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Everything

My First Day at Dodge

October 9, 2010
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The church doesn’t look like much from outside, but when you enter it, Oh my God! And not one, but two grand pianos in perfect tune! The one I played was a 150 year old Steinway—with an amazingly delicate upper range, perfect bel canto bass, and not much volume. It was an intimate Steinway, made specifically for just such a classy church.

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Poetry Fix, Episodes 13 & 14: Mary Oliver and Keats

October 8, 2010
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Episodes 13 and 14 of Poetry Fix. Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss John Keats’ poem “This Living Hand” and Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese.”

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What’s Your Style Book of Choice?

October 8, 2010
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I followed Strunk religiously until I read Geoffrey Pullum’s extensive bitchfest in the Chronicle of Higher Education about Strunk & White, and in recent years I have reconsidered my devotion.

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The Inward Soul: Dickinson and St. Theresa of Avila

October 5, 2010
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There is an inwardness so vast, so total, that it has a true integrity—not the pretentiousness of artistic temper, not the vanity of professional mysticism, not the neurosis of social anxiety disorder, but a forthrightness, an honorable, hourly withdrawal from the world that seems, for lack of a better word—ecstatic.

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Poetry Fix, Episode 12: Baseball Haiku

October 2, 2010
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Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss baseball haiku.

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Using the Tools of Postmodernism

October 2, 2010
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Part of the 20th century revolution in poetry was an interest in parody, pastiche, send ups, cut ups, a constant recapitulation of tired tropes in such a way as to reinvigorate them. If we look at poetry aesthetics as tools rather than as truths, then everything becomes available to us—all the thousands of years of utterance.

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LOLcatspeak, pt. 2? The Internet of Babel

October 1, 2010
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I tend to believe that we don’t realize that technology is (always already?) an assumption about the world (as one philosopher called it “an account of the good”), not only a tool. Ironically, this writer is lamenting the disappearance of languages via the internet, which has become battering ram of English domination. The more I read and learn, the more I think that questions of technology and how man relates to nature are primary questions (not economics, race, sexuality, etc.—in many ways, the controversies over these can be directly traced to questions of technology).

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The Story of English and LOLcats

October 1, 2010
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Now for a spin on the story of English from the internet age…LOLcats. In particular, the LOLcat Bible Translation Project. Many linguists depend upon the work of Bible translators deployed around the world in remote (to us, at least) regions of the world. I happen to know a man who worked as a Bible translator and created the only existing dictionary in the world for his regional dialect. Concerns about dictionaries (and their purpose) aside, the LOLcats Translation begs a question: is LOLcats a true pidgin English? It has a history, it has its own grammar and rules, and now it has its own Bible.

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Poetry Fix Episode 11: Terrence Hayes

September 30, 2010
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Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss Terrence Hayes’s poem “Talk.”

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The Cartographer Electric is Dead

September 30, 2010
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This was a true community magazine, and it fed on the energy of the readings and was inspired into existence the other poets we knew and were excited to read. It was a great experience, and I think that everyone should start a small community rag like this. It doesn’t have to be big or ambitious…just something that you share between you, your friends, and their friends. I don’t spend lots of time reading the latest issue of Ploughshares, but I was always interested in reading local indie rags like the one we were putting out.

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Towards a Different Kind of Workshop

September 30, 2010
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I am not the expert teacher here, but the experienced learner, the one who has a love for poetry and gets excited by weird things like grammatical ambiguity, or how the poet used the weather to suggest a mood.

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Poetry Fix Episode 10: William Matthews

September 27, 2010
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Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss Williiam Matthews’s poem “Cheap Seats”

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Rules for Readers

September 27, 2010
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Never, never say: three more poems, or six more poems, or any number. Someone in the audience is thinking, ” Oh my God, six more? This is torture.” Just read and when you have come to your last poem, say thank you.

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Poetry Fix Episode 9: Seamus Heaney

July 23, 2010
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Poetry Fix Episode 9: Seamus Heaney

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In the Kingdom of Unmatched Shoes

July 19, 2010
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I met him once. Laura runs a reading series out of a Barnes and Noble in New Jersey. I could not believe love could get a true second generation New York poet who had been widely anthologized and published by Wesleyen to come out to a Barnes and Noble in Jersey, but love has some strange powers. There he was, like a rare European bird blown off his migration route by a fierce ocean storm and perching on the neighbor’s satellite dish.

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Poetry Fix Episode 8: Nicanor Parra

July 19, 2010
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Poetry Fix Episode 8: Nicanor Parra

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