They're Beloved! No. 9

Things we found interesting and hope that you will too! This week: Letters Live!, Sarah Jessica Parker (who knew?), comic books, and, finally, a reason to travel to Houston other than for the spread of petroleum throughout the free world.

Letters Live originated with the site, which shares interesting correspondence of famous people (writers, actors & actresses, whoever) or people in interesting situations or time periods. Then they published a book, and now they do a live event in London where people read some of these letters out loud. It's a rather big deal, because they get people like Ian McKellan and Benedict Cumberbatch to do readings. Check out the never-to-be-ignored Tom Hiddleston reading a love letter from Gerald Durrell to Lee McGeorge here.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Ta Nehisi Coates: the New York Times this week shared news this weekend of Parker's new publishing imprint under Hogarth, the publishing house founded by Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Parker will help read and select manuscripts for publication under the imprint. “I have always loved to read for the same reason I love to act,” she says, “which is that other people’s stories are more interesting to me than my own.”

Meanwhile, journalist and newest author of the Black Panther comic books Ta Nehisi Coates has signed on for twelve more books in the series, and shares his hopes for the stories' power to influence readers' understanding of politics and race relations.

Smither Park: To bring things a little closer to my and Sarah's home city, we are especially excited about the grand opening of Smither Park, a project of the Orange Show for Visionary Art here in Houston. Every structure in the park is covered in mosaic, depicting snakes and bulls and dragonflies and hummingbirds, as well as an amphitheater located inside the mouth of an anglerfish lit by a disco ball. If you're in town, stop by and support Houston's great and growing arts culture! I especially enjoyed the Smither Park video below, and thought it captured some of the spirit we want to foster here for writers and artists of all kind. "You have an urge to create something, and you use anything you have."

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