I anticipate spending a considerable amount of time with this lovely lady over the next 5-ish years. She’s the subject of my biggest project yet: a biography. Wish me luck!
I’m feeling it…
- The Fabulous Forgotten Life of Vita Sackville-West [THE PARIS REVIEW]
- Re-Covered: A Black Female Beat Novel from the Sixties [THE PARIS REVIEW]
- Gerda Taro. The Girl with the Leica [DAILY ART MAGAZINE]
- A Feast of Flowers [THE CUT]
My momma’s birthday is today! We celebrated it last night with a tasty meal at home. I try to make those I love a special dessert for their special day. Our resources and mobility are limited these days, obviously. Because of this, I needed to make something with ingredients I had at home. I decided that it was finally time to make Emily Dickinson’s coconut cake. It’s been on my radar for at least 12 years. No joke.
I used this post as my guide. Like that blogger, I mixed the cake by hand.
Since this was for my mom’s birthday, I embellished the cake a bit by adding a blueberry glaze* before topping it with walnuts and confectioners’ sugar.
The cake itself is moist, flavorful, and not overly sweet. Perfect with a cup of tea.
*For the glaze, I added approximately 3/4 cup blueberries and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar to a blender and mixed it until it was smooth.
“Hold dear to your parents for it is a scary and confusing world without them.”–Emily Dickinson
Happy birthday, mom! I love you.
I hope you are all well during these difficult, uncertain times. Have a great weekend.
“Elegance is elimination.”–Balenciaga
This 85-year-old photograph of New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh proves that elegance, coziness, and individuality can be as stylish as anything out of the pages of a 21st-century fashion magazine.
Embellishments are minimal: an eccentric shoulder, a few buttons, an indifferently tilted hat, a bit of pattern and texture here or there.
Clean lines. Confidence.
She is, more than anything, mysterious.
Lady Reading Poetry by Ishibashi Kazunori (1906):
My poem is featured on Silver Birch Press! Check it out.
Ajar is a sacred word
by Alicia Austen
a sacred word
that it is necessary to be noncommittal
where breezes enter through open orifices
and private sounds
above empty sidewalks
from my armored entry,
I close my eyes
in order to picture what I do not see—
people walking past
a mass of
flickering in sunlight
Is this why we–
consecrate the mundane?
with special powers
it shines like
If a neighborhood is an entity—
what is humanity,
but a movie projected at the wrong speed
one step ahead
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I write things as I see them, which means avoiding the literal at all costs while embracing oddness, layers, and complexity. My goal is to…
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- Remembering Alice Mayhew, Legendary Editor [LITHUB]
- Kamau Brathwaite: 1930-2020 [THE PARIS REVIEW]
- Hollywood Pays Tribute to “Incredible Icon” Kirk Douglas [THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER]
As some of you know, my mom is opening a business…and it’s a family affair. Austen & Company is many parts that we hope will make a cohesive, if quirky, whole: Tea and tea accessories, coffee, desserts, books, art, events, curiosities, import snacks, and cocktails. Whew, that’s a lot!
We’re not open yet, but, this being 2020, Austen & Company is already on social media. Both our Instagram and Facebook pages are full of sneak peeks. We’re doing an Instagram series highlighting some of the books we’ll be selling in-store. Even if you’re not local, hey, who doesn’t like pretty pics of books?
Thanks for indulging me!