In this week’s newsletter: celebrating great artists who left us this week...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
some say they will be freed in death

Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. To be honest, I had a pre-canned newsletter of book recommendations ready for y’all because I’m in the middle of moving studios again, but in this death-filled week, I felt like I wanted to sit down, check in with death, and check in with you.
  2. RIP songwriter and poet David Berman. He was only 52 and it felt like with the new album (I just wrote about it two newsletters ago!) he was on the upswing. A terrible loss. Try to get your hands on his poetry collection Actual Air and my favorite Silver Jews record, American Water. (I’ve been playing “Honk If You’re Lonely” a lot.) He also drew cartoons — I remember seeing his stuff in the classic More Things Like This.
  3. RIP writer Toni Morrison. She gave me the ultimate quote in Keep Going, and I wish I’d heard her say “I know how to write forever” before I wrote it. There were so many great pieces about her flying around, but I loved this Hilton Als profile and Fran Lebowitz on their (perhaps unlikely) friendship.
  4. RIP filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. His 1967 documentary about Bob Dylan, Don’t Look Back, is one of my all-time favorite movies. (Watch some scenes here.)
  5. Artists, because they leave so much behind, I believe they have rich afterlives.
  6. Books: The best thing I read this week was Andy Warhol’s America, a 1985 book of his photographs and ideas about the country.
  7. TV: If you need a lift, season two of Derry Girls is on Netflix. 
  8. Music: Bach remains my antidote to violence.
  9. Interlibrary loan will change your life.
  10. Remember: Now is the envy of the dead. Get out there and live your life while you’ve still got breath.
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Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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