The Orris: A Cultural Journal

Artist Profile: Sarah Gay

The Orris asked “animator x illustrator x educator” Sarah Gay to share her fantastic work and reflect on her artistic process. We welcome you to her enchanting world.

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April 17, 2012 · 1 Comment

Who Touched My Occu-Pie?

There are, however, thousands of such crumbs scattered in the kitchen, and sometimes they get on the occupants’ shoes unnoticed.

Even a ruined pie sticks around, no matter how it looked, how it smelled, and how it tasted.

April 13, 2012

Artist Profile: Krista Langley

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Krista Langley had a question and a Polaroid camera. She yielded an inside look into her friends and family’s dreams.

April 6, 2012 · 2 Comments

New Maps to American Hell: Dystopian Warnings Then and Now

I’m half filled with optimism as I witness the potential for a great collective change that I believe is only at its beginning. But there’s another part of me that is sunk with a real sense of dread and fear.

April 3, 2012 · 4 Comments

Old, Old Seamus

was thirty-five and looking for death in

every phrase; would meet you half-way if you thought you couldn’t get at it. He knew what you were saying. He’d find it. Was every month now giving me another Mishima novel

March 27, 2012

Memories Within the Stone: Texas’s Enchanted Rock

I think what’s most striking about reaching the top of Enchanted Rock in the winter is the sense of loneliness. On the gray day that I climbed the rock for the first time, I sat down on the cold pink stone and stared into the wind at the surrounding Texas Hill Country.

March 23, 2012

The Saddest Story

Be warned–this is the saddest story in the world.

It might put you in mind of the rabbit you had once, the one who got run over, back when you weren’t exactly still young but not yet what anyone would call an adult. You remember.

March 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

A Retiring

With no way to get up there anymore

without hitching a ride with the old enemy;

disgraceful maybe, or just over-trusting.

The world stage changes ever faster these days.

March 16, 2012

Big Brows

In fashion, there is no middle ground. You respond to the world around you—to the trends or the fashion shows or the news—or you don’t. … Erasing your eyebrows is an expression of modernity as much as it is an exercise in transferring the ephemeral styles of the catwalk to modern life.

March 13, 2012 · 5 Comments

A Dream Deferred

When I was six, I told my parents I wanted to be a writer. They responded with the quintessential “follow your dreams” parental response and encouraged my obsession with writing poems and stories, and having more literary friends than real ones. That was 1993.

March 9, 2012 · 2 Comments

Outgoing President George W. Bush at the Inaugural Speech of Incoming President Barack Obama

Man I’m never as free as when I’m there

racin’ that truck over the Crawford dirt,

’bout 60, 70, feels like 90 —

March 6, 2012 · 1 Comment

The American Dream

This dream we have been taught to strive toward has failed him, yet he hasn’t given up on the dreaming part. Kay’s enthusiasm for his country wasn’t about his own economic well-being anymore. It involved governmental reform, and a better society.

March 2, 2012 · 2 Comments

Issue Two: Letter from the Editor

The American Dream is a dream of freedom, of opportunity, of a fair chance at happiness. We have national dreams, familial ones, and the personal ones deep in our hearts. At their best, these dreams motivate us toward better lives, advanced education, and improved circumstance.

March 1, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide

Instead of guiltily shopping at the giant corporate stores and regretting it, rethink your spending habits and invest in small businesses, artisans and craftspeople, or just make gifts yourself.

December 15, 2011

Art: Ryan Alex

Ryan Alex is currently a student at the University of Southern Maine within the branch of Art Entrepreneurial Studies and an intern at Mayo Street Arts in Portland, Maine. As a person who appreciates the solitude of rural New England and philosophy, his artwork has always explored these themes.

October 17, 2011

Music Brief: The Mallett Brothers Band

 Bringing you far away from the pavement and onto the back dirt roads of America,  the Mallett Brothers Band’s country rock style emerges from the slow grown woods of Maine. … Continue reading

October 15, 2011 · 1 Comment

Scene Report: The 2011 Austin City Limits Festival

It was early afternoon on the festival’s first day when I felt the first rain drop fall. I was standing near the edge of the Bud Light Stage watching Brooklyn … Continue reading

October 14, 2011

What Do You Do If The Spirit Is Willing But The Flesh Is Weak? Telling Life Narratives About Addiction

I am sitting in a Church Basement. The room is stifling hot and very crowded. Right after I enter, the session leader shuts off the lights. The soft glow of a few tea light candles emanates from the table,

October 14, 2011

To Listen is to Find Voice: Observations on the Occupy Wall Street Movement’s Community and Message

When I approached Joshua, 20, he seemed reluctant for an interview, but was going to give me a chance anyway. I asked him his age. His occupation. “Homeless,” he replied. … Continue reading

October 14, 2011

Visions and Nightmares: Art and Mental Illness

“And it is easy to slip into a parallel universe. There are so many of them: worlds of the insane, the criminal, the crippled, the dying, perhaps of the dead … Continue reading

October 14, 2011 · 2 Comments

Coney Island

On the boardwalk, English isn’t the first language you expect to hear; instead there’s a mix of a hundred different voices and tongues from all over the world. As I hear them speak words I don’t understand, I am reminded that they, too, are transplanted, and perhaps they come here too to find a bit of home.

October 9, 2011

Reliving The Three Kingdoms: Increasing Popularity of Sanguosha and Rise of the Chinese Culture

Eight Chinese college students gather in a small room, surrounding a table.

Lights are turned off. Candles are lit. Cards are distributed.

October 9, 2011

Revisiting “The Twilight Zone”

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground … Continue reading

August 16, 2011

American Way: A Series on Main Street America

The myth of Main Street is useful, but only if we recognize it as a story we tell ourselves about ourselves in the present.

August 15, 2011

Lara Alegre: Photography and the Negotiation of the Female Form

Pictures of women have always held a special place in the world of gender politics.  A photographer’s portrayal of a young model is always wrought with analysis regarding the possession, … Continue reading

August 15, 2011 · 2 Comments

The Good and the True

Kano: “That’s incredible!” Cut cut cut cut… She slashes with her hand above the puppets as if trying to cut invisible strings. Yukito: “As I said, there are no strings. … Continue reading

August 15, 2011

Mnemonics in the Twenty-first Century: Have we Forgotten How to Remember?

The practice and study of mnemonics, or “the art of memory,” has a history that is two and half millennia old. Simonides of Ceos first developed this memory technique as … Continue reading

August 11, 2011

Private Lives, Public Personas

The lines between privacy and publicity became destabilized, and the more we can offer a “convincing account” or our private lives, the greater prestige we can gain from our audiences.

August 9, 2011

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