Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. — Mary Oliver The beloved American poet, Mary Oliver, died Thursday of lymphoma at her home in Hobe Sound, Florida. She was 83. From NPR: Oliver got a lot of her ideas for poems during long walks — a habit she developed as a kid growing up in rural Ohio. It was not a happy childhood: She said she was sexually abused […]
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass, His Dark Materials) spends some time at The Guardian this weekend, asking why we believe in magic. The result is beautiful. The universe of magic is a large place. It contains phenomena ranging from simple good luck charms to complicated systems of belief and practice such as astrology and alchemy, and it comes to us from prehistory, and from every part of the world, and it still flourishes today. The […]
Some “medicine for the soul” comes to us via Huffington Post in the form of a collection of “12 Awe-Inspiring Poets To Read In Your Lifetime.” Poets have a way of evoking life’s most complex philosophies in just a few short lines. And falling upon the right ears, those lines can change lives. The 12 poets below are seekers, mystics, naturalists and more. In their words, we hope you find beauty and meaning. Included are […]
Acclaimed poet and literary critic J.D. “Sandy” McClatchy died Tuesday night at home in Manhattan after a long battle with cancer. He was 72. McClatchy was the author of eight volumes of poetry, including Hazmat, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent collection, Plundered Hearts, was published in 2014. He was the author of several collections of essays, and the editor or co-editor of dozens of volumes, including works by James […]
Lucie Brock-Broido the award-winning author of four acclaimed volumes of poetry including A Hunger (1988) and Stay, Illusion (2013) died on Tuesday at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was 61. Brock-Broido was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, The Witter-Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. Her most recent volume, Stay, Illusion, was nominated for the […]
What would happen if you reimagined all of your favorite pop songs as sonnets? If you’re thinking about that now, just stop: it’s already been done. We’re late to the party: Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs (Quirk Books) was a 2015 book by Erik Didriksen, It’s also a popular Tumblr site, same author. The exploration of both are certainly fun, even if it’s not high art. There are worse places to start.
When The Best American Poetry 2015 (Scribner), edited by Sherman Alexie, was published earlier this week, it included a poem from “Yi-Fen Chou.” It turns out that Chou is the pen name of a very-not-Asian writer called Michael Derrick Hudson. From The New York Times: Mr. Hudson, as he explains in his biographical note in the volume, doesn’t write different poems in the voice of a persona he calls Yi-Fen Chou (as Pessoa might); rather, […]