• Bowker’s poem honors Bill Evans

  • “You Blows What You Is” is the winning entry in our 41st Short Fiction Contest

     

  • An excerpt from What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing, in which author Brian Seibert recounts a time when the connection between jazz and tap began to grow strained — through no fault of the great hoofer Baby Laurence, who adapted tap to bebop.  

  • “Liner Notes for ‘Stardust’ — In Seven Choruses” is a cycle of short poems framed as imaginary liner notes and prompted by poet Doug Fowler’s favorite musical covers of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust.”

  • "In Search of an Elegy" -- a poem by Larsen Bowker
  • "You Blows What You Is" -- a story by Ruth Knafo Setton
  • Book Excerpt from What the Eye Hears
  • "Liner Notes for 'Stardust'" -- short poems by Doug Fowler
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“Hollywood’s Fake Version of Nina Simone”

In an opinion piece titled “Hollywood’s Fake Version of Nina Simone,” the New York Times’ Brent Staples takes on the decision to cast Zoe Saldana as Ms. Simone in the upcoming film Nina. The casting controversy involves whether or not Ms. Saldana’s skin is dark enough, especially considering that, as Staples writes, “Ms. Simone’s embrace of her blackness was essential to both her art and who she was as a person, and that any number of talented

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tap Features » Book Excerpts

From What the Eye Hears — when the connection between jazz music and tap dancing became strained

I have been spending some time recently with an excellent new book, What the Eye Hears — A History of Tap Dancing. Written by New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert, the book — recently named a finalist for the National Book Critics Award in Nonfiction — is an informative, entertaining history of tap dancing, and a reminder of its central role in American popular culture. A particularly interesting part of its history is its relation to jazz music, especially in the vaudeville circuit and in the nightclubs of the early twentieth century.

Regarding this, Seibert wrote in an email to me: “Jazz and tap dancing grew up together. Both came, in W.C. Handy’s words, ‘down the same drain’ of minstrelsy, and origin stories for ragtime include the syncopated stepping of

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