Andrea Lynn, Writer
Andrea Lynn, Writer

Sticky Soundscape: Seattle's Hottest Day

June 28, 2021              108°F                    Melting Sonic World

The heat-soaked soundscape neglected everyone. It was the hottest day Seattle had seen. I wanted to hear the heat in the community garden located in the heart of downtown Seattle. According to the National Weather Service, the city had reached 108 degrees just after 6 p.m.

 

I situated my equipment then leaned into one of the stout stone walls surrounding the garden’s patch of grass, not more than 20 square meters, where the rabbits munched on bright green blades. I wanted to hear their chewing but couldn’t; neither could my equipment, a rudimentary setup even for a novice nature recordist.

 

Bees buzzed in the lavender behind me, a few honeybees within a throng of bumblebees. I expected nature to meet the sultry evening with whispers, anticipating nothing beyond the rabbits and bees. The city was exhausted; no human voices in the vicinity although anthropophony managed to penetrate the stillness. It was always there.

 

Then, they appeared from nowhere and began their acoustic aerial antics. Selasphorus rufus, the feisty rufous hummingbirds were in charge of the soundscape, ignoring the sultriness of the space. They outcompeted the cargo plane flying over Elliott Bay, the train signal on Alaskan Way, and the drone of the commercial buildings' air conditioning systems backing up to the garden on Western Avenue struggling to understand why they had been pressed into service in a city that rarely required them.

 

The wind in my microphone seemed to buoy the minute creatures as they frolicked in the heat; I switched off my equipment with sweaty palms and continued to listen to the hummingbirds’ guidance through the balmy night.

Literary News

July 13, 2022–Ada Limón, author of Bright Dead Things, has been named the 24th U.S. poet laureate.

On May 27, 2020 NPR's poet-in-residence, Kwame Alexander, shared the poem, 'Running for Your Life,' a community poem for Ahmaud Arbery. The poem had hardly been complete when another horrific tragedy demanded the world stare squarely again into the face of injustice: the death of George Floyd

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 has been awarded to Austrian Author

Peter Handke.

And finally, The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 was awarded to the Polish author, Olga Tokarczuk.

It's time to revisit the splendor of Beloved as the world bids farewell to the incandescent Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Meet Emily Nemens, new editor of the Paris Review. She succeeds Lorin Stein, who resigned at the close of 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

A complex thriller steeped in 90s pop culture, Lounge Act by Adrienne Reiter has been worth the wait!

The Nobel prize in literature 2018 is cancelled, and the circumstances surrounding the decision to postpone the award are mired in the complicated global perception of right and wrong. The Swedish Academy announced there will be two laureates in 2019.

The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced, and the prize for Fiction was awarded to Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Lee Boudreaux Books/Little, Brown and Company). What a beautiful, worthwhile read - substantial.

Where would we be without artists like those who occupy the pages of Mission At Tenth, the peaceful torchbearers relentlessly insisting on social change? Spending time in the pages of this literary journal feels like a road map for the intellect - and for the heart.

Have you read Megan Hunter's, The End We Start From? Dystopian Fiction, this felt real - insightful. The world into which the author wraps her characters is so fantastical that the story demands the reader constantly check what she knows about reality. Getting lost in this story is a delicious way to spend an afternoon.

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2017 is… YOUTHQUAKE!  The noun is defined as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people." Oxford editors collected mounds of data to arrive at their decision.  Why did this word spark in our collective conscience in 2017, and what does it indicate for the year ahead?

The Man Booker Prize 2017 winner is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. It delightfully breaks all the structure rules! 

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