Olga’s dreads are not cultural appropriation: fight me

Video version In a pivotal scene from the Polish film Pokot, the ethereal hymn that the choir boys sing blends into a cover of the song “My Blood” (Moja Krew.) The church’s altar is decorated with deer skulls while the boy’s English teacher, Janina, looks on. However, when the priest begins to praise hunting, Janina, a... Continue Reading →

Sad River – Smutna rzeka: translating poetry

Recently, a friend helped me to translate a poem by Krystyna Krahelska, a Polish writer and nurse who died during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. I stumbled across her poetry while in Warsaw and looking for information about Warsaw's Siren. A sword-wielding siren has been the city's emblem since the 1300s. In 1937, Krahelska posed... Continue Reading →

Nearly drowning: women and wave imagery

At an exhibit at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, I saw this lovely, tiny watercolor. The way the women hide their faces, and their bodies blend with the cresting waves, struck a chord with me. Often in paintings using either water or mermaid imagery by men, the women are sexy, confident, sure of themselves. Here... Continue Reading →

Dreams of feasts

“Those who dream of a banquet may wake to lamentation and sorrow. Those who dream of lamentation and sorrow may wake to join a hunt.” —Zhuang Zhou, 4th century, BCE I’ve written about food in novels before— but I recently finished two books that drove home how integral food is, in both a cultural and... Continue Reading →

Up ↑