those books you buy to give to someone else and decide to keep for yourself.”
- Krys Boyd, Host of KERA 90.1’s Think!

More reviews and buzz . . .

What I’m Writing

"Grant Wood's 'American Gothic'" No American artwork has been parodied more than American Gothic. Zombies, dogs, Beavis and Butthead, the Muppets, Lego figures, and even Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton have taken a turn with the pitchfork. But the painting itself is no joke--American Gothic is as recognizable as the Mona Lisa and The Scream. mental_floss, Jan/Feb 2012.

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