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Coney Island Beer Hustle

For decades, beach goers have relied on an army of venders to supply them with beer, water, pretzels, ICEEs, cotton candy, and anything else that can be carried through the sand.

The Afro–Culture Wars: The "New Black Man" Cultural Criticism as Pseudo–analysis, Pt. 2

Are you one of those wobbly intellectuals or cultural critics who feels uneasy around strong black men?

Art In Conversation

Mark di Suvero with John Yau

On the occasion of the artist’s recent exhibit of indoor sculptures at Knoedler & Company and the installation of his large public works at Storm King Art Center,The Rail’s John Yau visited Mark di Suvero’s studio in Long Island City on a sunny spring afternoon to talk about his life and work.

Radial Asymmetries

The essayist and fiction writer Guy Davenport died just after the first of the year, at age 77. On an afternoon in May, Robert Kelly came over from Bard to “my side of the river,” to High Falls, and we sat down to discuss Davenport’s life and works. 

A Form for the Mess: The Avett Brothers’ Live Volume 2

Midway through the enthralling new Avett Brothers CD, Live, Volume 2, Seth Avett makes clear in an aside that what we are experiencing is a different kind of musical entity than the sometimes overly precious commodities we have come to expect in our digitally enhanced age.

Talking About the Other America, Again

Just when I become comfortable with the idea that American narrative film has died; that it has finally suffocated from its lack of vision and its infatuation with Hollywood fashion, including the so-called indie cinema, a burst of fresh air suddenly hits me in the face.

Theater In Dialogue

Elana Greenfield

In the work of Elana Greenfield, there is a mistrust of borders and boundaries that seems to extend to the medium of writing itself. While she is putatively a playwright, her work defies classification, occupying an indeterminate space between poetry, fiction, playwriting, and sub-genres like radio plays, oral storytelling and prose poetry.


First of all, don’t believe what you’ve heard about me. Given the stories circulating, you would think I was some kind of retrograde chauvinist but unless I’m suffering  from amnesia or have been in a psychotic state for the past month, I know I’ve done nothing to warrant the current fuss. My lapses, such as they are, proceed from what might best be described as passionate excess.

New Skool Slam

In a shift from the past series of neighborhood-based reportage, students from the spring session of the Brooklyn Rail/Urban Word NYC New Skool Journalism Workshop covered the city’s annual Teen Poetry Slam championships.

Dance In Conversation

Noémie Lafrance

With its light blue, peeling paint, remnants of broken glass bottles, cracked basin floor and graffiti, the abandoned, 50,000 sq. ft. McCarren Pool is an unlikely space for dance. But Williamsburg-based site-specific choreographer Noémie Lafrance has chosen just this site for her latest work, Agora.

The Impossible Sentence

a poem of a poem/a sentence of assent

Editor's Message

A Self-Evident Truth

In Germany, under Hitler’s regime, artistic expression was banished as a form of Bolshevism. In Russia, under Stalin, it was denounced as “bourgeoius cosmopolitanism”. In mid-50s America, Abstract Expressionists met with aggressive censorship by members of the House Un-American Activities Committee.


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The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2005

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