Growing up, two of the hottest shows on TV were “Dallas” and “Dynasty,” prime-time soups populated by the rich and decadent who indulged in the excess of their lifestyles in ways viewers could only dream of. And what with the malicious backstabbing, sordid affairs and outlandish plot twists …

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As I’ve sought out more diverse and multicultural literature, I’ve discovered a new appreciation for poetry. Free from the confines of traditional grammar rules and formatting, poetry allows for the truest form of expression and authenticity, offering a soulful glimpse into the mind of the poet.

Upon entering the exhibition “Crip*” at Krannert Art Museum, you see three small brown mattresses resting on the floor connected by a tangle of wires. Each is braced around its middle, propping the inflatable bedding up like a body.

“The production and the music and the costumes and all of it is this big ball of nostalgia,” Kevin Burnside said. “You come in and you’re taken into this imaginary place that really puts you in the mood for Christmas … It’ll be magical. It’ll feel like what a holiday season should feel like.”

Were I given the opportunity to make a film based on a part of my young life, I can only hope it would half as beautiful as Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast,” a semi-autobiographical account of the actor/director’s ninth year, a tumultuous time for his family and the titular capital city of Northe…

“A Glasshouse of Stars,” by Shirley Marr (Simon & Schuster for Young Readers), grabbed my attention from the start by the author’s use of second-person narration. It’s an unusual and bold choice, and, boy, does it ever work to create a feeling of disconnection and confusion.