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Tag: Poetry (21-30 of 43)

Poetry you need to read: 'Alien vs. Predator': A review

If, starting with its title, Michael Robbins’ debut poetry collection Alien vs. Predator seems like a book custom-designed for the Entertainment Weekly audience – its verse studded with mostly-jovial references to Michael J. Fox, Eddie Van Halen, CSI: Miami, and a dedication to Alex Chilton – Robbins is also doing some seriously entertaining poetry work over the course of this volume; it ain’t all Boba Fett and Ghostface Killah. READ FULL STORY

Adrienne Rich, feminist poet and essayist, dies at 82

Poet Adrienne Rich, whose socially conscious verse influenced a generation of feminist, gay rights and anti-war activists, has died. She was 82.

Rich died Tuesday at her Santa Cruz home from complications from rheumatoid arthritis, said her son, Pablo Conrad. She had lived in Santa Cruz since the 1980s.

Through her writing, Rich explored topics such as women’s rights, racism, sexuality, economic justice and love between women.

Rich published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and five collections of nonfiction. She won a National Book Award for her collection of poems Diving into the Wreck in 1974. In 2004, she won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for her collection The School Among the Ruins.

She had first gained national prominence with her third poetry collection, Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law, in 1963. Citing the title poem, University of Maryland professor Rudd Fleming wrote in The Washington Post that she “proves poetically how hard it is to be a woman — a member of the second sex.” READ FULL STORY

Nobel Prize for literature does not go to Bob Dylan -- Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer wins

Despite wild rumors that Bob Dylan was the favorite to win, the Swedish Academy awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for literature to one of their own, surrealist poet Tomas Tranströmer, who has been a long-time favorite to win the $1.5 million honor. The judges praised Tranströmer’s work for its “condensed translucent images” which give readers “fresh access to reality.” Born in Stockholm in 1931, he published his first poetry collection, 17 Dikter (“17 Poems”) while still in college at the University of Stockholm. His collections, which explore his native country and other regions of the world, include Hemligheter på vägen (1958), Klangar och spår (1966), and Östersjöar (1974).

The Guardian notes that Tranströmer is the eighth European to be awarded the Nobel, the world’s most prestigious literary honor, in the past ten years.

On the Books Apr. 21: Kindle lending, remembering Tim Hetherington, Tina Fey's booksigning techniques, and more

Amazon announced yesterday that it will offer library lending capabilities for the Kindle, but is there a catch? Key details remain fuzzy, or pixilated: When will libraries roll out the program, and how long will the lending period be? Also, not all books may be available as part of the program.

Intrepid photojournalist and Restrepo co-director Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Libya yesterday, had published a book in 2009 called Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold. According to the publisher, the book “entwines documentary photography, oral testimony, and memoir to map the dynamics of power, tragedy and triumph in Liberia’s recent history. It depicts a past of rebel camps, rainforest destruction, Charles Taylor’s trial as a war criminal, and other happenings contrasted with the hope for the future.”

Funnylady Tina Fey has to keep herself entertained while on her Bossypants promotional tour, so she’s been mixing it up while signing book after book. As she mentioned on Tuesday night’s Conan, she sometimes signs entirely different names (like Ina Garten) in fans’ books and at least once has inscribed, “Help, I’m stuck in a Korean Tina Fey autograph factory!” Maybe by the time her book tour is over, she really will have those man arms.

Do you know what’s truly dead? Spouting off little soundbytes about how books and traditional publishing are dead. Check out these common 21st century nuggets on non-wisdom that really should be put to rest.

The Long Island mansion believed to have inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald in writing The Great Gatsby was demolished earlier this week, but not before writer Christine Lee Zilka snapped some final photos of the home that had been standing since 1902.

Two anthologies have been marketing classic poetry to children along gender lines. Are some poems for boys and others for girls?

Pulitzer Prizes announced for 2011: Jennifer Egan's novel 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' and Bruce Norris' play 'Clybourne Park' among winners

Goon-Squad

Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, a sprawling story that pivots from the story of an indie record label owner to a wide network of loosely connected characters, has won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Pulitzer board called the book “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.” Jonathan Dee’s The Privileges, about a Manhattan family, and Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered, about a North Korean refugee and an American GI, were the finalists. (Notably, Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed Freedom was not recognized; Franzen’s The Corrections was a Pulitzer finalist in 2002.)

Clybourne Park, a play by Bruce Norris about racially divergent families moving into (and out of) a single suburban home in 1959 and 2009, won the prize for Drama, cited as a “powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America’s sometimes toxic struggle with race and class consciousness.” Lisa D’Amour’s tragicomedy Detroit and John Guare’s historical comedy A Free Man of Color, were the finalists.

