Readers themselves have a keen sense of what kind of reading is best suited for which medium. My survey research with university students in the United States, Germany, and Japan reveals that if cost were the same, about 90 percent (at least in my sample) prefer hard copy for schoolwork. If a text is long, 92 percent would choose hard copy. For shorter texts, it’s a toss-up. Digital reading also encourages distraction and invites multitasking. Among American and Japanese subjects, 92 percent reported it was easiest to concentrate when reading in hard copy. (The figure for Germany was 98 percent.) In this country, 26 percent indicated they were likely to multitask while reading in print, compared with 85 percent when reading on-screen. Imagine wrestling with Finnegan’s Wake while simultaneously juggling Facebook and booking a vacation flight. You get the point.
With a compelling voice that is at once anguished and utterly composed, these poems ask: how does one reconcile one’s personal faith and struggles with those of one’s ancestors?


Ohara Hale’s delightful illustrations of Denise Levertov’s poems.

via Brain Pickings



“A novel is a daily labor over a period of years. A novel is a job. But a story can be like a mad, lovely visitor, with whom you spend a rather exciting weekend.” —Lorrie Moore

Lepucki: I am glad it’s resonated with people because, for me, most apocalyptic novels aren’t scary, because they feel so very far off.

I love The Road and Oryx and Crake, but they feel like they’re distant from our own world. California takes place in the 2050s, so it’s not that far off.

Rumpus: Right, and I think doing it that way means it’s not as heavy-handed. It’s not zombies. Not volcanoes. It is slow and grinding, unstoppable, and partially human-caused. Everybody can see it happening, but no one knows what to do about it. It sounds a little too familiar.

Lepucki: Right? It’s a bit scary to see my book come true: the recent (if minor) LA earthquakes, Hurricane Sandy, the Boston bomber, and so on—much of it stoppable, I think, and yet I, too, am also guilty of passivity.

This is how my husband sees the world, & I’m taking it as my writing advice for the day:

You don’t read or overhear the voice in the poem, you are the voice in the poem.


Raymond Pettibon, No Title (My adopted son), 1985, pen and ink on paper, 12” x 9”.