The Poetics of Islands
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The Poetics of Islands
An archive of ideas about how writers, artists, and scientists attribute meaning to islands, as both real and metaphorical spaces
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Lionel Shriver’s tale of Kenyan calamity wins BBC national short story award

Lionel Shriver’s tale of Kenyan calamity wins BBC national short story award | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
“Ironically, low temporal risk can facilitate high-risk style and content. In a short story, you can try anything,” she said.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Heads up, Alice Munro short story aficionados.  "We Need to Talk About Kevin" creator and novel writer Lionel Shriver is again wooing us into high anxiety with her prize-winning Kilifi Creek narratives on how we react to what life might have in store for us. “‘Usually, when you have a near-miss, it’s an instant. A little flash, like, Wow. That was weird. This one went on forever, or seemed to. I was going to die, floating off on the Indian Ocean until I lost consciousness, or I wasn’t. It was a long time to be in this … in-between state’,” says Liana in the story, which was first published in the New Yorker. “‘I don’t know, don’t make me embarrassed. I’ve no idea what I’m trying to say.’”

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Judith Robertson's curator insight, September 30, 2014 8:50 PM

Heads up, Alice Munro short story aficionados.  "We Need to Talk About Kevin" creator and novel writer Lionel Shriver is again wooing us into high anxiety with her prize-winning Kilifi Creek narratives on how we react to what life might have in store for us. “‘Usually, when you have a near-miss, it’s an instant. A little flash, like, Wow. That was weird. This one went on forever, or seemed to. I was going to die, floating off on the Indian Ocean until I lost consciousness, or I wasn’t. It was a long time to be in this … in-between state’,” says Liana in the story, which was first published in the New Yorker. “‘I don’t know, don’t make me embarrassed. I’ve no idea what I’m trying to say.’”

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600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand linked to Polynesian sailors - Los Angeles Times

600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand linked to Polynesian sailors - Los Angeles Times | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand linked to Polynesian sailors Los Angeles Times Centuries before Captain Cook explored the South Pacific, Polynesian seafarers in canoes crossed vast swaths of water to colonize lonely islands from Samoa and...
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The Network of Pipes Under Manhattan’s Streets

The Network of Pipes Under Manhattan’s Streets | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
The web of conduits, cables and pipes under the street at Hudson and Leonard Streets is a typical snapshot of the city’s subterranean complexity.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Subterranean complexity: What is naked to the human eye and yet sustains us.  Manhattan's underground.

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Creative writing professor Hanif Kureishi says such courses are 'a waste of time'

Creative writing professor Hanif Kureishi says such courses are 'a waste of time' | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Buddha of Suburbia author, who teaches subject at Kingston University, added that many of his students could 'write sentences' but not tell stories
Judith Robertson's insight:

 "But Jeanette Winterson, who teaches at Manchester University, disagreed with Kureishi. She told the Guardian: "My job is not to teach my MA students to write; my job is to explode language in their faces. To show them that writing is both bomb and bomb disposal – a necessary shattering of cliche and assumption, and a powerful defusing of the soul-destroying messages of modern life (that nothing matters, nothing changes, money is everything, etc). Writing is a state of being as well as an act of doing. My job is to alter their relationship with language. The rest is up to them."

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Accustomed to Floods, but ‘Nothing Like This,’ in Southern England

Accustomed to Floods, but ‘Nothing Like This,’ in Southern England | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
In parts of England, the wettest January on record has left whole villages flooded and residents cut off from vital services. And it is still raining.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Muchelney, in ancient tongue, means "cut off by water." This is exactly what has happened the village, under the onslaught of the rainiest January on record.

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Book Review: Michael Winter's Minister without Portfolio - The Overcast

Book Review: Michael Winter's Minister without Portfolio - The Overcast | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Not too long ago, Michael Winter bought and restored a pink, powerless, waterless home near Ochre Pit Cove in Newfoundland.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Michael Winter's new release is set on the Southern Shore of Newfoundland, close to the community in which I live.  The protagonist sets about restoring an abandoned derelict Saltbox. (Hmmm.  Am I the hero of this story?). Note to self:  Add Minister Without Portfolio to must read list.

 

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An Author’s Legwork: 6,000 Miles on New York Streets

An Author’s Legwork: 6,000 Miles on New York Streets | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
William B. Helmreich, armed with a pedometer and a tape recorder, explored a “city with 120,000 blocks” and came out with “The New York Nobody Knows.”
Judith Robertson's insight:

Read about Mr.Helmreich, who--armed with only his passion for walking with a pedometer and a tape recorder--logs 6000 miles in and around the island of Manhattan, and lives to write a book about it.

