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Tag: Poetry (1-10 of 33)

On The Books: Original text of Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- for FREE!

You can still read the original text of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo-epic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” as it appeared in Rolling Stone in November 1971. I wish that I could say they had the layout intact, so you could see the original Ralph Steadman drawings and dated adverts, but alas that’s not the case. The whole rambling, drug-addled, calculated chaos of a manuscript clocks in at 23,000 words. Thompson would famously keep Jann Wenner waiting for articles until the absolute last second. HST described his version of the manic push to the finish line in the intro to Rolling Stone‘s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72″ (another classic):

“One afternoon about three days ago the Editorial Enforcement Detail from the Rolling Stone office showed up at my door, with no warning, and loaded about 40 pounds of supplies into the room: two cases of Mexican beer, four quarts of gin, a dozen grapefruits, and enough speed to alter the outcome of six Super Bowls. There was also a big Selectric typewriter, two reams of paper, a face-cord of oak firewood and three tape recorders – in case the situation got so desperate that I might finally have to resort to verbal composition.”

[Rolling Stone via Open Culture]

Vijay Seshadri won the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection 3 Sections yesterday and he answered a few questions about the meaning of his poems and his motivations for writing them. His short poems manage to be both tongue-in-cheek and poignant, so bear that in mind when he says poetry is “psychologically naked.” [NPR]

On the 25th anniversary of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie, Vanity Fair interviewed the author, his British and American publishers and a number of his peers including Stephen King, Ian McEwan, Gay Talese and Martin Amis about their memories of the time and the deadly edict’s effect on the literary community. Amis recounts a time that he supposedly got into an argument with Prince Charles at a dinner party (where else?). The Prince refused to publicly defend Rushdie who was a U.K. resident at the time. [Vanity Fair via The Guardian]

Don’t you love a good Shakespeare conspiracy theory? Well this morning, it’s whether Prospero, the exiled wizard in The Tempest, might actually be Shakespeare writing himself into the character. WHAT?? If you’re confused, this article will clear very little up for you. But it certainly is interesting to hear all the things we actually “know” about Shakespeare — “all the things” being only six things. One of the six is that in his will he left his wife Anne his second best bed. So he was a generous man. [Guardian]

For those celebrating Passover this week, The New Yorker has a thought little personal essay by Bernard Avishai on the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai and keeping a open heart during the holiday. [The New Yorker]

On The Books: 2013's Ten Most Challenged Books

Captain-Underpants.jpg

Every year the American Library Association publishes a list of the most challenged books in the country to keep the public informed of encroaching censorship. The ALA defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.” The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. The group estimates that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. This year’s list is topped by the The Adventures of Captain Underpants series, which also held that slot in 2012. The humorous and cartoony book about two 4th grade boys and their imaginary-turned-real superhero Captain Underpants was cited for: offensive language, unsuited for age group, and violence. Fifty Shades of Grey also made the list, as did The Hunger Games. Check out the complete list. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Orson Welles reading Walt Whitman's 'Song of Myself' will root you to your chair

Walt Whitman’s poetry flares up a lot in Americana. Breaking Bad‘s meth kingpin Walter White had an inscribed copy of Leaves of Grass (which sold at an auction for $65,500). In the show, the book was the catalyst for his undoing. Bill Clinton infamously presented Monica Lewinsky with a copy of Leaves of Grass. (Lesson: never gift Leaves of Grass. It’s the Hades pomegranate of modern times.) Apple’s recent iPad commercial makes striking (and shameless) use of Robin Williams’ speech from Dead Poets Society in which he quotes Whitman’s “Oh Me! Oh Life!” Today Open Culture featured an interesting article about this phenomenon, but the real treat is the download of Orson Welles’ BBC recording of “Song of Myself.” Welles’ resonant voice and expressive reading is absolutely riveting. He gives the poem the gravity that Whitman intended. It makes you miss old time radio readings. [Open Culture]

If you feel like gobbling up more radio after Orson Welles, head over to N+1. The associate editor Richard Beck and author Sheila Heti discuss political and literary topics like friendship, feminism and the child-care sex-abuse hysteria of the 1980s. You know, casual Thursday thoughts. [N+1]

Lotte Fields was a regular visitor to the New York Public Library until the day she died at 89-years-old. She loved to read and she donated the occasional small sum to the institution. So imagine the everyone’s surprise when it was discovered on Wednesday that she bequeathed the 119-year-old library $6 million in her will. That sounds like something written by E.L. Konigsburg. [New York Times]

