Tag: Poetry and Poets

In ‘The Letters of Thom Gunn,’ an Unusual Mix of Pleasures

The joys of a long-held house are acknowledged. Gunn stares at the lemon tree in his yard, fully grown and bearing fruit, and recalls that a friend first grew the seed 25 years earlier, in a pot on the kitchen table of an old apartment. Other enthusiasms are entertained. Gunn loved movies, all kinds. “Drugstore […]

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The $10 Million Bob Dylan Center Opens Up His Songwriting Secrets

TULSA, Okla. — Visitors to the new Bob Dylan Center here will soon get, at the tap of a finger, what generations of the most avid Dylanologists have only dreamed of: a step-by-step, word-by-word map of how Dylan wrote a song. In a room filled with artifacts like Dylan’s leather jacket from the 1965 Newport […]

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There Are Many Russian Cultures. Be Careful What You Cancel.

Today, the poet Shamshad Abdullaev, an ethnic Uzbek from the city of Fergana in Uzbekistan, writes experimental poetry in Russian, rising out of Central Asian landscapes, but inspired by European avant-garde traditions, like this passage from his poem, “End of the Week: A Walk With a Friend”: So we came out on the pockmarked square […]

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Searching for the Notorious Celebrity Book Stylist

YIGIT TURHAN, THE Milan-based director of branding and entertainment relations at Valentino, was in Los Angeles last year when he first heard about the infamous book stylist. Rumor had it that celebrities and fashion influencers were paying someone to select reading material for them to carry in public. (Whether they read it was another thing, […]

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Why Jesus’ Resurrection on Easter Really Happened, and Why It Matters

Yet, believing that Jesus is risen is different than believing that Napoleon invaded Russia or that Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Though Christians say today that “Christ is risen” as a point of historic fact, we are saying something more as well. We say this to herald God’s power in the world and in our […]

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Review: ‘The Trayvon Generation,’ by Elizabeth Alexander

Alexander doesn’t dwell on the details of Trayvon’s death or the founding of B.L.M., letting their rough sketches call to the reader’s mind a slew of other associated images: Trayvon’s hoodie, a fraught skirmish line in Ferguson, Mo., a multitude lying on a bridge in Portland, Ore. The title chapter, which constitutes Part II, first […]

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A Tiny Brontë Book, Lost for a Century, Resurfaces

The miniature books created by Charlotte Brontë and her siblings as children have long been objects of fascination for fans and deep-pocketed collectors. Initially created to entertain their toy soldiers, the tiny volumes reflected the rich imaginary world they created in the isolation of the family home on the moors of northern England, which fed […]

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17 New Nonfiction Books to Read This Season

Odenkirk’s memoir might have also been titled “Obscurity Obscurity Obscurity Fame.” He was a cult favorite of comedy fans in the late 1990s for his work on the sketch-comedy series “Mr. Show,” but his supporting role in “Breaking Bad” and his starring turn in the show’s prequel, “Better Call Saul,” made him a household name. […]

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Where Have All the Artist-Addicts Gone?

THE QUESTION OF whether artists are more prone to abuse, or whether we’ve historically just liked to think they are, reverberated throughout the 20th century. The drinking and drug habits of various writers became a subject of morbid curiosity for their public, who continue to collect anecdotal evidence of addiction as if it were the […]

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For a Ukrainian Poet, Putin’s War Is All Too Familiar

LVIV, Ukraine — At 83, no longer a young poet, Ihor Kalynets knows something of life under Russia’s thumb. Having spent nine years in the Soviet Gulag, including hard labor cutting stone, he secretly wrote on cigarette papers what are regarded as some of his best verses. They were crumpled into tiny balls and smuggled […]

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While Ukrainian Writers Read Poems, Russian Military Threatened Kyiv

“And when they bombed other people’s houses,” the poem goes. Who remembers the blitz of Grozny, Chechnya’s capital city, now? American politicians shouted for a bit. Then they forgot. It is lucrative to forget. The oil companies like doing business with Putin. “In the street of money in the city of money in the country […]

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‘Ulysses’ Mirrors America’s Incomprehensible Politics

The epic is often compared to “Seinfeld,” because not all that much happens. It certainly doesn’t have the action of “The Odyssey,” upon which it is patterned. But it does boast, as Merve Emre wrote in The New Yorker, “a cultural literacy presented as godlike in its extent.” Colm Toibin, the renowned Irish writer who […]

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Poem: She Ties My Bow Tie

I find love poems hard to write (and to read) because they can so easily teeter on the edge of sentimentality. I much prefer the conflagration of a good breakup poem. But this poem by Gabrielle Calvocoressi charms me because of its delicate intimacy. The second person “you” in the first line and throughout the […]

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Don’t, Like, Overanalyze Language

For example, articles such as this decade-old one in The Journal of Positive Psychology make a point similar to the National Academy of Sciences paper, using the Ngram Viewer to show that rates of word usage suggest a decline among Anglophones in using words describing virtue or morality. Neither study, however, takes sufficient notice that […]

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Amanda Gorman: Why I Almost Didn’t Read My Poem at the Inauguration

It’s told like this: Amanda Gorman performed at the inauguration and the rest is history. The truth is I almost declined to be the inaugural poet. Why? I was terrified. I was scared of failing my people, my poetry. But I was also terrified on a physical level. Covid was still raging, and my age […]

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