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Now, with the aid of Dutch street artists Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed, some residents of Utrecht have turned their bookcases into street art, sparking conversation in their culturally diverse neighborhood.
Carmen Maria Machado: The connection between narratives of vampires and narratives of women—especially queer women—are almost laughably obvious. Even without Carmilla, they would be linked. The hunger for blood, the presence of monthly blood, the influence and effects of the moon, the moon as a feminine celestial body, the moon as a source of madness, the mad woman, the mad lesbian—it goes on and on. It is somewhat surprising to me that we have ever imagined male vampires at all. But of course, that’s because we think of Dracula as the ur-text, the progenitor of the vampire in literature. Carmilla simply isn’t as well-known; I was as surprised as anyone to learn about it. But despite the fact that it’s a somewhat obscure text, its influence can be keenly felt. So I wanted modern readers to understand both Carmilla and Carmilla’s importance.
Latino poets, attuned to the concerns of the present moment, hold a special place and inspire us to look at our surroundings more closely and perhaps more critically.
Here are 8 poetry collections, including a recently published one by Richard Blanco, President Barack Obama’s inaugural poet, that help us understand the complicated world we live in.