ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends August 2022: What to Watch, Read, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Isabelle Edgar, Intern: I had never seen a movie that felt so much like a poem until I saw Petite Maman (2022), directed by Céline Sciamma. Like a poem, the movie is quite short –at just seventy two minutes– and quiet, with only one song in the whole movie (a trademark of Céline Sciamma; think Portrait of a Lady on Fire). Like a poem, Petite Maman’s silence is as meaningful as its words. You have to lean in, kneel down, and listen closely: a whisper from a child’s lips. As the lead in the movie says to her father and […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends April 2022: What to Watch, Read, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Shelby Hinte, Intern: I was raised by a Texas vet and a Colorado Rockies free spirit, both of whom were raised on Southern rock and old school country. Dolly, George, Willie, and Garth were household names, as were Wynonna, Reba, Brooks and Dunn. The soundtrack of my youth was a Southern twang filled with hard living, harder drinking, and heartache—music about small towns, lovers torn apart, and cowboys. Despite my affinity for country music and its presence in the New Mexico desert where I grew up, there was a clear disconnect between the landscapes of its lyrics and the one […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends December 2021: Best of the Year

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Shelby Hinte, Intern: Favorite Book Read in 2021 That Was Published in 2021—Her Lesser Work by Elizabeth Ellen (Short Flight/Long Drive) Was it just me or was 2021 a crazy good year for books? No need to name names (as they have already been named enough), but more than one major literary icon published a new novel this year. While many big names were taking up shelf space at the bookstores, I found my favorite book of 2021 in the indie corner: Elizabeth Ellen’s short story collection Her Lesser Work. The twenty stories in this collection are about art, aging, […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends November 2021: What to Watch, Read, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Shelby Hinte, Intern: Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment probably doesn’t need me to write a Staff Recommendation in order for it to have continued relevance on the must-read-books-of-all-times list that circulate the internet, but I am going to do it anyway. I originally read Crime and Punishment 15 years ago in my A.P. English class. I am pretty sure this is where most people read the novel. I remember feeling proud of myself for reading, and maybe even somewhat understanding, such a significant novel, but to my memory, I didn’t exactly enjoy it. For years I have relegated it to […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends October 2021: What to Watch, Read, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Shelby Hinte, Intern: “Don’t f*@% with the original,” declares Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) during the climax of 2011’s Scream 4. It’s a quote that has become almost as iconic for fans as the ominous ringing telephone and the unidentified caller who asks, in a low, distorted voice, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” Sidney Prescott and Ghostface, the fictional Woodsboro residents from Wes Craven’s Scream franchise responsible for these meme-worthy lines, have reached a certain level of iconography that has settled into the pop-culture vernacular for 25 years. While the Scream imagery may be fodder for internet fun and mockery, it […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends September 2021: What to Watch, Read, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Oscar Villalon, Managing Editor: Like a throwback to the sort of off-beat shows NBC slotted on a Tuesday night at 10—a Shannon’s Deal, a Homicide—Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building envelops us with its charming cast and its evocative setting. But unlike those other shows, set in Philadelphia and Baltimore, respectively, the grittiness is decidedly muted here, as is any and all internal anguish. There’s suffering, sure; the characters played by Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez have all been through it (and maybe still are), as have some of the ancillary characters. But the acknowledgment of grief and […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends August 2021: What to Read & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Shelby Hinte, Intern: I’m not usually a nostalgic person, but maybe it was turning 30 this year or the simple fact that nearly every facet of normal life was rendered unstable by the pandemic, but this summer I’ve been longing for the past—at least musically. Early in 2020 a longtime favorite band of mine, Best Coast, released their new album Always Tomorrow. It came out a few weeks before shelter-in-place orders were announced and so I didn’t catch word of it until a year later. It has since become one of the most played albums on my Spotify, second only […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends July 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Ray Levy Uyeda, Intern: A couple years ago, when I first started writing seriously in an attempt to develop my craft, I wanted for a community of writers and creatives, and a space, both emotional and physical, where all my questions about creating would be held with tenderness, as one would a small bird or child, or even the very dreams of being a writer (whatever that means). I craved location where conversations on craft—how it can be both integral to my health and so goddamn difficult—were happening without the shame of appearing superfluous.  I found The Creative Independent, a […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends June 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Colton Alstatt, Intern: Reading John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed, a new collection of “Essays on a Human-Centered Planet” from the Young Adult Fiction author, I felt a pit in my stomach open each time an entry turned the final corner in its typical format: after presenting a topic for review (Piggly Wiggly, Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Stickers, Googling Strangers, etc.), detailing any tragic details in its history, and establishing a tangential relationship between it and Green’s personal life, the essay weaved the two threads together into a proof of the “human experiment’s resiliency.” Though it is a feel-good book that might […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends May 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Lily Nilipour, Intern: One of the things I have most missed during this pandemic is, surprisingly, attending lectures. Before the advent of the Zoom classroom, I never realized how much I found the lecture hall a respite from the rest of daily life: the murmur of my classmates filing in and filling the rows of seats, the air conditioner blasting (or not on at all), the shuffling of notebook paper. And then, the lecture itself—for an hour or so, a singular voice carrying itself through the still air, accompanied by clicking keyboards and scratching pens. This was not the reason […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends April 2021: What to Read, Watch, & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Owen Torrey, Intern: When the Nederlands Dans Theater 2 last toured through the city where I live, it was a late winter evening two years ago. I took the subway out from campus and arrived at an old theatre downtown, where the contemporary dance company presented several short works from their repertoire. At one point, dancers emerged on-stage to a doo-wop song, as small slips of paper fell from the auditorium’s high ceiling. A few collected in my lap, then piled around my shoes. Seeing my neighbor unfold hers and smile, I knelt to grab one. In tiny bold letters, […]

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ZYZZYVA Staff Recommends March 2021: What to Read & Listen To

by ZYZZYVA Staff

Lily Nilipour, Intern: Throughout the sustained isolation of this pandemic, we have learned much about our personal relationships to each other—to those close to us, to our groups and communities, and to society at large. It has been a time of great tragedy, on many fronts, but we have also seen people come together in extraordinary ways. In searching for ways to process the events of the past year, I have found myself turning to Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being for some wisdom. For the Time Being is a profound study of a paradox: the importance we place on […]

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