What we’re hearing:

Beach Sloth (Part 1), Review of IP issue 4: “Reading between the lines is critical anywhere. Out of all lines, the parentheses are one of the most important lines anywhere in language. Containing little happy additional pieces (of information) parentheses are the ends of the bread. Deep within those parentheses are little yummy pieces of word dough, the payoff. While technically citations are a bit more in between the lines, the parentheses get used far more frequently. Citations are for over-achievers. Parentheses are the underdog. They struggle. However that struggle can be forgotten for the writers in this issue do a great job showing why the world still needs the lowly bread crust of the literary world.”

Beach Sloth, (Part 2), Review of IP issue 4: “Ending with a smile is what parentheses do best… (In Parentheses) ends in a delightful manner. The photography is beautiful. It matches the stories eerily well. Overall the entire magazine is quite tasteful. Everything is well-selected. Reading it is entering another world, a world where the flaws are celebrated, where there is hope. What a wonderful world.”

Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves; “For a lot of us, the first thing that comes to mind when asked to picture the plight of Kurdish people probably isn’t so much rap battles as it is a history of much more direct conflict, and that’s part of the beauty of this expectation defying look into the nascent Kurdish hip hop scene. We learn that, while the odds are often stacked against the DJs and MCs of Kurdistan due to popular notions of the values attached to the musical form, their efforts to unite, express, and fight for their rights are very much in keeping with a trend toward making change through ideas, rather than conflict. As Abdullah Occalan says, in perhaps this post’s most memorable quote, it’s “Time for the guns to fall silent and for ideas to speak.” “Hip-Hopistan: Inside Greater Kurdistan’s Nascent Hip Hop Scene offers an insightful look into unexpected, culturally repurposed uses of an art form that itself has roots in repurposing and empowerment of the disenfranchised.”

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