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Trans Women's Lit

Trans women writers Jeanne Thornton, Imogen Binnie, Red Durkin and Casey Plett read from their recent works for Talks at Google. [more inside]
posted by emmtee on Jul 6, 2014 - 11 comments

Sometimes it's lovely to be read a bedtime story, even as an adult.

A wonderful, generous and free selection of authors, collections and books online at Lit2Go for awake times or drowsy ones. The Count of Monte Cristo from the Adventure collection | or perhaps a Just So Story from the Fantasy collection | Beowolf from the Here Be Dragons! collection | Aladdin from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors or The Heart of Happy Hollow from the African American collection. Also practical for children. Previously. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 5, 2013 - 9 comments

Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

The Inscrutable Brilliance of Anne Carson

Famous writer Anne Carson on ice bats: "I made up ice bats, there is no such thing." (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 14, 2013 - 34 comments

"The new creativity is pointing, not making."

Proudly Fraudulent: [The Awl] An Interview With MoMA's First Poet Laureate, Kenneth Goldsmith. [Previously] [Previously]
posted by Fizz on Mar 9, 2013 - 19 comments

"I watched the entire street turn hot and black with smoke and then, after a few minutes, stared up at the hole in the roof and saw thousands of small gray ashes—pieces of paper, books, newspapers—floating down from the sky."

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is a project initiated by San Francisco bookseller and poet Beau Beausoleil that began as a response to the 2007 bombing [previously on MeFi] of the Baghdad bookselling center Al-Mutanabbi Street. After the attack the authorities made an effort to revive the area but recently the government has begun to make life difficult for the booksellers and intends to turn the street into an animal market. The Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here project consists of book art created by 260 artists and authors from all over the world, but also includes essays, exhibitions and readings, some of which have been put online as videos. You can see a lot of artists' books online at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts and the Centre for Fine Print Research (1, 2, 3). The history of the project was told in a recent essay in World Literature Today by Persis M. Karim.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2012 - 5 comments

"I often read dozens of books simultaneously."

My 6,128 Favorite Books - "Joe Queenan on how a harmless juvenile pastime turned into a lifelong personality disorder."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 26, 2012 - 150 comments

Books, book bindings, and the death of the book

Ever since something was invented to replace it, people have been predicting the end of the book: The Death Of The Book Through The Ages [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 15, 2012 - 60 comments

Book Spine Poetry

Book Spine Poetry is poetry made from the words on the spines of books.
posted by roaring beast on May 4, 2012 - 6 comments

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government

How well do you really know old Arty? It all began with the Welsh: The The Annales Cabriae (inside) and parts of the Welsh oral tradition (later collected into the Mabinogion) give a very different picture of the popular King Arthur than contemporary readers are familiar with: no Lancelot, three or four different Guens, no love triangles or Holy Grails. A look at the vast scope of the Arthurian legend. [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe on Dec 19, 2011 - 30 comments

Astronauts who got creative about their experiences

Over 500 people have traveled into outer space. While many have written books about the experience, only a few have used more creative means to express what they saw and felt. Here are a few: [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 9, 2011 - 13 comments

Public Access Poetry

In 1977-1978, a public access TV show called Public Access Poetry featured leading poets from across the country (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Eileen Myles, John Yau, Brad Gooch, just to name a few). [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Sep 23, 2011 - 5 comments

Bad Politics, Worse Prose

Famous dictators and the books/poetry they write. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 20, 2011 - 21 comments

New books about digital culture released online under Creative Commons

digitalculturebooks is an imprint of University of Michigan Press which releases scholarly books under a creative commons license. They've got 19 books published already and more on the way. Among those on offer are poet and English professor Kevin Stein's Poetry's Afterlife: Verse in the Digital Age, anthropologist Bonnie A. Nardi's My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft, English professor Buzz Alexander's Is William Martinez Not Our Brother?: Twenty Years of the Prison Creative Arts Project and English professor Elizabeth Carolyn Miller's Framed: The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siècle. If you don't want to read a whole book they also have essay collections, such as Civic Engagement in the Wake of Katrina and Best Technology Writing 2008, which includes pieces by, among others, Cass Sunstein, Robin Meija and Walter Kirn. [previously, Rock Paper Shotgun scribe Jim Rossignol's This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 18, 2010 - 6 comments