Here’s the full list of winners and finalists for the “Letters, Drama, and Music” categories:  READ FULL STORY

Charlie Sheen's book of poetry: Putting the crazy to verse

Charlie-Sheen-book-poemsImage Credit: George Rose/Getty ImagesCharlie Sheen is a wordsmith, at least that much is abundantly clear from the last few days of complete Sheen overload. Say what you will about his lifestyle, mental state, personal character, or general status as a human being, but quotes like “I am battle-tested bayonets” and “can’t is the cancer of happen” sound more like they erupted half-formed from the mind of William S. Burroughs than the former star of Two and a Half Men.* READ FULL STORY

James Franco talks poetry, 'Broken Tower,' and a whole lot of higher learning

James-FrancoImage Credit: Jon Furniss/WireImage.comJames Franco sat down with the Poetry Foundation to sound off on his latest poetry obsessions, including gay modernist poet Hart Crane, who he played in the upcoming biopic The Broken Tower (he also directed). Reading Franco’s lengthy, detailed responses, you can detect not only the caffeine that he undoubtedly needs in order to function—the man has a lot going on—but also a deep knowledge and genuine geek-fandom of his poetry heroes.

While Franco’s proves himself a discriminating poetry connoisseur, he seems equally opinionated on the finer points of the many institutions of higher learning he’s attended. Naysayers might have taken issue with his admission to Yale’s English PhD program, but the Ivy League doesn’t bow to his every wish just because he’s a movie star—Columbia wouldn’t even let him take poetry and fiction classes at the same time. But at this point, we know there’s so stopping this guy from getting educated:

James Franco: When I was at Columbia there were some great poets there, and I wanted to study with Richard Howard. I was in one of his lectures, but I wanted to take a poetry workshop with him, but they just said no [laughs]. You can cross over in the lectures and seminars, but fiction writers are not allowed to go to the poetry workshops. So I asked this guy named Ian R. Wilson, who taught me at UCLA Extension, what I should do. I had gone to UCLA when I was 18 to get my bachelor’s in English, and then I left after a year to act. I went back eight years later to finish, but before I re-enrolled, I took some classes through UCLA Extension. And I took a couple of writing classes with this guy named Ian R. Wilson.

It’s funny because the UCLA Extension writing classes have a great history—Michael Cunningham taught there, and John Rechy and Janet Fitch—so I took some classes there, and this guy Ian R. Wilson was my teacher. He wrote both fiction and poetry, and so when Columbia told me that I couldn’t take the poetry classes, I was pissed off. So I asked him, “Where should I go? I want a place so I can study poetry seriously.” Even though I am at Yale now, sure there are some classes on contemporary poetry, but not in the way that it’s studied at Warren Wilson.

At Yale, you study the Romantics, you study Whitman, but not contemporary poetry. Ian said, “For my money, Warren Wilson is the best poetry program in the country as far as the faculty goes and the way the program is run and the attention you get. You should go there.” And so I applied and they let me in.

Yeah. And he hasn’t even named all the schools he’s attended or taught at. It’s all very admirable, but is there a word for an addiction to education—maybe pedantiphilia?

Megan Fox's poetic new tattoo: Does anyone know the source?

megan-foxImage Credit: Splash NewsCelebrity tattoos can be meaningful (Angelina Jolie’s veritable UNESCO of cultural runes), amusing (Johnny Depp’s palimpsestic “Wino Forever”), and unfortunate (everything Steve-O has ever done to himself), but rarely are they truly mysterious. Now, of all people, Megan Fox is stirring up literary debate over who is the source of her latest inking.

With all the words written on her body, it makes you wonder whether she might be suffering from some Memento-style amnesia, but this newest text is probably a little too cryptic to be of any practical use. Her right side now reads “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” The Guardian is asking its readers whether anyone knows who is responsible for these words. An online search returns the mysterious “Angela Monet,” a poet apparently known, by some bizarre Google-triggered closed loop, solely for coining that phrase. Other sites attribute a present-tense version to comedian George Carlin, while some Guardian readers suggest it belongs to Friedrich Nietzsche. Personally, my guess is that it came from Michael Bay and was his original tagline for Transformers 2. What do you think?

Wimbledon gets an official poet, might this start a new trend?

wimbledonImage Credit: Julian Finney/AFP/Getty ImagesAny sport in which “love means nothing” has got a bit of poetry to it to begin with, and now Wimbledon has made it official. The British tennis championship has appointed British wordsmith Matt Harvey as its official poet, and as such he will be composing a poem a day for the entirety of the two-week proceedings.

He’s already written his first contribution, entitled “The Grandest of Slams.” It starts “Excuse me. I’m sorry. I speak as an/ Englishman./For the game of lawn tennis there’s no better symbol than Wimbledon.” Harvey is the first person to hold this newly minted position. (No, Walt Whitman did not write Leaves of Grass about the Wimbledon courts.) I think this is a great precedent to set, and I wouldn’t mind seeing official poets for other athletic events, as well. I could see a number of sports working well: Football (“In New Orleans did the NFL/A stately Superdome decree”), hockey (“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackhawk”), and even golf (“Tiger, Tiger burning bright.”) What do you think? Do poetry and athletics go together? Is this a good way to smarten up sports, a good way to dumb down literature, or both?

Bill Murray reads poetry to construction workers: 'What's the name of this gal? Oh yeah, Emily Dickinson... '

Sometimes it’s best just to let the words (and images) wash over you, as Bill Murray seems to know.

And who knew he was a Lorine Niedecker fan?

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