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Samuel Rowe

Samuel Rowe is a student at Tulane University. He read poetry at our October 1st event. reader3

 Drawings by Julia Taylor

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Suzanne Storms

Suzanne Storms is a student at Tulane University. She read at our October 1st event.   reader2

Drawings by Julia Taylor

“In 1920, at the age of seventeen, my paternal grandmother left her small hometown of Lovelady Texas, for New York City.

She lived there as a single woman for ten years before marrying.

I will read from part of a fictionalized account of her life.”


Here is an excerpt from her piece, “Tin Heart Texas”:


Get out of Texas. After a summer working for hay haulers, hemmed in by history and Aunts, what should and shouldn’t, could and couldn’t be done, she had to break away. So much empty space, inside and out, but she was boxed in, cut off. After the fourth season, having cooked, cleaned, laundered, and suffered, she left. The train passed behind the back pasture of Uncle Collins’ place, and she jumped. One small suitcase, and twenty dollars to get from Texas to New York. She made it, and a few dollars along the way, playing cards. Dirty and desperate, she worked her way to Harlem and a fifth floor cold water walk-up. Now, she works daytime cleaning jobs, at night she hustles, often men, occasionally cards. Della orchestrates her life many scenes at a time, playing them together for maximum effect.


Returning to the apartment, Della’s unbuttoning before she reaches the door. The roof is the only place for a vista, for a breath, for a pause. Dumping crinolines she jumps in the bath, pours cold water from a bucket over her head, and shakes as she searches for a bit of linen to dry off. She can see the dirty dishes in the sink, but knows there is no food. As she pulls on small pants, saltine crackers catch her eye. She finds one last ale, and a blouse. She worries about what will happen next and bounds up the shallow stairs to the top. The rusty door scrapes and rattles as she pushes her way onto the roof. Crowded with crap; pipes and general garbage, she steps around to find a sunset seat. Sitting on the edge of a pipe she stares down at her ankles, her feet. She has kankles, but works them, if she places her hand on her hip and shoves out her breasts no one who matters notices. Her toes line up, but are a bit krunkled – too many high heels, too much standing. Dancing can do it too.

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Daniel Brook


Daniel Brook read at the October 2nd reading.  Brook is a journalist who lives in New Orleans. Daniel Brook’s most recent book is A History of Future Cities. He lived in St. Petersburg for a month, Shanghai for a month, Mumbai for a month, and Dubai for a month in order to research for A History of Future Cities. Check out an interview with Brook posted on The New Orleans Review here. 


Drawings by Julia Taylor

The following is an excerpt from what Brook read on October 2nd. Read the rest of “Heirs Apparent” on Harpers here.

“On the bottom floor of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, far from the crowds craning their necks to glimpse a Raphael or a Rembrandt, are a series of rooms designed in the mid-nineteenth century by a German architect. A marriage of tsarist opulence and neoclassical order, each room places the visitor in a different symmetrical space defined by columns, arches, and pilasters of richly polished marble, one room a somber gray, the next an arresting red, another a flighty pink. In each of these pseudo-Greek rooms stand pseudo-Greek statues: Roman copies of Greek originals.

The wall labels next to the sculptures proudly proclaim their pilfered provenance:

apollo, marble, roman work. 1st c. a.d. after the greek original of the 4th c. b.c.

eros, marble, roman work. 2nd c. a.d. after the greek original of the first half of the 4th c. b.c.

athena, marble, roman work. 2nd c. a.d. after the greek original of the late 5th c. b.c.

In these neoclassical rooms of the Hermitage, as in the larger neoclassical city that surrounds it, the Russians lay claim to the glories of Western civilization through impersonation, desperately trying to write themselves into the history of the West. Yet in these statues, we see the Romans, seemingly the epitome of Western civilization, doing exactly the same thing. By copying the glories of ancient Greece, they, too, are willing themselves heirs to its culture.

That the Romans copied the Greeks hardly means their civilization was a fraud. The Romans went on to make their own contributions, far surpassing the Greeks in such fields as engineering and logistics. That the Romans copied does not mean history is nothing but copying. It does mean, however, that copying is an integral part of history.”