Deconstruction: A Literary Theory

Well, look, it’s Christmas Eve, and I haven’t got a lot for you today. So how about a short recap of deconstruction? Pour yourself a mug of eggnog, drop in an ounce of Maker’s Mark, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bartender recommended from yours truly (it was another life). If you like mind games (the goodContinue reading “Deconstruction: A Literary Theory”

What’s the Point of Literary Theory Anyway?

Literary theory is a trip. I just spent a year studying this for the first semester of my Accessible MFA. I watched Professor Paul Fry’s 26 introductory lectures at Yale. I created a JSTOR account (for free) so that I could read most of the assigned readings. And I bought The Norton Anthology of TheoryContinue reading “What’s the Point of Literary Theory Anyway?”

Recap of 2013 in Poetry

behind drawn curtains it’s so much easier to simply say you are confused. As a matter of belief. A white girl from the suburbs. Becoming aware of privilege on Saturday night. Your grandmother’s age-freckled hands around her favorite teacup Dog tags clicked against his chest our capacity to endure grief— what really counts in aContinue reading “Recap of 2013 in Poetry”

The Meaning Plot

The hardest part after the holidays is seeing off the family and friends I love best. Saturday night on Seattle’s light rail line, it was far too quiet with my brother boarding his flight to DC. So I got to thinking. What does it mean to live in the modern world? What does it mean to liveContinue reading “The Meaning Plot”

Meaning As a Collaborative Act

At the University of Washington-Bothell writing center where I used to work as an undergrad, all the tutors had to make class visits. I dreaded these. It meant I’d interrupt a class–sometimes graduate-level–and take three minutes to tell them about the writing center. At the time, I was 23 years old. But I looked aboutContinue reading “Meaning As a Collaborative Act”

The Observer Effect

When expectation comes up against reality, guess who wins? Not reality. Not usually, anyway. In Volume 391 of Nature, quantum physicists announced that when observed, particles could behave only as particles. But when unobserved, they could also behave as waves (Heiblum, 1998). This was true even when the “observer” was a machine in an empty room. AsContinue reading “The Observer Effect”