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Off Ireland, a Rugged Journey to Remote Ruins

Off Ireland, a Rugged Journey to Remote Ruins | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
It takes a sturdy stomach and a strong sense of purpose to brave the trip to Skellig Michael, an island eight miles off the coast of Ireland. Here’s what people find once they get there.
Judith Robertson's insight:

“An incredible, impossible, mad place,” was how George Bernard Shaw described the little island of Skelig Michael in a letter. “I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world.” The small island off the SW Coast of Ireland was once inhabited by Christian Monks, who left behind only archaic monastic ruins exposed to the vast sky and surrounding sea.

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Another Migrant Ship Capsizes in the Mediterranean

Another Migrant Ship Capsizes in the Mediterranean | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Initial reports suggested that at least 200 people were flailing in the sea as rescue efforts were under way, a week after another accident left more than 300 people dead.
Judith Robertson's insight:

A horrific example of an island failing yet agin to serve as a refuge for migrants fleeing Libya and Egypt.

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Divers Recover 83 More Bodies From Migrant Ship

Divers Recover 83 More Bodies From Migrant Ship | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
The death toll, now at 194, is likely to grow following the disaster near an Italian island in the Mediterranean.
Judith Robertson's insight:

This is grim.  83 bodies and a death toll of 194 found off the Italian island of Lampedusa. 

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A Quake Shakes Loose an Island

A Quake Shakes Loose an Island | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
An island that emerged in the Arabian Sea, off the Pakistani coast, after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake last week was probably created as freed methane gas pushed up a section of shallow seafloor.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Happy Birthday, new Island.  What is your name?

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Biggest exhibition of Matisse cut-outs going on show at Tate Modern in London

Biggest exhibition of Matisse cut-outs going on show at Tate Modern in London | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
The biggest exhibition of Matisse's paper cut-outs -- a technique the French artist invented in his final years -- is going on show in London, the Tat
Judith Robertson's insight:

Here's just one more reason for putting London on the travel itinerary during the next 6 months.  It's amazing that Matisse's end of life fragile but vibrant paper on canvas works have survived the degradations of time and decay.  His prescient minimalist aesthetic and evocative genius for colour go unparalleled.

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Three monumental, 30-foot tall bronze trees complement Madison Square Park's natural landscape

Three monumental, 30-foot tall bronze trees complement Madison Square Park's natural landscape | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
a href= http://madisonsquarepark.org target= _blank Madison Square Park Conservancy /a ’s Mad. Sq. Art announces a new sculptural installation
Judith Robertson's insight:

Artist Giuseppe Penone states: “It is with great anticipation that I have planned for the exhibition of my work in Madison Square Park. A tree summarizes in an exemplary way the contrast between two forces: the force of gravity and the weight of life we are part of. The need and the search for balance, which exists in every living being to counteract the force of gravity, is evident in every step and in every small action of our lives. It is a river stone that appears amid the branches of a tree. A stone suspended amid the branches of a tree, separated from the soil by a structure that is not land and is not air, a stone that lies between the force of gravity and the force of the attraction of light.”

More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/65303/Three-monumental--30-foot-tall-bronze-trees-complement-Madison-Square-Park-s-natural-landscape#.Ukns4LzahTU[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

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Barrier Islands Feeling the Effects of Climate Change

Barrier Islands Feeling the Effects of Climate Change | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it

's nA new report from the National Research Council found that the effect of climate change is especially harsh on the United States barrier islands, which are also pressured by rapid development.

Judith Robertson's insight:

There's no lovelier place to live than a barrier island....until climate change strikes, in which case "home" becomes a barometer for second thoughts and anxiety.

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The cliff men of St Kilda, Scotland: a community that survived by catching puffins with fishing rods – video

The cliff men of St Kilda, Scotland: a community that survived by catching puffins with fishing rods – video | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Writer and film-maker Kevin Rushby joins Captain Rob Barlow of the Elizabeth G on a journey from Tobermory on Mull to the mist-shrouded island of St Kilda
Judith Robertson's insight:

This glorious video documents a marine visit 40 miles off the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to the famous and remote island of St. Kilda.  The stark glory of the towering sea cliffs, the rare seabirds, and the indomitable history of human habitation of the isle until resettlement in 1930 will leave you mesmerized.

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George Takei Reflects on Travel, Both Painful and Pleasurable

George Takei Reflects on Travel, Both Painful and Pleasurable | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
The actor talks about going back to Arkansas, where his family was interned during World War II, and traveling to spots in Japan he loves to visit.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Takei speaks with pain about his early life in an American interment camp.  He also lets a cat out of the bag on best places to stay at in his ancestral island of Japan: We love to stay at ryokans, Japanese inns. These are all ancient inns — as a matter of fact, there is a separate residence for the emperor at one in Miyajima, called Iwaso, on the side of a ravine. You go off and tour around and when you come back, they give you a cotton kimono and suggest you have a good soak in the mineral bath. By the time you come up, your room has been transformed into a dining room with a low jet-black lacquer table set with kaiseki, a tasting menu with a dozen different dishes. Then you go down the path to visit the temple in moonlight. When you come back, your room is transformed again into a bedroom."

