Author: Theresa Smalec

Border Walls and Alien Homelands: Reflections on Dariusz Stola’s Lecture, “The “Anti-Zionist” Campaign in Poland, 1967-68, and Its Echoes Today.”

1. “Top-Down” versus “Populist” Movements: Accounting for a Nation’s Intolerance On 23 October 2018, I attended a lecture/discussion at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The speaker was Dariusz Stola, a professor of history at the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and Director of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Stola’s oeuvre includes ten books and over a hundred scholarly articles on the political and social history of Poland in the 20th century, the Holocaust, international migrations, and the communist regime. His lecture, “The ‘Anti-Zionist’ Campaign in Poland, 1967-68, and Its...

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Lost and Found by Yi-Wen Huang

Installment 33 boards a different mode of transportation than usual. Yi-Wen Huang’s unlucky passenger shifts from an initial sense of comfort, to the disorienting forces of turbulence, lost luggage, and lost vision. Just as things can’t get much worse, airports reveal the kindness of strangers–the sacrifices that people in transit make for those they will never see again.    *** Lost and Found On the plane from Toronto Canada to Copenhagen Denmark You sat next to me Luckily no one sat between us You looked so familiar Asian and White Sitting comfortably with both legs up on the seat...

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Lynn White’s Roundabout and It’s Only Make Believe?

In this 32nd installment, Lynn White transports North American car poem connoisseurs to distinctly European terrain. White’s “Roundabout” twists and turns through Italy and along the French Riviera, while “It’s Only Make Believe?” steers us into the village intrigues of rural Wales.  *** Roundabout He picked us up near Torino, a dapper Frenchman with an impressive moustache. He was going to Nice. So were we! Such luck. One lift all the way from Torino to Nice. We settled back to enjoy the ride. We came to a roundabout. With gesticulations of frustration and twitches of his moustache, he missed...

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Alphabet of the Tracks by Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein’s subway poem powers up our second season of “Car Poems.” With jarring beats that capture the physical rhythms and disorientations of commuting, this 31st installment electrifies the subterranean struggles of New York City’s strap hangers. *** The Alphabet of the Tracks A’s on the F & D’s the C, but only in sector B, then runs on N till becoming A again. R’s local on express, otherwise it’s think Q & G. L skips all stops while O terminates unexpectedly: take shuffle bus if available or transfer to V when possible . no weekend service on M,...

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Return of “Car Poems” & Welcome “Anti-Genre”: Submit Writing for Fall 2018

We’re back in gear as the fall draws near. We invite readers to submit new poems for publication when “Car Poems” resumes in late September 2018. The email address for “Car Poems” submissions is or through the Politics/Letters submission link. In addition to “Car Poems,” which focuses on poems about cars, travel, transport, driving, or anything remotely related to the road and its inhabitants, we’re launching a new literary section. Titled Anti-Genre, this new section resists conventional literary boundaries. Submissions may include or combine fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, video, sound, and cross-genre explorations. Submit previously unpublished writings for this...

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