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Indie Bookstores: Kramerbooks

April 4, 2011
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I indulge fantasies of ownership, lament the limited capacity of my wallet and shelf space to accommodate all the books I want. But I gird myself and leave with nothing, happy to have looked, touched, but saved myself again.

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Poem of the Week: Carolyn Kizer

March 31, 2011
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[The Great Blue Heron]

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On Mimesis

March 30, 2011
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Aristotle meant that poetry was mimetic of all of things, independent of another poet’s unique perspective. It is not necessary that poets imitate other poets, but that they imitate life.

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Sentimentality vs. Feeling

March 29, 2011
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True feeling has the force of grace; sentimentality has the stench of morals. The word “should” and “must” cling to its fat cherubic legs. Half comprised of self regard, and the other half a mixture of cliche, the sentimental is close to the feigned regard of the funeral director: appropriate, and grave, but with one eye on the itemized bill.

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Alfred Corn’s play Lowell’s Bedlam

March 29, 2011

[April 7, London]

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The Wonderful Burden of Living: A Review of Milan Djordjevic’s Oranges and Snow

March 28, 2011
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Djordjevic’s history of survival through political unrest and cruel accident made an impression on me before I read his work. But I had to learn to stand in each poem as if I were on an island.

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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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