The best in poetry (and poetic things), this week with Seth Haines.
I’m a fan of a good hat. Always have been. I have my Red Sox hat for days I’m feeling that East Coast vibe, my Oregon Ducks hat for the days when the melancholy rains fall, a Notre Dame hat for the days I’d like to identify with my Irish heritage, and an Arkansas Razorbacks hat for state-pride’s sake. And though my collection is not “art” per se, it turns out I’m in good literary company.
Did you know that Dr. Seuss had an epic hat collection, that he would often pull out various toppers and create impromptu plays at his dinner parties? To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ love of lids, his widow has decided to display his collection in a traveling exhibit. Is it coming to a town near you? Check out this article at The Huffington Post and find out more.
In this world of ever-changing technology, we read a great deal about genetic modification, DNA sequencing, and processes by which the double helix is manipulated. Yes, it is a brave new world. In fact, it’s a world in which a copy of Aldous Huxley’s classic, A Brave New World, can actually be stored in DNA particles!
That’s right, scientists at Cambridge have determined that it’s possible to code and store memorable media on fragments of DNA. So far, the entire collection of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, an audio file of Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I have a dream” speech, and seminal works on genetic manipulation have been encoded and stored on bits of genes. Sound incredible? It did to me too until I read this piece at the Guardian. Better than fiction, this is a dystopian enthusiast’s dream come true!
Happy Valentine’s Day, all! This week, as I was researching poetic places, this particular quote from a quick Google search caught my attention: “in San Antonio, there’s no shortage of amorous activities.”
“Dare I click?” I asked myself.
I did, and I must admit, San Antonio knows how to celebrate love! Do you live in the home of the Alamo? Check out the activities there this week, including a celebration of Aphrodite at the San Antonio Museum of Art, mass weddings at the Baxter County Courthouse, and night of Texas two-stepping. If you visit any of the festivities, send us a few pics via Twitter. We’ll retweet them to the world (or at least our followers)!
4 Poetry at Work
A lawyer by day, I’ve been known to take a break from the billable hour every now and then to relieve a bit of stress. Not a smoke break, mind you. Instead, I’ll grab a pen and Post-It© and jot a few lines of poetry. You know, stuff like “roses are red, violets are blue, object to my evidence and get overruled.” It’s powerful stuff.
Over the course of my career I’ve known several legal-eagles with a penchant for poetry. This week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured just such a gent. Retired District Judge Franklin Knoll left the bench last year and began writing poetry as a way to process “some of the human pain” he witnessed over the course of his 18-year judicial career. Hate crimes, truancy, beauty, it’s all fair game for this just poet. And his work? It’s wonderful. Enjoy this piece at the Star Tribune.
I’m a sucker for mixed-media art. When I was in college, a friend of mine and I created a performance piece—I played the music, he painted a large format work. He went on to do grand things.
I became the butt of lawyer jokes.
Bitterness aside, this piece of mixed-media art is quite intriguing. Baltimore’s Full Circle Dance Company has created Moving Passages: Dances Inspired by Writing. The performance features spoken word, including poetry from local authors, and challenges the company’s dancers to “find a rhythm in talking that is analogous to the beats in music.” You can read more about this creative and novel performance at the City Paper.
Ever dance in the Purple Rain? Are you a fan of Violet Beauregard? Then this month’s poetry prompts at Tweetspeak are for you. In February, we’re writing poetry around the themes purple, plum, and indigo, and we’re asking you to join us.
How, you ask?
Listen to our monthly playlist for a bit of inspiration. Read our weekly poetry prompts for thematic prompts. Then, go to town! Share your purple poetry with us, your indigo verse. And if you write our choice offering of the month, we’ll feature your poem in an upcoming Top Ten!
So, what are you waiting for? Get to writing!
Do you subscribe to Every Day Poems? You really should. Every day, you’ll receive gems like this one from our very own L.L. Barkat:
I should tell you
about my hands, small
The other night,
when my youngest daughter
said, as I tucked her into bed,
Tell me something. Tell me anything,
I turned off the light and whispered this:
when I cut the beets tonight,
the red water went all into
the lines on my hands—
so many lines.
Regulars of Tweetspeak’s Top Ten may remember that we recently highlighted the work of Richard Blanco, this year’s inaugural poet. This week, Blanco discussed the process of writing the inaugural poem and the experience of delivering during President Barack Obama’s second term inauguration. This is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like to be the inaugural poet.
Blanco also recently sat for an interview with PBS Newshour and read his poem inspired by the Miss America pageant. This is good stuff.
This week, on my morning commute, I heard an interview with Rosie Schaap, author of the recently released Drinking With Men. Schapp, the “drinks” columnist for the New York Times, detailed how, at only 15, she made her way as an amateur tarot card reader on a commuter-train bar car. It was a fascinating interview, and detailed Schaap’s affinity for the bar “community.”
The interview with Schaap made me want to read Drinking with Men. And if the Morning Edition interview was not enough, this book review at the Boston Globe would have tipped the scales. Looking for a book about community, humanity, and beverages? I think this might be the book for you.
10 Sound n Motion
Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re leaving you with this little ditty by Kat Edmonson. Remember, if you need a bit of an amorous kick-start to tonight’s festivities, champagne does it every time.