October is National Arts and Humanities month, and at USA Today, poet Elizabeth Alexander reflects on how art is essential to addressing the most pressing issues of our time. “Salvation is not a word to be used lightly given the crises we face,” Alexander writes. “But even as we come together to address them—through civic engagement, through work toward racial justice, through the development of new technologies and scientific breakthroughs—I believe that it is the arts and humanities that can save us: the essential us, the who-we-are-as-human-beings us.”
“I’m drawn to books that deal in fragments and digressions, authors that patch together something larger from these pieces while also letting them stand on their own.” Sam Stephenson writes about “reimagining what a biography can look like” and reading Tennessee Williams: Notebooks, edited by Margaret Bradham Thornton, in a piece for The Paris Review. He also mentions Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, which Tyler Gillespie recently reviewed for The Millions.
“Her pincers tore at me… I stormed her openings as if she was a beleaguered fortress.” We’re wincing-slash-laughing at Lapham’s Quarterly‘s infographic of authors’ attempts to put sex down on the page throughout history. Pair with author Julia Fierro‘s great piece about trying to *do it* in her first novel.