A grey day dawning over snow slowly turning to carbon-saturated black mush? A snowman keeled over like a post-1989 piece of Soviet stauary? It’s all put us in the mood – for Eastern Europe! Kidding aside, here are some highlights from the Birch’s fantastic winter issue:

A poem about…gerunds. And literal translations. Trust us, it’s good.

Reference check: Nietzsche, Kundera, Benjamin, Kafka, Lukàcs…and, um, Job? All used in a noble effort to preserve memory…and seem well read.

Havel (ha, you thought you’d heard the last of him) on Communism: “it was built on blah blah blah

Czech band describes paying to be imprisoned in a work camp, emo-ness of fans

Ex-President of Georgia admits: he still looks up to Stalin