Saturday, January 03, 2004

Back from two quiet days in a cabin forty minutes south of here, surrounded by woods and with a working fireplace. It was lovely the first day; the second day we began to get antsy, urban creatures that we are. But we did enjoy watching Freaky Friday on Emily's new PowerBook.

I'm linking to a couple of new blogs, the Poetry Hut Blog of Jilly Dybka and Jason Stuart's sodadictionary part II. I'm grateful to Jilly for calling my attention to an interview with Cornell's own Ogaga Ifowodo. Ogaga is a poet, lawyer, and activist who got his MFA at Cornell and is now enrolled in the PhD program. A hell of a nice guy who's survived political oppression the likes of which only enemy combatants and Immigration detainees have experienced in this country. That's a bit of sarcasm: Ogaga has survived things I can barely imagine. His aesthetic isn't mine, or anything close to mine. But as Ammiel Alcalay has remarked in the interview that concludes his book, from the warring factions, language of subjectivation that looks trite to someone raised in an atomized, individualistic culture can be thoroughly radical in the mouth of someone whose notion of selfhood is more collective. Ogaga speaks truth to power and has paid a price for doing so, and I have infinite respect for that. He's also prolific as hell.

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