Arts & Society

What I Learned in School This Year

by Brian Chappell Academia
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Grad school: Don’t go. That is, don’t go–unless you must.

Joe Weil’s Album: I Hate Life

by THEthe Poetry Blog Editors Music
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[Recording: Joe Weil]

Franco File

by Brian Chappell Film and TV
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If James Franco’s first name had been Ben, it would take very little to convince me that he is, in fact, the 24-hour multimedia reincarnation of the original King of Enterprise and Toil, Benjamin Franklin.

Sondheim, The Demon Lyricist of Broadway

by Alfred Corn Music
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Sondheim isn’t a man to cloud the expression of his judgments with considerations like politeness or collegial complicity. Were his rivals still alive, they might want to take out a contract on him.

Translation, Film, and the ESL Student

by Micah Towery Film and TV
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A new language is a bully. Learning a new language is not really learning a new way to communicate, but a new way to think.

Memorial Day

by Lonely Christopher Poetry and Poetics
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White’s poems are mired in a period, but not stiffly so: they breathe, they surf along the pulse of memory and desire.

To carve a face

by Daniel Silliman Art
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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.

Empathy, Cultural Dialogue, and Dead White Men

by Brian Chappell Arts & Society
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“Bloody hell, no! I want to study dead white men!”

Election Day Interregnum

by Daniel Silliman Fiction
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Nixon went down to the beach and sat in the sand and waited. The waves came in, the waves went out, and he sat there in his suit and waited.

Jazz, Workshop, Fake books, & Misremembering

by Joe Weil Music
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By the shores of gitchee goomy, / Stood the noble Hiawatha / quoting from the other shore: / Only this and nothing more.

Andrei Tarkovsky and the Visionary Experience

by Stewart K. Lundy Art
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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.

On Gene Tanta’s “Critical Introduction to Unusual Woods.”

by Brooks Lampe Academia
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Even though both the form and content of Gene Tanta’s work are particular to his Romanian-immigrant experience, he insists that his poetry is accessible to everyone. His poetry, he says, exists both as aesthetic objects and political propaganda. This is absolutely true about all poetry, not just his own. Inevitably, literary criticism will come to see that literature is always both.

Joe Weil’s Must Have Books (Towards a Different Kind of Workshop, Part II)

by Joe Weil Academia
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Some days in a writing workshop should be like rainy days with a coloring book.

Is Democracy Incompatible with the Humanities?

by Micah Towery Academia
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Humanities programs aren’t being attacked because the voters are cretinous philistines (though we poets & writers prefer to stroke our own egos in thinking so). The humanities are suffering an identity crisis and are being picked off as the weakest competitors for state funding.

More Construction Notes

by THEthe Poetry Blog Editors Technology

Just a few things to notice about the site redesign.

Outing and Demonizing

by Joe Weil Sexuality

I don’t believe in “blessings” in disguise. I don’t believe that all that doesn’t kill me, strengthens me. I believe I was murdered emotionally. I believed that an already severe sadness was aggravated by being taunted relentlessly. This kid who was outed without his permission, who was exposed for the “entertainment” value of the reality TV culture is not merely an instance of gay bashing. He is a test of our failure not to torture. He is a victim of our pro-exposure, lack of empathy, sociopathic contempt for privacy or kindness. I keep his picture on my desk. I look at him every day.

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