I admit it — I have a tendency to feel jaded. So if someone were to tell me that Brenda Hillman spent the last 17 years writing four books of poetry, one for each of the elements — land, air, water, and fire — I might brush the work aside. I might think that the project sounded cheesy, cliché, not for me. But I would be wrong, because the lush, sidelong, textured poems in Hillman's stunning new book Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire refuse simplicity. This book — the final exploration of the fourth element, fire — dances and leaps.
It's been nearly three years since Egyptians rose up against autocratic rule and one fact of life there hasn't changed. Most Egyptians are poor and they're getting poorer. Economic social justice was a big demand of protesters in 2011 and then again this summer. That's when massive crowds took to the streets leading to the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. And economists say if Egypt's new leaders don't do something to address the country's poverty problem, they'll face similar unrest.
Imagine buying a genuine Pablo Picasso painting valued at $1 million — and paying only $135.
That's the prize if you win the "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" raffle Sotheby's is currently putting on. It's the first time a Picasso has been offered as a raffle prize, and while 100 euros (about $135) isn't cheap for a raffle ticket, at one in about 50,000, your chances of winning are a lot better than the megalotteries a lot of people enter.