FROM David Kipen
Americans and the Booker Prize The long list was announced today for one of the world’s richest and most prestigious literary awards: the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Traditionally, only writers from the British Commonwealth were eligible for the Booker, but this year it’s open to all novels written originally in English and published in Britain. And plenty of Europeans are not happy about that.
The Passing of LA's Unofficial Poet Laureate, Wanda Coleman Wanda Coleman grew up in Watts in the 1950's. She described her own childhood as unhappy, and was outraged by racism and hatred. She went on to write 20 books, including novels and collections of other works. She won poetry prizes and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She died last Friday after a long illness at the age of 67. LA Times book critic David Ulin describes her as "a force of nature" and "the conscience of the LA literary scene." We hear an appreciation from Erin Aubry Kaplan, author of Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line : Dispatches from Black Journalist, and David Kipen, the founder of Libros Schmibros, the lending library and bookshop in Boyle Heights.
Will Budget Cuts Close Pomona Public Library? A few years ago, the City of Salinas threatened to close its libraries to save money, but it never happened. Now it might happen here in Southern California in the City of Pomona. David Kipen is former Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts. He founded Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and used bookshop in downtown Los Angeles.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.