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Issue Two

January 9th, 2012

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Species Counterpoint: Reverberations of Jenny Sampirisi’s Croak

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Reviewed in this Sight-Reading: Croak, by Jenny Sampirisi. Coach House Press, 2011. Why did I introduce into the text all those extraordinary frogs and legs and things, all that fermenting matter, isolating them on the page only by the style, the cold and disciplined tone, and demonstrating to the reader how completely I dominated the ferment? –Witold Gombrowicz When opening up Jenny Sampirisi’s...

On the Real Way to Eat like a Caveman

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Hear this piece read by its author, Dylan Gordon: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Reviewed in this essay: Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory by Kristen J. Gremillion. Cambridge University Press, 2011. We humans have learned to eat a great number...

Need-to-Know: On Area 51

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Hear this piece read by its author, Matthew Farish: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Reviewed in this essay: Annie Jacobsen, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base Little, Brown and Co., 2011. Trevor Paglen, Blank Spots...

Everyone and I Stopped Breathing: William Basinski at the Met

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Reviewed in this essay: “Remembering September 11,” a concert by the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 11, 2011. William Basinski’s epic four-disc masterwork The Disintegration Loops emerged in 2002 with two backstories. First, Basinski, a little-known classically trained composer, was digitizing analog tape loops of twenty-year-old recordings when he...

On Learning How to Share: A Review of the Seven Billion

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Hear this piece read by its author, Mary Albino: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. With baby Danica’s Halloween arrival, the planet’s population officially reached seven billion. It’s an estimate of course—the margin of error is six months in either...

Poem: Sunday Afternoon Croquet

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Hear this poem read by its author, Nyla Matuk: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Sunday Afternoon Croquet Trinity Bellwoods Park I feel like a mad Roman emperor with a history of failures at miniature golf. I’ll play at being truly imperious, a Pimm’s...

Chris Stevens on Alice for the iPad, Book Apps, and Toronto: a Q & A

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TRB: Released in the spring of 2010, Alice for the iPad became a huge, Oprah-featured hit that is credited with convincing reading publics of how book apps could be even more fun and engaging than paper books. How many times has Alice been downloaded by now? Were you surprised by its reception? How have traditional book publishers and book reviewers reacted to it? CS: Alice is installed on over...

Beautiful Agony: The Online Amateur’s Authentic Orgasm

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A woman’s head appears as she lies down directly below the camera, filling the frame with her face and shoulders. She stares into the lens as she adjusts herself, and we hear the sound of her unbuckling and unzipping her pants. We see her shoulders and upper body tense up as she begins to touch herself, but her movements are beyond the frame. As she brings herself to climax over the course of the...

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard’s Gas Girls

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For this piece, Will Goldbloom, a theatre historian, and Zack Russell, a theatre artist, read Donna-Michelle St. Bernard’s Gas Girls, published in 2011 by Playwrights Canada Press. They wrote up their thoughts separately, then the TRB recorded their first conversation about the play. Listen to their discussion: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this...

Poem: Blessed Cotillion

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That grocery store he went to for a can-a-corn and maybe bread flashed right into a blessed cotillion and mister m turned to a produce boy just about fifteen years surprised (talking like a distant cousin) turned and said “excuse my frankness, but I have been removed.” Dropping that can from three of his weary fingers the flat crack drop on the floor scared the boy just for a moment...