New York Times Opinion Section

Not Burned, but Suffocated

Like much of wildfire-ravaged Northern California, my hometown is engulfed in a smoky, hazardous haze. This morning, a long red shadow stretched over my desk. The sun rose with the unsettling neon color of an orange highlighter; the shifty outdoor air, with its brownish-blue tint, subtly promising another day of toxic air, of sour smoke.

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I'm not shopping. I'm saving my money for the resistance

(CNN)Heads up, Republicans: I have an announcement. I just made some of the biggest political donations of my life. I made them to your opponents. I made them to candidates I might not even have followed years ago, senators and governors in other states. I live in California, in an area where I mostly agree with what my representatives are doing. To canvass in other districts where I support opposition candidates, I'd have to drive about two hours. Since I'm a working mom and I keep long hours, sometimes I just don't have the time to spare.

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Writers, poets and artists flock to the Bay Area for Irish festival of ideas and fun

The Irish Arts & Writers Festival is the place to be this October with talks from the likes of Paul Muldoon, Caitríona Perry and Fintan O'Toole. 

Fifteen Irish authors, artists, and poets will descend on the Bay Area for the third annual Irish Arts & Writers Festival this October.

The festival, which was nominated for IrishCentral’s Arts & Creativity Awards 2018, showcases the best in contemporary Irish arts & literature and takes place from October 12-14, 2018, in various locations around Los Gatos. 

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Two people testified. Then millions had their say

After the two had had their say, the millions had theirs. A wrenching day of testimony by Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over her claim that he had once sexually assaulted her (which he denies) set off a global torrent of reaction. It would continue even after a stunning twist Friday stalled what had seemed a march to confirmation.

By then, on social media, stories from women had piled up behind a heartbreaking hashtag, #whyIdidntreport, which became a spontaneous national repository of revelation and regret. 

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Kachemak Bay Writers Conference

The San Francisco Chronicle called Tess Taylor’s first book, The Forage House, “stunning”. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Stephanie Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. Taylor’s poetry and nonfiction appear widely. She currently chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle, and is on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. She was a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was most recently Anne Spencer Writer in Residence at Randolph College.

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The thrilling tale that is getting me through 2018

(CNN)If you're like me, it's harder than usual to ease into back-to-school mode. Amid reportsthat US schools now have more security guards than social workers, our collective exhaustion -- as parents, and humans -- feels palpable. The news each day is brutal.

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As this issue was going to press, Barack Obama traveled to South Africa to give a speech commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. “I hope you’ll indulge me, despite the slight chill,” Obama said to the sizable crowd gathered in Johannesburg on July 17, “as I spend much of this lecture reflecting on where we’ve been, and how we arrived at this present moment, in the hope that it will offer us a roadmap for where we need to go next.” And he did just that. The next day, I was struck by a phrase written by Jelani Cobb for the New Yorker, which characterized our former president as “a man who grasps history as the living context of our lives.” This is a seemingly obvious principle, perhaps one many of us learned in grade-school social studies. It’s a theme President Obama has returned to throughout his years in public life. During his 2008 “race speech,” he memorably invoked Faulkner’s famous line: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It’s a theme that resonates across this issue.  Read more…

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Waking up to a burning California

(CNN)Monday morning, by the time I woke up, the poet Brenda Hillman, who lives up the hill from me in Kensington had already posted a picture to Instagram of the eerie sky out over the San Francisco Bay: a layer of low-lying fog, blanketing the hills, a small gap of sky, and then above it a huge dark plume of looming smoke, lurking like a dark genie over the metropolis. Read more…

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Here's what to do in Louisville this week: Oscar watch party, Bourbon Classic & more


Anne and William Axton Reading Series. University of Louisville, Belknap Campus, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1; 10 a.m. Friday, March 2. Tess Taylor, author of the poetry collection “The Forage House,” and “Work & Days,” will read from her works Thursday, Bingham Poetry Room Ekstrom Library. She will lead a master class Friday, room 300, Bingham Humanities Building. Free.

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41st-annual Writers Week brings literary luminaries to UCR

The 41st-annual Writers Week was carried out from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17, bringing a total of 20 writers to the UCR campus to read from their selected works and address questions. From UCR faculty, alumni and internationally recognized artists spanning several generations, the voices heard throughout the event resonated with audiences young and old.

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Russia's trying to toss us an apple of discord. We mustn't bite.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments accusing 13 Russians of conspiracy to meddle with the election have now given us a clearer picture of Russian efforts against the United States. Their strategy was simple: infiltrate groups on both the left and the right to heighten rhetoric, and use bots to intensify our discord. As Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, which studies online disinformation campaigns, said to the New York Times: "The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically."

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The Art of Publicity: How Indie Publicists Work With Writers

"If you want to learn about publicity, talk to a publicist." Tess talks with three indie publicists "about what writers should be doing for themselves, what indie publicists do on behalf of their clients, and how they’d advise me to think about shaping the way I approach getting my own work into the world."  Read more...



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