EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

From spearheads to skeletons, mummies to mastodons, caskets to ritual masks, the North’s soil has yielded thousands of clues to bygone lives. But only once have motile shadows returned from this underground realm. In 1978, during construction of a new rec center in the town of Dawson City in Canada’s Yukon, a backhoe unearthed 533 newsreels and feature films dating from 1903 to 1929, many of them thought to have been lost to time’s ravages, others previously unknown. Stored initially in the town library’s basement, they had been interred in an old gym pool that double-functioned as an ice rink. There they rested like Snow White in her crystal coffin. The pool site was part of the Dawson Amateur Athletic Association’s building, which opened in 1902 and soon after began screening films. Some of the cache’s contents played again in the rebuilt Palace Grand Theatre 15 months after their discovery, almost 50 years after their disappearance. More… “Moving Pictures from the Permafrost”

Michael Engelhard is the author of the essay collection, American Wild: Explorations from the Grand Canyon to the Arctic Ocean, and of Ice Bear: The Cultural History of an Arctic Icon. Now living in Fairbanks, Alaska and working as a wilderness guide in the Arctic, he appreciates urban culture, such as art house movie theaters.

EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+
EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

Bowling alleys are closing. They are leaving holes in cities and along highways across America, to be filled in by auto dealerships and doctors’ offices and vape shops that hope to become pot shops. Some get turned into storage facilities, others into nothing at all, left to sit and rot in the dark, the pins still set up inside them.

Whether or not you’ve noticed that bowling alleys are closing might depend on where you live and what bowling means to you. In New York City, you might see young people dressed up to bowl while sipping 17-dollar craft cocktails. In most of the rest of the country, that doesn’t happen. Throughout much of the 20th century, in smaller towns and cities, the bowling alley was a community center — a place for people to retreat after work, a little beat down. Every so often someone would land in a league and turn out to be a pretty good bowler, maybe good enough to win a little money on TV. But now those places are shuttering and going away. More… “Halfway Back to Worcester”

Neil Serven is a writer, lexicographer, and candlepin bowler who lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts. His fiction and essays have appeared in Catapult, Bodega, Washington Square Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter at @NeilServen.

EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+
EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

Elizabeth Bishop’s friend, fellow poet, and favorite critic Randall Jarrell often centered a favorable review on a list the poems he most admired from that poet’s work. Many an anthologist has borrowed liberally from these carefully chosen Jarrellian lists. Jarrell, perhaps the most demanding and certainly the most prescient critic of his age, liked Bishop’s poetry very much indeed. And in a 1955 survey of “The Year In Poetry” for Harper’s, he cites 31 titles that “I hope you’ll read for yourself” from Bishop’s recently published collection Poems, which would soon go on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Conceding helplessly that “This is a ridiculously long list,” Jarrell adds that, “if I went back over it, I’d make it longer.”
More… “Conversations In the Village”

Thomas Travisano is the author of Elizabeth Bishop: Her Artistic Development and Midcentury Quartet: Bishop, Lowell, Jarrell, Berryman, as well as the principal editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. He is currently writing a biography of Bishop for Viking and can be reached at travisanot@hartwick.edu.

EmailTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponGoogle+

 

Three summers ago, looking for adventure, I left New York City and drove to California for a newspaper job. One evening while jogging, I noticed a glowing rock high on a hill. A few weeks later, I pitched my tent beside it. After work, I’d trudge up my hill in the moonlight and sit for hours under the rock. On some nights, strange howls kept me awake. I wondered if there was a land where people still lived in skins, gathered around fire, and believed in magic and not God. Looking for that land, I quit the paper and traveled to Nunavik, an Inuit territory in Arctic Quebec.

On Canada Day, I landed in Kuujjuaq, a community of 2,000 on the tree line. An icy wind spat cold rain. On the shores of the Koksoak River, families picnicked… More…