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Would you like a Signed Copy of Mark Strand’s New Book?

March 26, 2011
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[Read the post for guidelines]

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Frank Bidart’s “Golden State”: Resisting the Diachronic Urge

March 25, 2011
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Narrative seems to hold a privileged position in the hierarchy of meaning-making and we have subconsciously absorbed it as an the overarching structure for comprehending reality. So: what to do with the diachronic urge? Do episodic “image narratives” offer a viable alternative?

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Poem of the Week: Wallace Stevens

March 24, 2011
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[Large Red Man Reading]

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Kevin Young’s Ardency

March 23, 2011
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It’s Kevin Young’s least personal book so far, but in many ways that allows him to approach those same emotions within the book’s historical characters from a more objective stance.

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Indie Bookstores: Busboys and Poets

March 22, 2011
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Since I moved into my current house off of Kennedy street in Northwest last summer, Busboys and Poets, located just down 14th Street in the vibrant U Street corridor, has become an increasingly frequented spot. The bookstore/bar/restaurant is a cultural bastion for the bookishly inclined across the usually stark cultural divide in Washington, and the prevalent African American themes create a unique flavor not found at Kramers or Politics and Prose.

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Terms, Truth, Sun Sparrows: A Very Important Lesson from My Father

March 21, 2011
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I tell my students that education can do the work of evil: it can make a bunch of aleatory systems with PHDs think they have a right to be superior to the Rocky Weils of this world. They can make a son misunderstand the wisdom of his own father. They stink of torture and snobbery, they are rank with the odor of exclusion and bias, and we call this “truth” or “Dogma” or “terminology.”

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Kenneth Burke: Do you Eros into Logos? (with a note on Tu Fu)

March 18, 2011
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Poets who write for self-expression write awful poetry. They don’t seek advice but affirmation.

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Poem of the Week: Ai

March 17, 2011
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[Salomé]

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Scattered Rhymes: Brandon Kreitler

March 16, 2011
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In a brand new Scattered Rhymes podcast, Ben Pease interviews Brandon Kreitler.

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The Book Bag

March 15, 2011
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The weirdest things survive. I lost my parents and some of those friends also died: Eric, who introduced me to vampire comics and Henry Miller novels, his brother Greg who netted the biggest trout I ever caught, Huey who threw a good fast ball, and liked jamming with me on the piano.

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Tom Waits’ many, many moons

March 14, 2011
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Waits has a thing for moons, and has been working on lyrical variations of this one metaphor for gong on 40 years.

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How Tu Fu Works

March 11, 2011
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We perceive a break between images and feeling. But perhaps this break is artificial. We acknowledge that images can evoke feelings, perhaps that there is an “objective correlative” that can reliably evoke feelings. But perhaps what is being suggested here is that the category break is weaker than we think. The image (object) is already interpreted: “values are the way we see things.”

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Poem of the Week: Etheridge Knight

March 10, 2011
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[Feeling Fucked Up]

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Look What God Can Do!

March 9, 2011
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No one wants to appear childlike and vulnerable to others, but everyone (everyone who seeks out new experiences, anyway) wants to feel that way–along with love, awe is the one of the emotions people seek most deeply. And for writers, whose job is to express the inexpressible, the hidden, these two aims can feel at odds.

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Voices of the Fourth Generation

March 8, 2011
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The translated poems seem more interested in criticizing Chinese society than aesthetic expression. In spite of these issues, the translators should be respected for their down-to-earth choice of the poems.

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The Simple Life

March 7, 2011
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I was concerned about not knowing. Concerned about not being known. Yet I did little to be known outside of persevering with the work. The work being whatever I was doing at the time in my virtual creative space. Mind, body. Divine intervention. Spiritual revelation. The meaning of every day was living every day as if to make it your last. Life was simple. Inevitable.

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