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Peeling Back the Layers of Naxos, Greece

Peeling Back the Layers of Naxos, Greece | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
As episodes from her life story are written there, an outsider develops a tremendous closeness to the island.
Judith Robertson's insight:

A beautiful tribute to Naxos--one of the less visited Greek islands--by a woman who, while still an outsider, has lovingly made it her sometimes-home: "I knelt down at the spigot and cupped my hands. I once believed that island lore had it that to taste the water would make a wish come true; it turned out that wasn’t true. I sipped — the water was delicious — and made my wish anyway."

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The Lure of the Hebrides

The Lure of the Hebrides | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Drawn by the beaches and ethereal light, a family builds an offbeat island home.
Judith Robertson's insight:

I have homes on two islands, one Northerly and one South.  But reading this missive makes me long for a third island home - so exquisite, what this couple has made in the landwash of the Hebrides.

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‘The Bird Skinner,’ by Alice Greenway

‘The Bird Skinner,’ by Alice Greenway | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
An unexpected arrival stirs memories of war.
Judith Robertson's insight:

A new add to my must-reads.  I am enticed by the idea of reading a novel about love on an island, and its protagonists - one old and grizzled, and one just coming into her own.

 

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Kerala's top 10 budget beach hotels, homestays and guesthouses

Kerala's top 10 budget beach hotels, homestays and guesthouses | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Whether you're looking for inner peace or just want to laze on some of India's best beaches, you can stay in style without breaking the bank on Kerala's beautiful coast
Judith Robertson's insight:

Kerala may not be an island, but its serene coastline does boast some of the finest budget-class beach houses and guesthouses on the planet, many complete with homeopathic, ayurvedic schedules with in-house treatments and cuisine.  Guess what's top of my 2014 travel list!

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Forgotten place names recalled

Forgotten place names recalled | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Judith Robertson's insight:

This story reminds me of place naming on the island of Newfoundland, except in NL matters of the heart hold sway:  as in place names such as Heart's Content, Little Heart's Content, Paradise, Cupids, Little Heart's Ease, Random Passage, Big Tickle, and Dildo....

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Desert Island Pics: Mishka Henner | Backdoor Broadcasting Company

Desert Island Pics: Mishka Henner | Backdoor Broadcasting Company | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Event Date: 28 September 2013Jurys Inn101 Stroudley Road,Brighton, BN1
Judith Robertson's insight:

From Backdoor Broadcasting Company comes this wonderful audio interview with Belgian visual artist Mishka Henner who shares his thoughts and images in response to the question:  What 10 photographs would you take with you to a desert island? It is impossible to hear the artist's answer without also imagining how we ourselves might respond to this complex challenge.  Henner's thoughtful commentary points to the many alluring connections between memory, representation, and apocryphal narrative objects.

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A Magical Isle Loses the Last of Its Residents

A Magical Isle Loses the Last of Its Residents | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
When the superintendent of Liberty Island decided not to rebuild his home after Hurricane Sandy, an era of families in exclusive residency came to a close.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Imagine waking up and going to sleep with America's high mistress at your doorstep.  For two hundred years, the Statue of Liberty has been neighbourly to superintendents and their families who have inhabited the island she sits on. Those times have now come to an end.

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Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore wins 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize

Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore wins 2013 RIBA Lubetkin Prize | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it

Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore by architects Wilkinson Eyre has won the a href= http://www.architecture.com

Judith Robertson's insight:

The elegant prize winning Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore are greenhouses designed by architects to show people unable to travel widely what nature has to offer.  The 2013 winner of the Ilkinson Eyre Lubetkin Prize pushes the boundaries of public landmarks that honour and celebrate environmental integrity.

Speaking about Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay, RIBA President and judge, Stephen Hodder said: "There have been a number of attempts to design greenhouses to show people unable to travel widely what the natural world has to offer. The UK led the way with Kew and latterly the Eden Project. What Wilkinson Eyre have done in Singapore is much harder and an even more impressive achievement, in that cooling plants in a sub-tropical climate is necessarily less energy efficient than keeping hot-house plants warm in a temperate climate. Yet here they have produced greenhouses covering two hectares that are carbon-positive. What’s more they have pushed the boundaries not only environmentally but also structurally, giving the city a new and public landmark. I am delighted to award Wilkinson Eyre the 2013 Lubetkin Prize. "

More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/65354/Cooled-Conservatories--Gardens-by-the-Bay-in-Singapore-wins-2013-RIBA-Lubetkin-Prize-#.UlAlYCTahTU[/url]

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Sinéad O'Connor's open letter to Miley Cyrus

Sinéad O'Connor's open letter to Miley Cyrus | The Poetics of Islands | Scoop.it
Sinéad O'Connor: The full text of Sinéad O'Connor's blog warning Miley Cyrus that she is being 'pimped' by the pop industry
Judith Robertson's insight:

Love Sinead O'Connor.

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