Tag: poetry

Five Fringe Poets Not to Miss in 2019

If you’re wondering what poetry to read, look no further. Here’s a shortlist of five niche offerings for this year, released and forthcoming. Light enough to throw in your bag and rich enough to spend hours on, this is the best of small and breakout poets.

 

 

The Twenty-Ninth Year – Hala Alyan

The Twenty-Ninth Year
Image via Amazon

Alyan’s book explores her life as it is now, while also wandering through the earlier years of her life with a tone of distant, soft-focus nostalgia. Spanning nations and years, this spare, lyrical, and highly personal, Twenty-Ninth Year uses highly individual stories to capture some element of the human experience and growing older.

“It takes a romantic to leave a city; I understand this now.” Hala Alyan, The Twenty-Ninth Year

 

If My Body Could Speak – Blythe Baird

If My Body Could Speak
Image via Amazon

Baird’s poetry is characterized by sparsity and organization, and covers girlhood, culture, and identity. It’s an exploration of the things we overlook, the things we make of ourselves, compassion, and how we forgive others and ourselves. It’s a record of healing, from the one side of suffering to the end of the tunnel.

“You do not owe your progress to anyone.” Blythe Baird, If My Body Could Speak

 

In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive – Clementine von Radics

In a Dream You Saw A Way To Survive
Image via Amazon

Von Radics writes with patience and with astounding feeling. Compassion, heartbreak, and survival are measured out and deployed with the most precise diction. This is the hard work after you’ve gotten through the heart of something unbearable, but triumphant. It’s not about the moment, but about all the moments after, when you’re stronger but still reaching for the light.

“No one else can decide what your tough looks like.” Clementine von Radics, In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive

 

 

Life of the Party – Olivia Gatwood

Life of the party
Image via Amazon

This book is forthcoming August 20th, but you can expect Gatwood’s passion and her reverence for the mundane. She writes about youth and about looking back, about the things we overlook, about the ugly things we do that aren’t really so bad. This is a book about fear, but Gatwood never lets fear get of the best of her.

“I want to know what it means to survive something.” Olivia Gatwood, Life of the Party

 

Swallowtail – Brenna Twohy

Swallowtail
Image via Amazon

This book is forthcoming October 1st, and you definitely have to pick it up. Twohy’s poetry is modern and funny and tragic and electric. It dissects the strangeness of life, of loss, of becoming someone else. It takes not just the ordinary but the boring and makes it into something worth thinking about, something that tells you more about yourself. Her topics may not initially seem like the basis for poems, but she always finds the through line of universal feeling.

“You’ve just never seen the close-up of a haunting.” Brenna Twohy, Swallowtail

 

 

Featured image via iStock

Sarah Yerkes Makes Her Literary Debut at the Age of 101

It’s never too late to start writing. Sure, there always seems to be a lot of pressure on younger authors to go out into the world and make a name for themselves, but Sarah Yerkes is living proof that there is no rush. She started writing when she was in her nineties, and now at the age of 101 she has just published her first book of poems through Passager Books titled Praise for Days of Blue and Flame.

 

Image via passager books

 

The collection reads like a message to future generations who will have to deal with both environmental issues and lasting traumas that previous generations have left behind. As someone who saw America evolve from the pre-nuclear age to the digital revolution, Yerkes’s message is not one to ignore. She’s a living embodiment of our history, and she wants to encourage her readers to consider the implications that the past has on the present.

 

image via the washington post

 

“I really feel like the good fairies were standing over my cradle, giving me the oomph to create,” Yerkes told The Washington Post. “I was just writing for me. I didn’t think of it being in the public domain or that anyone would be interested.”

 

 

The publisher, Passager Books, is solely dedicated to publishing authors who are over the age of fifty, and are keen on giving older writers like Yerkes the opportunity to share their work. As younger writers look towards their own futures, they can take solace in authors like Sarah Yerkes who will continue to write for as long as possible.

