“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” While some would take this quote from Shakespeare as merely insightful into human nature, author Christopher Moore takes it as gospel. Moore’s character named Pocket turns out is the very same fool from the great Bard’s “King Lear.” And this fool is the wisest person in any throne room.
Pocket first appeared in Christopher Moore’s wonderful satire “Fool,” reinventing the classic Shakespeare tragedy from the perspective of this intrepid character. In that novel, Pocket is the mastermind for the undoing of King Lear and his two wicked daughters.
Now Pocket has returned in a new book, “The Serpent of Venice.” In this comedy adventure Pocket is stuck in Venice, and it begins with him trapped in a cellar preparing to experience a slow and horrible death. From there the story grows to include mermaids, a best friend named Othello, a merchant named Shylock and a villain named Iago, who really doesn’t have a chance against a brain like Pocket’s.
The passions of farming, cooking, brewing and much more are all a part of RoadBelly Magazine. The Grand Rapids based publication is about to enter its second year as it expands its scope beyond western Michigan.
Detroit-area native, composer and musician Patrick Grant has created seasonal musical celebrations in his adopted home of New York City. His event titled "Tilted Axes" rung in the winter equinox of 2012 with dozens of electric guitarists hooking portable amplifiers to their belts and walking the streets of Manhattan to observe winter's arrival.
It’s been awhile since we’ve paused for a Public Poetry Announcement here on Current State. With this polar vortex making the nights feel more like autumn, contributor Stephanie Glazier has a timely poem from Marion McCready to remind us that it is still, indeed, summertime.
Starting this past spring, Detroiters and suburbanites have gathered in growing numbers at historic Detroit Churches. They’ve been named the ‘Detroit Mass Mob’ and have been imagining the past while building toward the future.
We all leave a legacy after we shuffle off this mortal coil, but its size and influence isn’t decided by us. That power is in the hands of those we leave behind. Few writers have made as great an impact in literature as Franz Kafka.
While we’ll be celebrating Independence Day here in America tomorrow, halfway around the world the date also marks a national holiday in Rwanda, though it’s a much more somber occasion.
July 4 is Rwanda's Liberation Day and it marks the end of the country’s official mourning period for the more than one million people who were murdered during the genocide there in 1994. And this year, of course, is the 20th anniversary of those horrific 100 days.
Andy Warhol is perhaps the most recognizable name in 20th century American art. One factor in his popularity is the many album covers he designed. As a graphic design artist, Warhol’s album works date back to the late 1940s.
“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” And with that poignant line, Gabriel Garcia Marquez begins his masterpiece “Love in the Time of Cholera.”
The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.
The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival takes place in East Lansing this Friday and Saturday. There will be live jazz downtown from a variety of groups and the Broad Art Museum is participating as well with a unique event.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature Kids Read Comics, a Michigan nonprofit that promotes comics for building youth engagement and creativity. This weekend marks their fifth annual Kids Read Comics celebration at the Ann Arbor district library.
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of a tragic and historic turning point in the fight for civil rights. The night of June 21, 1964, three young civil rights workers were shot and killed near the community of Philadelphia, Mississippi. They were there organizing and working to register African-Americans to vote during 10 violent and controversial weeks remembered as the “Freedom Summer.”
This week the Summer Circle Theatre at Michigan State University is entering its 54th season, putting on student productions of plays outdoors around the MSU Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre. This summer marks a change for the company as it will be the last season of its nomadic existence. Work has begun on a permanent home for Summer Circle.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature The Homeless Angels, a new Lansing-based organization that does outreach and referrals primarily for street-based homeless people.
Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.
A group of outstanding storytellers will be in East Lansing for a show at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center Wednesday night. "The Moth Mainstage" brings a live performance of The Moth Radio Hour program to audiences all over the country.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the local effort to raise funds for the funeral and family of Michael Addo, the pharmacist who was shot to death at the Rite Aid in Frandor last Monday.
The East Lansing Art Festival returns this weekend for its 51st run. The two-day event in the city’s downtown core features more than 180 artists and musicians. For many long-time attendees, the East Lansing Art Festival signals the unofficial start of summer.
Sometimes the literary world can suffer from a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. We all know this story made famous by Hans Christian Andersen, of the ridiculous Emperor tricked into wearing nothing and the underlings around him too afraid to point out that he is only in his underwear. In the mind of the Emperor he is adorned in the greatest attire, but in reality there isn’t much left for the imagination.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature one woman’s effort to turn her passion for addressing the horrors of human trafficking into action.
The United States and Canada face a lot of problems, but getting along with each other, for the most part, isn’t one of them. Canada is our biggest trading partner, the border is long and mostly safe, and millions of Americans and Canadians live and work in each other’s countries. But could America and Canada be even closer?
What is a food lover to make of Detroit? Michigan author Bill Loomis says he “went behind the graffiti and the ruins” to explore the city’s “food ways”, from its established Coney Island vendors and Eastern Market to more recent hipster bars and “pop up” restaurants, bakeries, taverns, so-called “underground” destinations and fine dining all over Detroit.
A world-renowned artist from Pakistan got more than he bargained for when he accepted an invitation to display his work at MSU’s Broad Art Museum. Current State’s Scott Pohl spoke with Imran Qureshi yesterday. Broad Art Museum curator Alison Gass has wanted to bring Imran Qureshi to East Lansing practically from her arrival at the museum two years ago.
Seven years ago, a fire badly damaged the Lebowsky Center, home of the Owosso Community Players. A major refurbishing project has been completed, and on Friday night, there’s a grand opening gala to celebrate the completion of work.
At the Southern Michigan Prison near Jackson, Cell Block 7 housed thousands of inmates beginning in the 1930s. Prisoners had been convicted of crimes ranging from liquor law violations to murder. Soon, that same cell block will be transformed into a museum that tells Jackson’s story as perhaps Michigan’s best known correctional center, which at one time was the largest walled prison in the world.