POSSESSION: A Conversation–Part Two

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Read Part One here.

On February 28th, we brought you the first installment of a two-part conversation between features board members Indiana Seresin ’15, Faye Yan Zhang ’17, Caleb Lewis ’17, and Lily Scherlis ’18 and outgoing president, Julian Lucas ’15, centering around their nonfiction contributions to the POSSESSION issue. In part one, the group discussed Seresin’s “A Love Letter to My Stepmom” and Scherlis’ “Their Party.” In the abridged transcription below, the group discusses Zhang’s “Full Circle: (Exotic) Odysseys Through (Oriental) Rainforests on (Outlawed) Tour Buses,” Lewis’ “When the Mammy Sphinx Gawks Back at You!”. Continue reading

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POSSESSION: A Conversation – Part One

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The Harvard Advocate is proud to announce the upcoming launch of the POSSESSION issue. In anticipation of the issue’s imminent arrival, features board members Indiana Seresin ’15, Faye Zhang ’17, Caleb Lewis ’17, and Lily Scherlis ’18, sat down with outgoing president Julian Lucas ’15, for a discussion centering on their nonfiction contributions to the magazine, and the many avatars of possession analyzed therein. Below find an abridged transcript of the first of this two-part conversation, in which Seresin’s “A Love Letter to My Stepmom,” and Scherlis’ “Their Party,” are considered. In part two, the group will discuss Lewis’ “When the Mammy Sphinx Gawks Back at You!” and Zhang’s, “Full Circle: (Exotic) Odysseys Through (Oriental) Rainforests on (Outlawed) Tour Buses.” Continue reading

TRIAL: Aniseed in sand

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The Harvard Advocate is proud to announce the upcoming launch of the TRIAL issue! For the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of interviews, recordings, and essays highlighting works by our undergraduate writers and professional contributors featured in TRIAL. Notes from 21 South St. readers, look forward to an exciting taste of what will be in this issue. 

Below, listen to Zoë Hitzig ’15, outgoing publisher, reading her poem, “Aniseed in sand,” which is published in this edition of the magazine. After making this recording, Zoë and Kevin Hong had an in-depth discussion about the piece; an abridged transcript of the interview is published here. You can subscribe to The Harvard Advocate here

–Moeko Fujii ’15

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Fall 2013: Robbie Eginton

The Harvard Advocate is proud to announce the launch of its Fall 2013 issue! Below, listen to Robbie Eginton reading his poem, “Fum,” which is published this edition of the magazine. I was also thrilled to talk to him after making this recording; an abridged transcript of the interview is published here. You can subscribe to The Harvard Advocate here.

– Kevin Hong ’15

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The Washing Room: A Story of Stories

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Sunset With Moon and Birds, My Ngoc To

My Ngoc To, a member of the Advocate’s Features Board, is author of the recently-published The Washing Room: A Story of Stories. Last week, she recorded the final essay of her book for Notes from 21 South Street. I followed the reading with several questions, which were formulated by Victoria Baena ’14 and myself. I hope you enjoy “The Washing Room II” and the following interview.

– Kevin Hong ’15

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Dorothea Lasky: Poetry & the Metaphysical “I”

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Dorothea Lasky delivers the inaugural Bagley Wright lecture in Emerson Hall. Image courtesy of Christina Davis

“Now I’m in the limelight ‘cause I rhyme tight / Time to get paid blow up like the World Trade,” raps the Notorious B.I.G. on hit track “Juicy” from his debut album Ready to Die. On October 10, poet and scholar Dorothea Lasky traced the pervasive braggadocio of hip hop — epitomized by Biggie Smalls — back to the great poets of the U.S. and Ancient Rome, touching on Catullus, Sylvia Plath, Kanye West, Bernadette Mayer, Horace and Nikki Minaj, among other wordsmiths, along the way. Lasky’s lecture, “Poetry and the Metaphysical ‘I’”, focused on the transcendent speaker that can shed identity and slip into any outfit. Lasky argued that boastfulness is ultimately selflessness, empowering the speaker in order to empower the reader; the speaker becomes universal in order to give the reader greater selfhood. Lasky delivered the lecture as part of the inaugural season of the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry in the Emerson Chapel, where in a commencement address to the class of 1838, Ralph Waldo Emerson urged graduating students to seek a new “teacher … that shall see the world to be a mirror of the soul.”  Lasky’s metaphysical “I” becomes the world that mirrors the reader’s soul, that inspires grit within it vis-à-vis Biggie’s swagger, which becomes generous in “Juicy”’s refrain: “You know very well who you are / Don’t let ‘em hold you down, reach for the stars.”

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