The best in poetry (and poetic things), this week with Seth Haines.
At Tweetspeak, we celebrate folks who use words well. Typically, that looks like poetry or prose, but from time to time we celebrate more creative uses of words. “What other words,” you ask? Consider artist Jamie Poole. Poole has taken a creative approach to words, using snippets of the poetry and love letters written by his fiancé to create life-like portraits of the couple. The portraits are stunning, unbelievable, really. If you’re a fan of mixed-media art, take a gander at Poole’s artwork at Huffington Post Books.
“Make your poetry matter.” That was the advice given to the students in my wife’s MFA classes in poetry. This pearl of wisdom has always resonated with me, and is perhaps the reason why I love poets who use their craft as a way to bring change. This week, just such a poet was awarded the International Women of Courage Award. Tsering Woeser, whose poetry, prose, and blog speak to improving human rights conditions for China’s Tibetan citizens, was awarded the honor in abstentia. Woeser, who was denied a visa by the Chinese government, was unable to attend the ceremony, where she was praised for being a “clarion voice of the people, even as the Chinese Government has worked to curtail the flow of information from Tibet.”
Every writer dreams of seeing their work published. But in this digital age, this age of easy publication, questions have emerged. Is traditional publishing right for you? Should you self publish? Is it worth the commission to hire an agent, or worth sharing profits with a publishing house? What are the pros and cons of each? These are the questions Claire De Boer attempts to answer in her piece, “On Self-Publishing.” Whether you are a tried-and-true traditionally published author, or whether you’re seeking to self publish your first work, De Boer’s piece is great starting point.
And if you decide to self-publish, you might find yourself asking questions like, “how many copies does it take to be an Amazon bestseller?” An ambitious inquiry, indeed. Let Publisher’s Weekly break down the numbers for you.
4 Poetry at Work
“Is there a doctor in the house?”
Doctors, you are members of an elite fraternity entrusted with maintaining our physical well-being. You who treat illness, diagnose disease, prevent death, not to mention dealing with the hassles of billing and insurance–you have one difficult job. With all of these responsibilities, it might be easy to forget to “nourish [your] humanity,” to connect with creative material that helps bring context and clarity to your every day practice.
Dr. Lesley Morrison is keenly aware of this tension. That’s why Dr. Manson has engaged in an effort to create a pocket-sized anthology for young doctors. And The Scottish Poetry Library believed that Dr. Manson’s idea was so grand, it is helping to promote the vision. Want to know how you can help nourish a doctor’s sense of humanity? You can find more information at the Scottish Poetry Library.
Collaboration can be a tricky prospect, especially for musicians. After all, there are days when fellow collaborators can’t seem to get on the same page, can’t seem to find the groove. Irish songwriter and The Waterboys frontman, Mike Scott, has found a solution–collaborate with a first-rate, time-tested and deceased poet. The benefits are numerous–you get high-quality lyrical content without any of the diva divides prone to musical collaborators.
The result of Scott’s collaboration is the The Waterboys new album, An Appointment With Mr. Yeats, in which the poems of William Butler Yeats are turned into pop tunes. The results? Fantastic. Consider this adaptation, “Mad as the Mist and Snow.”
Combining social media and poetry, that’s our expertise here at Tweetspeak. And when we catch wind of another organization combining the forum and the art, we like to keep you abreast of it. Next month, Tell Me More will be celebrating National Poetry Month with its 3rd annual Muses and Metaphor series, where NPR fans can exchange poems via Twitter. Want to join in the fun? Visit NPR for more information, and start preparing your 140 character poems. This should be fun.
This week’s theme at Tweetspeak is “pantoum.” Last week, Every Day Poems delivered a variation of a pantoum from poet David Wright directly to my inbox. In “And a Woman Goes to Find a Couch,” Wright muses, in part:
And despairs at the impossible choice
and sits on every sofa in the suburbs
and lies down in a store to rest
and falls asleep one afternoon
and dreams of every sofa in the suburbs
and sees Jesus in a blue recliner from heaven
and wakes from sleep one afternoon
and is haunted by the whole vision
Read the rest of “And a Woman Goes to Find a Couch”
Do you receive Every Day Poems in your inbox? It’s only $5.99 for an entire year. Money well spent if you ask me. Sign up today.
I’ve always been fascinated with people, and not just their biographies and photographs, either. I’m fascinated with the way they walk, their mannerisms, the way they move. So you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this article at The Atlantic in which rare footage is captured of authors such as J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain, Anne Frank, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend far too much time watching your favorite authors come to life, beginning with this rare interview with Cormac McCarthy.
We’re still feeling our way through this world of digital property rights, aren’t we? It should come as no surprise, then, that of all the digital wars being waged, the most hotly contested are those relating to internet real estate. And the most recent battles are shaping up to be interesting, indeed.
It’s being reported that Amazon is engaged in efforts to control the domain names .book, .author, and .read. The domains are to be released later this year by “ICANN,” the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The move by Amazon, which would certainly bolster the cache of the internet retailer, is not being well-received by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, among others. Calling the action “anticompetitive,” the Authors Guild President Scott Turrow stated, “[t]he potential for abuse seems limitless.”
Whether you’re a author, publisher, legal scholar, or internet activist, this is one debate you’ll want to keep a close eye on.
10 Sound n Motion
“Poetry is the essence of language, and language is the mirror of the soul.” These words were spoken by Canadian businessman Scott Griffin in this Ted talk. Enjoy.