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Fogged Clarity

Poetry Review: Martha Serpas' "The Diener"

Ben Evans | Posted 05.15.2015 | Books
Ben Evans

The best poets concede to uncertainty and are thereby able to write beyond the confines of knowing towards the ineffable, the sublime. It is in fashion for poets to proclaim this lack of surety, but a different game altogether to abandon the didactic and pitch pen-first into the void.

Van Lente: Fashion Model & Folksinger

Ben Evans | Posted 04.22.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

Modeling is a discipline where beauty is seldom equated with depth. One could argue that a culture's general preoccupation with form over substance ha...

The Peaceful Poetics of Afaa Michael Weaver

Ben Evans | Posted 04.06.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

These days, I've come to believe that the value of suffering lies not in the artistic material it provides, but in the peace and clarity of vision its endurance affords. The poet Afaa Michael Weaver seems to lend evidence to this.

Thoughts Ending in a Song by Will Oldham

Ben Evans | Posted 05.12.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

What if, like Tolstoy's Ivan Ilyich, we got it all wrong? What if our conception and practice of life and living is as fundamentally flawed as the reality television and soft news we half-pretend to scoff at? Increasingly, I'm beginning to believe this is the case.

Poet David Baker on His Craft and Process

Ben Evans | Posted 04.22.2015 | Books
Ben Evans

Earlier this month, poet and contributing editor to Fogged Clarity Daniel DeVaughn interviewed the distinguished poet (and poetry editor of The Kenyon Review) David Baker about Robert Frost.

Chris Bathgate by the Lake

Ben Evans | Posted 04.05.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

There are individuals one meets that seem to be working on a different level. They exude calm in every task and emanate a peace and presence that spreads to those around them.

Poet Carl Phillips Talks Risk

Ben Evans | Posted 03.18.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

While past offerings in the series have concerned syntax, subtext and description, Phillips chose to train his own study on daring -- on the page and elsewhere -- in this latest collection of essays titled: The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination.

A Gesture for the New Year

Ben Evans | Posted 03.08.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

The country was in a state of deep unrest and there were some difficult and longstanding questions to be answered concerning humanity, justice and the bewildering continuance of prejudice into the 21st century.

Of Suicide & Sublimity

Ben Evans | Posted 02.06.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

This summer, I invited eight musicians and one very talented filmmaker named Christopher DeSanty up to the same cottage--where I had, a year prior, flirted with forever--in order to film a documentary and four "Les Cheneaux Sessions" in an attempt to explore imagination, landscape, and the act of creation in one triumphal stab at redemption.

After the Heroin, the Singing

Ben Evans | Posted 01.05.2015 | Arts
Ben Evans

In total, he looked up all of two times throughout his set, and the shame that seemed to hold his eyes to the floor was both unsettling and captivating.

Lewis & Clarke Discover Redemption

Ben Evans | Posted 11.17.2014 | Arts
Ben Evans

Lewis & Clarke is Lou Rogai, of that there can be no doubt. Though he's played under the moniker since 2003 with a shifting cast of accompanists (most notably the gifted O'Hara brothers, Ian and Shane), Rogai has always been the project's beating heart and sole songwriter.

Review: Robert Wrigley's Anatomy of Melancholy and Other Poems

Ben Evans | Posted 10.20.2013 | Books
Ben Evans

One asks that a poet's linguistic command be equal to the task of their vision. Robert Wrigley regards the world with unrelenting wonder and his precision with language surpasses the surgical. One can ask for little else.

Preview: California Wives', "Art History"

Ben Evans | Posted 11.04.2012 | Arts
Ben Evans

Recorded and produced by Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Muse) Art History is well paced and maintains a temperate energy throughout.

Poetry Review: Michael Tyrell's The Wanted

Ben Evans | Posted 10.27.2012 | Books
Ben Evans

The world as depicted in The Wanted is a suspicious, impersonal and frenetic place, yet clarity, and at times, even solace can be found through the speaker of these poems.

Will Oldham Speaks Truth

Ben Evans | Posted 11.01.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

Mr. Oldham talks in-depth about what drives him, some of the tenets he lives by, and his experience with The New Yorker.

A Discussion With Béla Fleck

Ben Evans | Posted 08.28.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

With an extensive tour in progress and the recent release of their latest album, Rocket Science, Béla and his Flecktones are back to work delighting listeners with the sweet sounds of bluegrass fusion.

A Few Good Questions With Justin Cronin

Ben Evans | Posted 07.17.2011 | Books
Ben Evans

A few years ago it was announced that Justin Cronin's next project would be a vampire novel. Many readers found it difficult to believe. In honor of its paperback release, I spoke with Justin last week.

John Dunsworth of Trailer Park Boys on Liquor and Politics

Ben Evans | Posted 05.31.2011 | Entertainment
Ben Evans

These are some truly choice answers taken from an audio interview I recently did with Canadian actor John Dunsworth, who played Jim Lahey in the famed Trailer Park Boys TV/movie franchise.

Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner: An Interview

Ben Evans | Posted 05.28.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

Baltimore two-piece Wye Oak's new album Civilian could easily be just another balloon floating (briefly) up to further crowd the skies of indie rock. Yet, it isn't.

An Interview With Jeff Daniels

Ben Evans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

Actor Jeff Daniels has established a reputation for versatility on the big screen -- however, most don't know just how far Daniels' creative ambition extends.

The Perpetual Matt Pond

Ben Evans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

Since the release of their first album, Deer Apartments, in 1998, matt pond PA has witnessed several incarnations and a largely transformed music indu...

An Interview With Author Peter Carey

Ben Evans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Ben Evans

The great thing about using the past is that it gives you the most colossal freedom to invent.

Laura Veirs -- Another Portland Gem

Ben Evans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

Veirs' seventh studio full-length; July Flame is a thoughtful, candid portrait of love, summer jubilation, and the nostalgia both can birth.

The Poetry of Michael Tyrell

Ben Evans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

To capture the voice of a city as immense and diverse as New York, to write its essence, is a challenge taken on by many resident literati.

The Real Horned Man: Exploring the Genius of Author James Lasdun

Ben Evans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Ben Evans

"I go back to that ghost of a grin on Rick's face and find I must read into it a note of resignation as well as that appearance of contentment; submis...