Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Art

A Posthumous Woman

After nearly 20 years of non-involvement in filmmaking, last month I enthusiastically un-retired and worked (really worked!) on A Posthumous Woman, starring Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette. Written/directed by my son, Zachary, and his fiancée, Magdalena Zyzak, and filmed at a remote location in the mountains above Silicon Valley, it is 


I very much admire and agree with the comment made by my daughter, Emily Cotler, about a photo taken by her friend, Lisa Boscia Bouillerce. Wow. I imagine myself in ancient Athens, or ancient Wales, or some other place thick with polytheistic mythology… Looking at this, of course that’s a Sun God, or some ominous […]

North Korean Unicorns: Lost in Translation?

Last week, the official North Korean news agency (KNCA) released a report stating: “Archaeologists of the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences have recently reconfirmed a lair of the unicorn rode by King Tongmyong, founder of the Koguryo Kingdom (B.C. 277-A.D. 668).” The Western press took this as another in the continuing […]

Admitting Writers and Artists to Harvard

The following essay is taken without alteration from Harvard Magazine’s current issue. I reprint it without comment because its clarity and persuasiveness require none. Read and reflect. *     *     *     *     * Porter University Professor Helen Vendler, a  preeminent poetry critic, has served on Harvard College’s undergraduate admissions committee. Given contemporary admissions processes and pressures, […]

Ruth Lilly Fellowships in Poetry — 2011

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, and “an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture,” has announced the five recipients of Ruth Lilly Fellowships for 2011. My son, Theodore Zachary Cotler, was one of the winners. Quoting from the Poetry Foundations’s website: The editors of Poetry magazine selected […]

Sea Ranch Chapel

Less than a mile from the Pacific, unmanned and open to all, the Sea Ranch Chapel appears to be protected by its own beauty, for vandals neither spray-can nor gouge it. A non-denominational sanctuary for prayer, meditation, and spiritual renewal, it is an architectural wave on a sea of grass just off California’s Route 1, […]

On the Bull’s Back

America, in skin and shorts, sleeps on Wall Street’s back the beast appetite and direction, ignores flies It is five a.m. and raining – – Cell phone photo: Anonymous, July 2009. Look closely. A man lies supine upon the statue.

Space Shuttle Atlantis & Hubble …Crossing the Sun

What an image! The NASA space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope, seen in silhouette during a solar transit at 12:17 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida. The two space craft were at an altitude of 600 km above the earth. It took only 0.8 seconds for them […]

The Babson Boulders of Dogtown

In his 1905 book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, German economist and sociologist Max Weber theorized that capitalism’s ascendancy owed much to Protestantism’s emphasis on hard work and worldly success. Whether or not Weber was actually right, the term he coined, “Protestant ethic,” has, to many, become accepted as part of our […]

Racial Identity: “Hapa” Obama

A comment on my recent post (Rule Book Racism: Can a Black Athlete Celebrate?) deserves a full response. Lanny writes: “A young, black, athletic man will soon be our president.” Why don’t you call him white? He’s just as much white as black. Is my wife, Karina, yellow or white, Japanese or American? Her mother […]