The Sewanee Conglomerate
Named for the uppermost rock formation in Sewanee's corner of the Cumberland Plateau, the Sewanee Conglomerate is the magazine's blog. Check here for short pieces about books and current events written by SR staff and guest contributors.
The moment captured in this paragraph is not simply a disagreement, but a crossroads wherein the two sisters decide what kind of people they will be to each other.
Disappointment is a dissatisfaction with the present that has us blame the past, but I increasingly believe in the potential for future joy.
Both women have developed the slightly terrifying habit of projecting their own lacks—from childhood, from their current lives—onto their own children and the children of others. This dynamic, of the child as a white wall onto which an adult might project fantasies and grievances, is, in my opinion, very common in life, if unconscious.
The relationships Shipstead forges for her characters are always tangled; in each, she notes the gravitational pull two people can have for each other as well as every other force—secrecy, trauma, guilt—that complicates it.
For the Binewskis, freakishness is valued above all else. The children are ranked, blatantly, by their oddities—the more repugnant they are to larger society, the better.
And after the protest, back at home, my daughter play-acts a political rally wherein she begins her rally with a poem and ends it with a speech. My daughter is contending with all of these tensions and playing all through it. I take my lessons from her.
The Sewanee Review is pleased to announce that Garrett Hongo is the recipient of the 2022 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.
Among all of spring’s emergent beauty here in Sewanee, I cannot give myself over completely to the sight of the larkspur’s purple flowers without associating it with bruises.