Best Thing I’ve Heard/Read This Week: Larissa Szporluk

Originally posted on Vouched Books:

traffic225 For final event of this season’s Poets of Ohio reading series, Larissa Szporluk visited Case Western Reserve University from Bowling Green, OH to read and discuss her poetry. Below is an excerpt from my introduction to the event, as well as a video clip of her reading one of her poems:

I first became aware of Larissa Szporluk’s poetry in 2004, when one of my graduate school professors, the late-Jake Adam York, mentioned her as someone he considered to be one of the premier, contemporary poets writing at the time. Specifically, he directed me to her third, full-length collection of poetry, The Wind, Master Cherry, The Wind (Alice James Books, 2003).

While reading the book, I was struck by the ability of Szporluk’s poems to challenge not only the manner in which we use language, but their capacity to fundamentally alter the way in which we view the…

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50 Essential Books of Poetry That Everyone Should Read

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

It’s National Poetry Month, and you’re probably thinking: “I should really read more poetry. But where oh where do I start?” Well, sound the trumpets, because here is Flavorwire to the rescue! After the jump, you’ll find a list of 50 essential books of poetry that pretty much everyone should read. There’s something for everybody here, from the deeply established canonical works to riveting, important books by newer poets, from the Romantics to the post-modernists, from the goofy to the staid. NB: as with other lists like these, only one work per author has been included, and there is a bias against the “Collected Poems of” unless necessary. Obviously, inevitably, painfully, there are many, many poets and works of poetry, both of great renown and less so, that are missing here and should still be read by everyone. This list can only reflect personal taste, chance meetings, and wild subjectivity…

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Earbud Lit: How audio makes familiar books strange

Originally posted on The Stake:

by Forest Lewis

One summer I listened to Moby Dick five times in a row. At only twenty-one and a half hours long, I could finish it over the course of about three working days. Concluding those five times through, however, I had reached my Moby Dick saturation point. I knew Moby Dick backwards and forwards and was tired of it. With supercilious fatigue I thought to myself: all right, Melville, I get it, you have nothing new to say to me, I will never listen to this book again. Then I happened to open the physical book to a random chapter and read it to myself. The performer’s voice still haunted certain turns of phrase, but as I read it I found that I was reading a new book—the words bloomed into an un-familiar sense and Moby Dick was once again strange. Why is this?mobydickcover

Frank Muller performs this…

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Best Thing I’ve Heard/Read This Week: Tyrone Williams

Originally posted on Vouched Books:

adventures-of-pi-lg Yesterday, the poet and critic Tyrone Williams traveled from Cincinnati to Cleveland in order to read and discuss his poems at Case Western Reserve University for the Poets of Ohio reading series. Below is an excerpt from my introduction, along with a video clip from the event:

In late-2002, I began actively exploring the world of contemporary poetry. As a way to discover the names of poets, presses, and different aesthetics that interested me, I started reading pretty much any literary journal I could get my hands on. After a few months of scouring the small press and magazine section at Tattered Cover in downtown Denver, I found myself gravitating toward journals such as The Canary, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, Open City, and Verse.

In one of these magazines, the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of Fence, an article by Rodeny Phillips appeared that was titled “Exotic flowers, decayed gods…

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Radwa Ashour and Mourid Barghouti on the Responsibilities of Writers

Originally posted on Arabic Literature (in English):

This is the second part of a two-part report on A in Shams University’s two-day conference in honour of Professor Radwa Ashour. Contributor Amira Abd El-Khalek was there and captured some of the most striking moments, as when Ashour and her husband, the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, talked about the responsibilities of writers. “A poet should be a poet even when she or he is asleep,” Barghouti said.

By Amira Abd El-Khalek


Photo credit: Amira Abd El-Khalek

As the conference convened for a second day, what grabbed my attention were the little things.

I was approached by a student with a big smile on her face, carrying a quaint little basket: She handed over the basket and told me to pick one. I looked and saw badges of different sizes, picturing the various covers of Radwa Ashour’s books and two of her portraits, one in sepia and the other in black and…

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Guest Blog: John Donne’s ‘A Burnt Ship’

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

In this guest blog post, Christopher Hart provides a reading of a short and interesting poem by John Donne, ‘A Burnt Ship’.

Out of a fired ship, which by no way
But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
Some men leap’d forth, and ever as they came
Near the foes’ ships, did by their shot decay;
So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned.

This poem is a bitterly ironic reminder of one of the horrors of naval warfare in the age of the sail; if a ship was set on fire, it was almost certainly going to sink. Sailors who leapt from the ship either drowned or were killed by the enemy who lit the ship on fire in the first place (‘near the foes’ ships, did by their shot decay’). All who were…

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Some very kind reviews for Together We Can Bury It…

Originally posted on Kathy Fish:

my copies of TWCBI

I’m very grateful for the kind reviews I’ve received so far for my recently re-issued flash/short story collection on Goodreads, NANOfiction, Fictionaut, and elsewhere. Here is a sampling:

“Most of what I know about flash fiction I learned from reading Kathy Fish’s work. She’s a consummate master of the short form, and I’m so glad Lit Pub ran a second printing of this collection. These are the sort of stories that deepen and intensify with each rereading. Keep them close at hand.” Ravi Mangla, author of Understudies Goodreads

“So much attention is paid to the lyricism in each of the stories that a reader can’t help but find the beauty in each scene and through each character’s perspective no matter how familiar or mundane it may at first seem. There are so many examples of this lyricism at play in the collection but the language in “Rodney and Chelsea” stood…

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