‘Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story’ exhibits the beauty of absurdity in storytelling

The first thing you should know about the critically-adorned, bestselling writer Etgar Keret is that he is a liar. Keret’s friends and family, including the great American novelist Jonathan Franzen, admit this without hesitance. His lies are, however, merely exaggerations for the sake of storytelling — a touch of fantasy to what is mundane. In […]

New literary magazine Future Histories launches

The university’s newest literary magazine, Future Histories, held its first meeting this month. Founders Sarah Walsh and Hunter Silvestri, both juniors, organized the magazine, which hopes to fill a void at Tufts. There has not been a consistent literary magazine at the university since September 2016, when the Cannon Literary Journal posted on its Facebook page: “This journal no longer exists. Thank you to […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): Wendell Berry on feeling everything fully

I took a job last summer because my bosses loved poetry. They were looking for a nanny for their three-year-old son. When I came to their house for an interview, expecting questions about past childcare experience and summer availability, they sat me down and asked if I’d ever read Wendell Berry. The 82-year-old Kentucky native is […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): Laura Kasischke on friendship

I fell in love with Laura Kasischke because of a book title and a bizarre poem. I was standing in a bookstore in Montreal, looking through volumes to escape the snow. The title that caught my attention belongs to Kasischke’s sixth book of poetry: “Gardening in the Dark” (2004). I skimmed through the collection, reading […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): W.S. Merwin on waiting at a red light

Yesterday morning, I sat in the backseat of a friend’s car in downtown Boston at a red light that never turned green. I don’t mean that as an exaggeration. The chorus of blaring horns stretching for a block behind us didn’t tip us off to the fact that the light was broken. We sat with […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): Elizabeth Barrett Browning on taking risks

I save lines of poetry in the Notes app on my phone, interspersed with grocery lists and reminders. At first, I expected that the words would act as trail markers: One thought would lead to the next. I imagined I would reread old notes, find words that were once meaningful and see that they were […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): T.S. Eliot on living with fear

I wasn’t supposed to enjoy the poem as much as I did. That’s the sense I got when I first read “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915) as an assignment for my AP English class. The famous poem by T.S. Eliot is filled with obscure allusions, and the images are jarring. (Eliot compares […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): James Crews on what we lose

The thing about poetry books is that they are often slim: they fit easily into purses and suitcases, fall unnoticed into the crack behind your bed. That’s where I found my copy of “The Book of What Stays” (2011) yesterday. The author, James Crews, is not dead. He lives on an organic farm in Vermont, […]

Advice from Dead Poets (and Some Living): Pablo Neruda on creating space

Last summer, a few of my friends and I decided to start a book club. It was nothing original — mainly an excuse to get together once a week and eat brownies. The club withered after we made our first selection (a 600-page novel, which only half of us even started). After that, we hung […]