February 20, 1992 |
The era of Art Deco was ripe for American architecture. The best buildings from the period, which peaked during the 1920s and '30s, combined elegant decoration with bold, modern forms. Examples of public edifices from the period include the main library in Los Angeles (designed by Bertram Goodhue) and the County Administration Center in San Diego (Louis Gill, William T. Johnson, Richard Requa, Sam Hamill).
January 30, 2005 |
Plato wanted to banish all poets from his ideal Republic, and having just watched an advance copy of a new documentary film, "Voices in Wartime," I suspect that President Bush would also like to ban poets from his less-than-ideal republic. "Voices in Wartime," scheduled for nationwide theatrical release in March, examines the pain of war through the words of poets since 2300 BC, often set against archival footage of men and nations at war.
September 24, 1992 |
Downtown has its share of Victorian-era buildings and modern high-rises, but a few well-designed structures remain from the 1920s and '30s, when modern styles, including Art Deco, were coming into vogue. The city's finest 1930s building is the County Administration Center on Pacific Highway, designed by Richard Requa, Sam Hamill, William Templeton Johnson and Louis Gill, and completed in 1936.
September 11, 1988
FICTION SHOWDOWN by Jorge Amado ; translated from the Portuguese by Gregory Rabassa (Bantam Books) The Brazilian writer's 22nd novel chronicles the founding of the Bahian frontier city of Tocaia Grande and the lives of some of its colorful inhabitants. LIBRA by Don DeLillo (Viking) DeLillo's novel works as an imagined biography of the elusive Lee Harvey Oswald and the events in his life that led up to President Kennedy's assassination.
March 30, 2003 |
As Civil War soldiers lay injured in the makeshift hospitals of Washington, D.C., Walt Whitman walked among them, bearing food and bandages. "I go around among these sights, among the crowded hospitals doing what I can, yet it is a mere drop in the bucket.... The path I follow, I suppose I may say, is my own," he later wrote. By the deathbeds of the young men with whom he chatted and sometimes fell in love, Whitman filled journals assembled from scraps of paper.
February 11, 2003 |
There have always been two ways to think about poetry. Either you believe, as W.H. Auden wrote at the dawn of World War II, that "poetry makes nothing happen," or you agree with Percy Bysshe Shelley that "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world." Either way, the issue has become increasingly central in the last few weeks as the American poetry community emerges as an unexpected, and highly visible, fulcrum for the growing opposition to an Iraqi war.
March 5, 2001 |
Carolyn Kizer's friend and editor, Sam Hamill, has long regarded her as "a grande dame of American poetry." But when he recently dared to print that on the review galley for the newly published, 509-page collection of her life's work, she had it removed. Now, sitting here in her high-windowed, mid-19th century house, fixing her large blue eyes on me, she asks: "Do I seem like a grande dame to you?"
February 3, 1988 |
She is "La Loca," a self-described "poetess/philanderer." A Valley girl of another kind and time, she grew up there in the '60s, a rebel who defied her parents and neighbors by hanging out with Chicanos and lauding black men. A "pretty girl" no one thought lovely, a "brilliant girl" whose work no one respected, she has nevertheless recently joined the rarefied company of men and women of letters with critical acclaim for her just-published epic poem, "The Mayan."