Periods of waiting are a fertile time for writing. In the lull between wishing and receiving, decision-making is drawn out. Belle Boggs’s essays are dispatches from this limbo.
For a long time, we humans have tried to distinguish ourselves from monsters. The Wonders of the East, an Old English precursor to the medieval bestiary, is a catalogue of creatures thought to inhabit Africa and Asia.
Every so often, Americans relearn a hard lesson: even our best poets are mortal. Philip Levine, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 and served as poet laureate in 2011, died last year of pancreatic cancer. He was eighty-seven years old.
Diane Arbus knew Lauro Morales, a dwarf who performed at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, for fourteen years. She made pictures of him backstage, in the circus ring, and in his hotel room.