A former grand theater lies closed April 17, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. Newark is struggling to hold onto economic gains made over the last decade. Its once vibrant downtown is filled with empty buildings.
Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 10:09 am
Actress Viola Davis has been nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of the maid Aibileen in the film The Help, set in 1960s Mississippi. But not everyone has applauded the film, which has been criticized for its portrayal of black domestic servants in the civil rights era.
Valentine's Day is a tricky occasion for poets. Granted, it's hard not to be pleased with a holiday on which poems are thought to be genuinely useful, in the ordinary sense of the word. As the former Poet Laureate Charles Simic puts it in his introduction to an anthology called Isn't It Romantic, "Love poetry is the only type of poetry that can be put into practical use" — which is to say, it supposedly results in "spirit becoming flesh; words becoming deeds; the two of you hopping into bed."