Al Filreis

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Nabokov’s post-Holocaust story

Currently David Roberts and I are co-leading an online discussion group. We’re discussing two stories; one is Vladimir Nabokov’s “Symbols and Signs,” first published in the New York in May of 1948. I believe this is Nabokov’s post-Holocaust story. I asked the group (80 or so people from around the...

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Greenwich Village afternoon

On this cool, partly sunny afternoon, I met a friend for lunch on Cornelia Street. Along the way I snapped these photographs. Click on any image for a larger view. The fifth photo was taken inside Murray’s Cheese shop. The first two: Charles Street.

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Today on the turnpike (& more)

I made the four-hour drive home today from the mountains. The New Jersey Turnpike, the lively colors of which I often overlook (especially on a gray rainy day like this one), was fun to look at. Then when I drove through Center City Philly its colors struck me forcefully too....

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KWH’s newly planted gardens

After the construction of Perry World House we were able to build a new fence and then—just recently—enjoyed the planting of new flowers, bushes and trees for our Class of 1942 Garden. Today was a gorgeous Philly spring day so I took a few photos of the garden nearly in...

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ModPo in London (October 2017)

A few months ago I announced that the ModPo team would be taking our annual “on the road” webcast to London, England, this year. Today we are excited to share more details of this visit. We are very grateful to our London-based partners for providing us spaces to host our...

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Walter Benjamin’s arcades project & contemporary art

We went to the Jewish Museum to see the marvelous exhibit of contemporary art & poetry made in response to — and/or influenced by — Walter Benjamin’s remarkable Arcades Project. The show was partly curated by Kenneth Goldsmith, who arranged collaged texts and quotations to accompany each element of the...

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Winner of the Beltran Award: Jamie-Lee Josselyn

Last night at the end-of-academic-year “hub party” at the Kelly Writers House I had the pleasure of announcing the winner of the Beltran Family Award for Innovative Teaching & Mentoring—for 2017-18. She is Jamie-Lee Josselyn! Jamie-Lee is an utterly remarkable teacher. On the 0-4 scale used for student evaluations, Jamie-Lee’s courses...

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Poems of Jawdat Fakhreddine

I’m grateful to Huda Fakhreddine the gift she made of “Lighthouse for the Drowning,” poems by Jawdat Fakhreddine (her father) as translated by herself and Jayson Iwen. “Now when I meet [this poem] in a book / from time to time, / it beckons to me like a prisoner, /...