 

 

Featured Image Via: The Washington Post

NYC Celebrates Walt Whitman’s Bicentenary

It was the two-hundred year anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth this past May, and The Morgan Library & Museum and  The New York Public Library are celebrating with separate exhibitions regarding one of America’s most beloved poets.

The New York Public Library’s exhibition titled: Walt Whitman: America’s Poet, examines many of the individuals, beliefs, and experiences that shaped Whitman’s work while also noting his literary legacy and continuing cultural impact. The exhibition will be up from March 29, 2019 – August 30, 2019.

Image result for walt whitman letters

image via biblioklept

The Morgan Library & Museum’s exhibition, Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy, includes several of Whitman’s notebooks, as well as his portraitist’s copy of Leaves of Grass from 1855 and the famous letter written to Whitman by Ralph Waldo Emerson commending that book. There will also be a series of lectures and gallery talks that you can find here.

Whitman, born in 1819, spent most of his life as a journalist and wrote numerous articles during the civil war while visiting the wounded at New York City–area hospitals. His magnum-opus, Leaves of Grass, was published in 1855, and although it was seen as highly controversial, the collection of poems went on to become one of the most important pieces of literature in American history due to its sincere self-expression and revolutionary free-verse style.

If you find yourself in NYC these coming months, come honor this poet’s legacy at these exhibitions and sing your body electric!

 

Featured Image Via: JSTOR Daily

New York City Celebrates Walt Whitman’s Bicentenary

It was the two-hundred year anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth this past May, and The Morgan Library & Museum and  The New York Public Library are celebrating with separate exhibitions regarding one of America’s most beloved poets.

The New York Public Library’s exhibition titled: Walt Whitman: America’s Poet, examines many of the individuals, beliefs, and experiences that shaped Whitman’s work while also noting his literary legacy and continuing cultural impact. The exhibition will be up from March 29, 2019 – August 30, 2019.

Image result for walt whitman letters

image via biblioklept

The Morgan Library & Museum’s exhibition, Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy, includes several of Whitman’s notebooks, as well as his portraitist’s copy of Leaves of Grass from 1855 and the famous letter written to Whitman by Ralph Waldo Emerson commending that book. There will also be a series of lectures and gallery talks that you can find here.

Whitman, born in 1819, spent most of his life as a journalist and wrote numerous articles during the civil war while visiting the wounded at New York City–area hospitals. His magnum-opus, Leaves of Grass, was published in 1855, and although it was seen as highly controversial, the collection of poems went on to become one of the most important pieces of literature in American history due to its sincere self-expression and revolutionary free-verse style.

If you find yourself in NYC these coming months, come honor this poet’s legacy at these exhibitions and sing your body electric!

 

Featured Image Via: JSTOR Daily

T.S. Eliot Would Have Approved of ‘Cats’ Film, Estate Says

The trailer for the upcoming musical adaptation Cats debuted last week, and the responses ranged from “curious” to “horrified”. The CGI-versions of the main cast as anthropomorphic cats was widely criticized on social media, but not from the estate of the author whose poems inspired the musical.

 

Image Via Heart Radio

 

Speaking to The Guardian, Clare Reihill, who administers the Elliot estate, said that the late author would have been pleased with how disturbing the characters look within the film.

 

“I think Eliot might have enjoyed the rich strangeness of the blurring of the boundary between human and cat in the trailer, which is in keeping with the elusiveness of the world of the poems – or indeed the nocturnal surrealism of something like Rhapsody on Windy Night [the basis of the song Memory]. He was also a great fan of Jacques Tati’s movies, with their surreal urban ballets.”

 

 

The musical is based on a series of poems compiled into a book titled Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Reihill commented that the world in the poems is as strange as the one in the trailer:

 

“The cats in the poems inhabit a world that is slightly unfixed: sometimes the cats seem to exist in a normal human world, sometimes they seem to inhabit an all-feline one – it’s never quite clarified.”

 

Image Via Amazon

 

Cats will hit theaters this Christmas.

 

 

Featured Image Via IndieWire