The best in poetry (and poetic things), this week with Matthew Kreider.
Do you struggle with the limitations of paper. How do you capture life’s most important themes on such a thin space? But what if someone bends the paper, makes a few snips, and creates a third dimension? Here’s a lovely view of the innocence of childhood popping off the page through the magic of paper.
Have you ever dealt a recumbentibus with a bold jettatura? You’re probably wondering what that might look like. Well, to avoid coming across as an ultracrepidarian, I need you to check out, for yourself, these Unusual Words Rendered in Bold Graphics. One caveat: the experience might leave you a bit gorgonized.
Did you know that Tweetspeak had its start as one of the founding pioneers of Twitter poetry parties? Though our reach now stretches well beyond 140 characters, we’ve continued to remain in our original office space. But after L.L. and our senior editor began sparring over square footage (i.e., who gets the private yoga room), we decided it’s time to look at some new properties. Our editors thumbed their noses at a new location just a few weeks ago. And then Twitter went and snatched it up, opening their new headquarters in Market Square. Did you see those amazing pictures? Sigh.
Don’t you dare miss this next one! Watch MC Lars bust out “Flow Like Poe”. You’ll be “going hard on that tetrameter”. And if you want some more of that, help MC “kickstart” his “Edgar Allan Poe EP”.
Once, as a boy, I went inside one of those GNC stores with my mom. I’ll never forget it. Surrounded by walls of vitamins and dietary supplements, I suddenly barfed all over the floor. While the flu was probably to blame, I still grew up smelling vomit in the air whenever I passed by one of those stores. But does one odious encounter tarnish the whole chain? Well, in publishing, some editors battling electronic emetophobia refuse to go anywhere near an online poetry journal. But let’s not overreact. The online formats for poetry offer lots of benefits, too.
How would you feel if big corporations could spy on your reading habits, right down to which sentences you highlight in your personal copy of your favorite book. According to The Wall Street Journal, your reading behavior is already being monitored.
“The major new players in e-book publishing—Amazon, Apple and Google—can easily track how far readers are getting in books, how long they spend reading them and which search terms they use to find books. Book apps for tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook record how many times readers open the app and how much time they spend reading.”
Wow. And imagine if teachers could get ahold of that information …
When highly successful people share their aphorisms with me, my posture straightens up pretty quickly, almost as if I’m listening to the healing words of some kind of philosophical chiropractor. It’s time to stop slumping in a seat of failure. Rise up and listen to the Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People.
Just in the knick of time, someone dropped off Shakespeare for a digital makeover. Don’t worry: his face maintains the same strong lines, just no more dark circles under his eyes. Several hot celebrity stylists got involved to help out with this new app for Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Has “tortoise mind” made the list of endangered species in your kingdom of creativity? Maybe your iPhone has become one of its predators. Its venomous, incessant dings upon the protective shell of your thought process could be putting your creativity at risk. John Cleese shares a few lessons in creativity to help rescue your inner tortoise.
There’s a deadly disease on the loose. Elizabeth Grace Saunders reports, “Whether it’s due to a rabid perfectionism, an aversion to criticism, or just an inability to maintain enthusiasm for the long haul, we all have challenges and fears we must overcome to produce work that matters.” Saunders wants to educate the sick. Learn how to correctly diagnose and treat your fear of finishing.
How about this for a writing prompt: “Scrabble and I are like ____ and ____.” Use this Scrabble page to find plenty of unlikely writing prompts.
If you’re looking for another source of visual writing prompts, check out this blog. Though it’s geared for teachers, you can easily use the subject format to discover new creative directions. The prompts listed in the math section already have me thinking.
An old tree is heavier than any history book. Poet Will Willingham studies some of the rings of fact and mystery. He writes,
“I don’t know how to age
a tree, without cutting it open
to count the rings.”
Read “Back” and return to the trees of your childhood.
Last month Tweetspeak Poetry offered a month-long writing prompt. Our June Jazz participants wrote found poetry using new poems each week. Poet Maureen Doallas has been on a magnificent roll, rearranging words into marvelous new creations. I asked Doallas to record herself reading one of her poems. It’s absolutely stunning. Listen to her voice as she delivers “Confession”.
Despite his appearances on The Simpsons and The Colbert Report, not to mention his three terms as the nation’s poet laureate, you still might not be well-versed in Robert Pinsky’s extraordinary depth. A recent article from The Nation provides a thoughtful tour of Pinsky’s poetry. Even better, pick up his new book, Selected Poems, about which Jeremy Bass writes,
“these poems fulfill what Pinsky calls ‘our social responsibility as poets’: to carry on the music of the dead, to bear witness to what we see, and to make the unpoetic poetic for generations to come.”
Armed with a colorful and perishable art résumé, a BA in English and an MFA, Emily Bowser is ready to leave a non-perishable mark on the art world. Right now she’s hoping the Kickstarter program will help her land a coveted residency in the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Enjoy this conversation with Bowser and find out how literature, writing, and cotton candy inform her art.
You’ll be interested in a new course which surveys the Emily Dickinson family library. After all, the class is being taught by Emily Dickinson. Say what? Harvard’s ongoing project to digitize the library allows you to analyze the “pencil marks, dog-eared corners, and botanical specimens pressed between pages”. Learn from the master herself.
Perhaps you don’t feel ready to handle the Dickinson collection and want to start with something simpler? So let’s start from the beginning. Sharpen your Number 2 and test your knowledge with this Nursery Rhyme Quiz. After all, little Em must have started out with Humpty Dumpty, too.
10 Sound n Motion
I fell in love the moment I clicked over to this blog. It’s a beautiful ongoing photo collection of strangers reading books as they commute through New York’s subway system. Please, please visit this Underground New York Public Library.
Finally, “Epilogue: the future of print” is a gorgeous documentary which addresses our relationships with books in a rapidly changing culture. I promise the video will grip your heart.
Photos by Claire Burge. Used with permission. Post by Matthew Kreider
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $2.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In July we’re exploring the theme The Cento.