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Posts by Sophia Ross

Jews Without Jerusalem

By Richard ChessDecember 26, 2017

Unimaginable. That’s precisely why I will imagine it. Shake them, shake the books, shake the siddur, prayerbook, shake the Tanakh, the Bible, shake them vigorously until the word is shaken loose, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Yerushalayim. Titgadal v’titkadash b’toch Yerushalyim irkha: May You be exalted and sanctified in Jerusalem. Having arrived at the heart of our…

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The Christmas I Sat Next to a Sex Offender

By Jessica Eddings-RoeserDecember 25, 2017

Last year my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas with our infant daughter. She couldn’t understand the holiday, of course, but that didn’t stop us from discussing Advent calendars, wreaths, and Jesse Trees in depth, continuing a friendly argument about Santa Claus that has been going on since our engagement. Citing our childhood experiences…

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Poetry Friday: “Hope”

By Daniel DonaghyDecember 22, 2017

I love the broad strokes and sweeping vision of this poem at the same time as I appreciate its specificity, its impressive attention to detail. The forces of good and evil that make up the archetypal beams of this poem create a kind of structural backdrop against which the poem whirs and sparks— from the…

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My Last Resort

By EDDecember 21, 2017

I’m at the beach with my husband, wining and dining on the company dime for a business meeting he has to attend, which can feel like icing on a cardboard cake for all the travel he has to do without me. I don’t vacation well. I’ve never enjoyed packing, sleeping in beds not my own,…

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A Theologian Reads Karl Ove Knausgaard

By Justin Shaun CoyleDecember 19, 2017

My reading habits, I confess, aren’t literary. I probably lack the training and the gifts necessary to make them so. Instead, they’re theological. I read like a porn addict scours the Internet. Only my pornography is God-talk and my Internet some piece of literature or another. Thus I’m sent into near ecstasy when Stavrogin and…

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Mystical Rose Among Thorns

By Christiana PetersonDecember 18, 2017

Maria walks amid the thorn Kyrie eleison. Maria walks amid the thorn, Which seven years no leaf has born. Jesus and Maria.  —From the hymn “Maria walks amid the thorn” Sometimes there is a song underneath the deepest silence. In the birthing room, I went to that place where there is such quiet that the…

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Poetry Friday: “Meditation on Soteriology”

By Karen An-Hwei LeeDecember 15, 2017

Karen An-Hwei Lee lays out her poem “Meditation on Soteriology” so that it looks at first like prose. But you don’t have to read far before you see the wild conjunction of images as poetry. “Paradises of flora and flame,” for instance, takes us aback, since we’d expect to read “flora and fauna.” Similarly with…

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The Sentences of William H. Gass

By Seth L. RileyDecember 14, 2017

Last week, one of my favorite authors, William H. Gass, died at ninety-three. He was an elder statesman of postwar American fiction. His novels include the lauded Omensetter’s Luck, The Tunnel, and Middle C, and he also wrote a number of insightful essays on the craft of writing. His prose is difficult, brooding, and deeply…

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Lucia in the Dark

By Natalie VestinDecember 13, 2017

Every year after the clocks fall back, I read Lia Purpura’s essay “Sugar Eggs: A Reverie” from her collection On Looking. In the essay, Purpura is concerned with the space created when one looks into another world: the panorama built inside a sugar egg, a snow globe, a “horse’s scummy water trough,” cells massing to…

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Lady Bird Ascending: Part 2

By Nick OlsonDecember 6, 2017

Lady Bird finds its rhythm by the quick wit of its characters’ banter and succeeds especially because of its excellent performances. Director Greta Gerwig adds to characterization as she frames and arranges their relationships. Lady Bird and her mother have a memorable argument at the thrift store, and it’s as if they are nearly submerged…

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