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Art

The photographic character of photographs

March 2, 2011
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A question I’ve been toying with: can one photograph in such a way as to make that invisible visible? In such a way as to make the photography part of the photograph? To show the texture of the thing, and not erase it?

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In praise of crazy sculptures

February 23, 2011
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If all art does is make us stroke our chins and say in somber tones, “very interesting,” then art isn’t worth it to me.

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Anne Carson’s “Just Hearsay” with Illustrations by Bianca Stone

February 16, 2011
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The poem “Just Hearsay” by Anne Carson, illustrated by Bianca Stone.

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Painting Larry Fagin (Plus a Fagin Poem!)

January 18, 2011
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Simone Kearney paints the poet Larry Fagin. Also read a poem by Fagin.

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Small Anchor Press: The Dory Reader

January 3, 2011
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If Martha Stewart had a child who went rogue, moved to New York City, and started writing poetry and making books, that child may have turned out to produce something as crafty-bohemian as Small Anchor Press does.

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Aesthete and Propagandist: An Interview with Gene Tanta

December 10, 2010
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It’s getting later than it’s ever been and the sonnet is nearly over: do you know where your closure is?

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To carve a face

November 7, 2010
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Cut triangles with the tip of your knife for eyes, pairs of triangles on each side of each eye. Connect them with thin, arching lines, cutting a curl of wood away, leaving a circle remaining, a mound, a pupil, inside. Practice until you have a whole boards of eyes.

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Andrei Tarkovsky and the Visionary Experience

October 31, 2010
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Andrei Tarkovsky made an important film called Andrei Rublev, about a doubting monk, Russia’s greatest iconographer. The film feels very much like Bergman, from whom much of Tarkovsky’s style emerged. Like Bergman’s Seventh Seal, Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev is a slow-paced journey with monks, holy idiots, existential discourse, and symbolic animals.

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Hamlet and his (Public) Problems

May 28, 2010
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Hamlet self-consciously reveals his inner thoughts to an audience he does/n’t know is there. Perhaps this soliloquy is a proto-modern lyric?

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Poem Thing

April 26, 2010
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Incantations: Michael S. Harper, A Love Supreme

April 13, 2010
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NOTE: In lieu of Grossman today, I’m posting a short essay I wrote on Michael S. Harper’s poem “Dear John, Dear Coltrane” for one of my classes back at Hunter’s MFA program. Listen to the following as you read: A Love Supreme It is almost impossible to read Michael S. Harper and not feel as though […]

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Dorothea Lasky’s POETRY IS NOT A PROJECT or Cutting More Lines in the Cosmic Divide

April 13, 2010
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Dorothea Lasky’s POETRY IS NOT A PROJECT made huge waves when debuted at this years AWP.

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Closing a Poem (Blogging through Grossman, Part 6)

April 6, 2010
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How do you know when you’re “done” a poem? I’m not speaking about revision, but rather, the act of writing, particularly lyrical free verse. Donna Masini once described it to me (or a class I was in—can’t remember which), as a settling in the body: a literal sense in the poet’s body that there is […]

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Looking at Ballad Form, and the Nature of Voice

March 31, 2010
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We are in traditional ballad country the second Auden writes “As I Walked Out One Evening” (see “The Streets of Laredo”). He is not mocking the structure or form of the ballad (except perhaps the way a lover would tease his beloved); he is reveling in the cliche. He trusts his own ability to have fun with cliché (something Ashbery also trusts).

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Reciting your own poems from memory is for supernerds, or the worst project of my life

March 30, 2010
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Concerning all the recent discussions about memory, recitation, etc, I thought I would try it in my own way. I should disclose that I never recite my own poems from memory at readings. I think it is corny, weird, it makes me uncomfortable, and frankly, to spend that much time memorizing your own work is kind of sick.

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Do Movie Critics Matter?

March 25, 2010
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Journalistic standards have changed so drastically that, when I took the podium at the film circle’s dinner and quoted Pauline Kael’s 1974 alarm, “Criticism is all that stands between the public and advertising,” the gala’s audience responded with an audible hush—not applause.

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