The Hugo Awards periodically recognize books that were written 50-75 years prior to the current award ceremony. This year the Hugo committee asked members to pick a science fiction book written in 1938 for an honorary Retro-Hugo award. Notables include: Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis; the Doc Savage novels; and The Sword in the Stone, by T.H. White. [Guardian]

Another sweet poetry story, Afaa Michael Weaver just won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his poetry collection The Government of Nature. Chief Judge Chase Twichell said of Weaver, “His father was a sharecropper. After serving for two years in the Army, he toiled for 15 years in factories, writing poems all the while. When he learned that he’d won a National Endowment Fellowship, he quit his job and attended Brown University on a full scholarship. He essentially invented himself from whole cloth as a poet. It’s truly remarkable.” So second lesson today: it’s never too late to seize your dream job. [NPR]

Edgar Allan Poe handwritten poem sells for $300K

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An original manuscript of a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe has sold for $300,000 at an auction in Massachusetts.

The Standard Times of New Bedford, Mass., reports that the handwritten poem with Poe’s signature was purchased Saturday in Marion, about 50 miles south of Boston, by a collector who was given 10 days to verify its authenticity.

The item had been owned by a Rhode Island family since the 1920s.

The poem, The Conqueror Worm, is believed to have been written in the 1830s and is among more than 100 published by the author.

Chris Semtner, curator at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Va., says the original manuscript was thought to have been lost.

Auctioneers had expected the item to fetch no more than $20,000.

Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey talks about her first year, her reappointment, and her new partnership with 'NewsHour'

Earlier this week, the Library of Congress announced it was reappointing Natasha Trethewey as the nation’s poet laureate. That mostly means one thing: more work.

But that work — discussing poetry and, soon, traveling around the country with PBS Newshour — is the whole point. We spoke with Trethewey about her recent reappointment, her upcoming national project with PBS (expect more details by the end of the summer), and more.
READ FULL STORY

Natasha Trethewey reappointed as U.S. poet laureate

The nation’s top poet is staying put. According to the AP, Natasha Trethewey has been reappointed poet laureate, entering her second year, the Library of Congress will announce Monday.

Trethewey is coming off a busy year as the first Southern laureate since Robert Penn Warren. She released a new collection, Thrall, last August, while continuing as a professor at Emory University. (That’s on top of her 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Native Guard.) In her second term, which officially begins in September, Trethewey will reportedly collaborate with PBS on reports “about poetry and society.”
READ FULL STORY

'The Orphan Master's Son' among 2013 Pulitzer Prize winners

The recipients of the 2013 Pulitzer Prizes, the highly prestigious awards administered by Columbia University each year, were announced on Monday. Honorees for the book awards include stories that range from topical tales of North Korea-U.S. relations to the timeless subject of failed marriages.

The prize for fiction went to The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, which EW gave an “A” upon its release in early 2012 and later listed among the year’s best fiction. The novel takes place in North Korea, chronicling the life of a man named Pak Jun Do, from his childhood in a state orphanage through a series of adventures and struggles amid rising tensions between North Korea and the U.S. READ FULL STORY

And the 2012 National Book Award winners are ...

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The 2012 National Book Award winners were announced tonight during a blacktie gala at Cipriani’s in Lower Manhattan. Winning the big fiction prize was Louise Erdrich for her gut-wrenching novel The Round House, which centers on a grave injustice that rocks a Native American community. In a turn that didn’t surprise us whatsoever, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo won for her stunning work of nonfiction, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. David Ferry and William Alexander also won big in Poetry and Young People’s Literature, respectively. See below for a full list of finalists with winners in bold, and click on links for the EW reviews. READ FULL STORY

Poetry you need to read: 'Bright Brave Phenomena' by Amanda Nadelberg

Amanda Nadelberg’s poems in her new collection Bright Brave Phenomena (Coffee House Press) are jumping, funny, romantic, and frequently lyrical. She repeats words within a stanza, looping back to what you can later recognize as a theme, but which in the immediate reading is almost pure music:

Some things

will always look

like this. We had

a lovely time and

a deep chair. Ugly

speaks to Lovely

and somewhere

else people make

terrible histories.

Intolerable love. READ FULL STORY

'The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard': Redefining a 'major' and 'minor' artist

Joe Brainard (1941-1994) was a marvelous artist – a painter whose work, including his collages and drawings, revealed a shrewdly intelligent man who was able to tap into a naif’s youthful innocence, a sharpie’s wit, and a commercial creator’s uniquely sophisticated sense of design. Brainard was also a sometime-writer whose words (and some art) have been collected in a “special publication” from The Library of America as The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard. READ FULL STORY

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