Christian Niedan

The Waste Land: A Performance/Installation by Daniel Domig and Christopher Domig

The Waste Land: A Performance/Installation by Daniel Domig and Christopher Domig

It was in the Autumn of 1922 when a 34-year-old English poet published 434 lines of verse in the very first issue of The Criterion—his own quarterly literary magazine whose run ended in the winter of 1939, and which expressed on paper the rich cultural output of the interwar years from Europe’s “Lost Generation” of letters. Criterion’s creator, one Thomas Stearns Eliot, used his publication’s introductory 600 copies to unveil what remains one of the enduring poetic meditations on society in the wake of war: "The Waste Land." From its opening words, “April is the cruelest month,” the power of T. S. Eliot’s much-lauded poem has continued to translate across generations of new readers—taking on new dimensions when it jumps from their inner-voice, to their tongue, and out across a room full of transfixed faces.

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Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop: BookCourt Series

Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop: BookCourt Series

National Novel Writing Month will fly by in a flurry of keystrokes, as writers around the country look to beat the clock on finishing a masterwork within November’s 30 days. Julia Fierro has played a part in getting NYC’s aspiring novelists ready for such an undertaking, as founder of The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. Her own first novel, Cutting Teeth, debuted this May. This past weekend, Fierro worked with St. Martin’s Press to bring four other new novelists to BookCourt in Brooklyn to read from their debuts. And all adhered to variations of that old advice: “Write what you know.”

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Dirt by Robert Schneider

Dirt by Robert Schneider

On a recent fall evening, I ventured into New York City’s Lower East Side, and trotted up the stoop of the 4th Street Theatre to catch its latest production, Dirt. The one-man show about an Iraqi flower peddler named “Sad” is an entire ocean and language away from its origins in early-‘90s Austria. It’s based in part on stories told to Austrian novelist Robert Schneider by an Iraqi roommate while he lived and worked in Vienna. Coming on the heels of his 1992 book Schlafes Bruder (Brother of Sleep), which was later adapted into the 1995 film of the same name, Dirt was published in Austrian in 1993 as Dreck, and proved a successful foray into theater for Schneider. 

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Singapore Literature Festival 2014: Rich Words, Poor Words

Singapore Literature Festival 2014: Rich Words, Poor Words

The inaugural Singapore Literature Festival found its way to NYC’s Upper East Side on Saturday with a pair of ticketed reading events at the 92nd Street Y. The first, titled “Rich Words, Poor Words” featured authors discussing the divide between haves and have-nots in Singapore society, and the role language plays. 

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Singapore Literature Festival 2014: Twenty-First Century Family

Singapore Literature Festival 2014: Twenty-First Century Family

The second panel of the Singapore Literature Festival’s Saturday afternoon of ticketed readings at the 92nd Street Y was titled “The Twenty-First Century Family,” and focused on modern dynamics and pressures between parents and children in Singaporean society. It’s worth noting that the larger festival’s participating author count featured eight flying in from Singapore, and six based in America. Noteworthy, because all three of this panel’s authors were examples of Singaporeans who travel to the US to study and/or work—not a few choosing life as expatriates, rather than return home. 

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