444 Slices
Medium 9780253000958

Buffalo Eddy

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

From pristine headwaters in Yellowstone National Park, the Snake River flows through western Wyoming, across Idaho, and into Washington before joining the Columbia River near the Hanford Nuclear Site, a destination as toxic as any on Earth. Hanford, repository for two-thirds of our nation’s high-level radioactive waste, has leaked its lethal brew into air and water and soil since reactors there began making fuel for bombs during World War II. Despite its pure beginnings, by the time it reaches the Columbia, the Snake bears its own load of pollution, mainly runoff from irrigated croplands, feedlots, and fish farms. Such a fall from innocence to corruption is a common fate for American rivers, but few have fallen as dramatically as the Snake.

Over its thousand-mile course, the Snake cuts through mountain ranges, surges across sagebrush plains, and roars through canyons—or at least it did cut and surge and roar, until a series of fifteen dams built during the past century reduced the river to a string of lakes. The dams have been profitable for ranchers, farmers, barge companies, and electric utilities, but they have proven disastrous for salmon. Huge numbers of returning coho, chinook, and sockeye perish at each dam, chiefly from the strain of climbing fish ladders. Of those that survive the climb, many die from the higher temperatures and increased predation in the reservoirs, and others lose their way in the slack water, where the current is too weak to offer direction, and where silt blocks the light and pollution muffles the smells they need to guide them to their spawning grounds.

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Medium 9780253000958

Under the Influence

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

My father drank. He drank as a gut-punched boxer gasps for breath, as a starving dog gobbles food—compulsively, secretly, in pain and trembling. I use the past tense not because he ever quit drinking but because he quit living. That is how the story ends for my father, age sixty-four, heart bursting, body cooling and forsaken on the linoleum of my brother’s trailer. The story continues for my brother, my sister, my mother, and me, and will continue so long as memory holds.

In the perennial present of memory, I slip into the garage or barn to see my father tipping back the flat green bottles of wine, the brown cylinders of whiskey, the cans of beer disguised in paper bags. His Adam’s apple bobs, the liquid gurgles, he wipes the sandy-haired back of a hand over his lips, and then, his bloodshot gaze bumping into me, he stashes the bottle or can inside his jacket, under the workbench, between two bales of hay, and we both pretend the moment has not occurred.

“What’s up, buddy?” he says, thick-tongued and edgy.

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Medium 9780892727605

Winter, from Northern Farm

Down East Books ePub

Henry Beston

O ur house stands above a pond, a rolling slope of old fields leading down to the tumble and jumble of rocks that make the shore. We do not see the whole pond, but only a kind of comfortable bay some two miles long and perhaps a mile or so across. To the south lies a country road, a wooded vale, and a great farm above on a hill; across and to the east are woods again and then a more rural scene of farms and open land. It is the north, and as I set down these words the whole country lies quiescent in the cup of winter

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Medium 9781552452585

My Friend Tasie

Heather Birrell Coach House Books ePub

My Friend Taisie

IN MY NEXT LIFE, I tell Taisie, who is drying a glass pitcher with a tea towel covered in tiny Eiffel Towers, I will come back as a dancer.

Thomas, she says, you are a dancer.

Exactly, I reply, flexing and pointing one exquisite foot. I am already a dancer. And I am thinking, thats how good it feels, thats how unlucky you are, all of you who have never danced. It is smug and mean of me to have these thoughts, but it is also the truth, and I believe that the truth, while not always possible to speak, is essential to the evolution of the spirit. Joe always said that if you cant say something out loud, you can say it to your Self and if you are lucky, your Self will listen, head cocked, eyes heavy-lidded and entranced.

Taisie picks up a sticky note from the counter. I have to remind myself of things these days, she says. The note says, Register yourself at Sears, 6th floor Help Desk.

Joe used to leave me notes around the house. Like: What, according to you, is the funniest thing ever?

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Medium 9780253019028

Luminous City, Luminous Gallery

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Kimbembele Ihunga. Installation shot from Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy exhibition at the Cooper Gallery, Fall 2014. Bodys Isek Kingelez, 1994. Paper, cardboard, polystyrene, mixed media. Photo by Marcus Halevi. Courtesy of the Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection (WWW.JAPIGOZZICOLLECTION.COM | WWW.CAACART.COM)

David Adjaye, Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discuss the new Cooper Gallery and its first exhibition, Luminós/C/ity.Ordinary Joy

WHEN IT CAME time to design a dynamic space for Harvard University’s new Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art, the Hutchins Center’s founding director, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., turned to award-winning Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, whose numerous grand and ambitious public buildings—including the soon-to-open Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture—are renowned for their seamless merger of modernist and African aesthetics. When Adjaye was then invited to curate the first exhibition in the new gallery space, he sought the help of Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, the young Somalian curator whose gallery in Seattle is making waves by insisting that African contemporary artists be taken seriously by the contemporary art world at large. In this conversation—which took place at the Cooper Gallery’s opening event in October 2014—Gates, Adjaye, and Ibrahim-Lendardt discuss the gallery’s architecture and the process by which Adjaye and Ibrahim-Lendardt selected the pieces for their show from the legendary Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection. The Cooper Gallery is under the direction of Vera I. Grant and is located in the heart of Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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