Figment

Figment.com is a new, free community and platform for young people to share their fiction writing, "connect with other readers and discover new stories and authors. Users are invited to write novels, short stories and poems, collaborate with other writers and give and receive feedback on the work posted on the site." (Via)
posted by zarq on Dec 5, 2010 - 19 comments

Thought Audio

Thought Audio is a small, simple and likable free library of classic literature and philosophy MP3 audio downloads.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 27, 2010 - 21 comments

Artists' Books Online

Artists' Books Online is a collection by the University of Virginia of artists' books. Artists' books are works of art that take the form of books and are often both text and visual art. Either way, they're awful interesting to look at. Here are some artbooks to get you started: How to Humiliate Your Peeping Tom by Susan Baker, The Word Made Flesh by Johanna Drucker, Life in a Book by Francois Deschamps, A.A.A.R.P. by Clifton Kirkpatrick Meador, opuntia is just another name for a prickly pear by Todd Walker and Black Dog White Bark by Erica Van Horn
posted by Kattullus on Dec 28, 2008 - 7 comments

Autobiography of Read

Happy Birthday, Anne Carson! The iconoclastic modern poet who published the arresting, compulsively readable Autobiography of Red turned 57 this weekend. [more inside]
posted by zoomorphic on Jun 23, 2008 - 9 comments

Literature Isn't Dead, It Just Smells Funny

Those big, wonderful book blogs like Paper Cuts, Guardian Books, and Poetry Foundation haven't totally satisfied your book blog bloodlust? [more inside]
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches on Apr 16, 2008 - 14 comments

Post-War Brit Lit

The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. A few interesting choices here... the 'novelist's poet' at #1 seems fair enough, but this one, this one and this one?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 7, 2008 - 107 comments

New online archive of contemporary British poetry

"Welcome to the Archive of the Now. The Archive of the Now is an online and print repository of recordings, printed texts and manuscripts, focussing on innovative contemporary poetry being written or performed in Britain. It is part of the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing, at Brunel University in west London, UK. At present, the Archive consists of readings by 65 UK-based poets. This number will continue to grow, and includes newly commissioned, recently acquired and historical recordings."
posted by jayder on Oct 22, 2006 - 5 comments

Charles Simic on Elizabeth Bishop's Uncollected Poems

Without surprise
The world might change to something quite different,
As the air changes or the lightning comes without our blinking,
Change as the kisses are changing without our thinking.
Charles Simic on Elizabeth Bishop's uncollected poems
posted by matteo on Apr 14, 2006 - 17 comments

John Banville's homage to Philip Larkin

He complained to [Kingsley] Amis in 1943...that "all women are stupid beings" and remarked in 1983 that he'd recently accompanied Monica [Jones] to a hospital "staffed ENTIRELY by wogs, cheerful and incompetent." ...His views on politics and class seemed to be pithily captured in a ditty he shared again with Amis. "I want to see them starving,/The so-called working class,/Their wages yearly halving,/Their women stewing grass..." For recreation he apparently found time for pornography, preferably with a hint of sado-masochism".
John Banville on Philip Larkin.
posted by matteo on Feb 6, 2006 - 30 comments

Singing, Painting and the Holocaust: Interview with Leon Greenman

you'll then have a grave in the clouds where you won't lie too cramped
"No, no, I never met Paul Celan. This poem is too CLASSIC, too cold, and too difficult to follow. It does nothing to me".
Singing, Painting and the Holocaust: Interview with Leon Greenman, Auschwitz Survivor 98288
posted by matteo on Aug 29, 2005 - 9 comments

A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright

“To speak in a flat voice / Is all that I can do. / . . . I speak of flat defeat / In a flat voice.”
James Wright's letters chronicle many of the major innovations in American poetry in the middle of the twentieth century. They also provide a compelling personal narrative of his life. Here, the American Poetry Review publishes a selection taken from the new volume "A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright". More inside.
posted by matteo on Aug 16, 2005 - 8 comments

"He suggests living is language".

The Language of Saxophones At 55, L.A. musician and poet Kamau Daáood is finally beginning to acknowledge the possibility of his own place in local letters with his debut book of poetry, The Language of Saxophones, a 30-plus-year retrospective published by City Lights. Though he’s recorded a solo CD and read nationally and internationally, Daáood had never seen fit to collect his material in a book. Until now. “I never liked the idea of poetry sitting on a shelf somewhere, lost in all those book spines”.
posted by matteo on Apr 17, 2005 - 2 comments

The Shahs of Old

The Epic of Kings. Dr Charles Melville, a lecturer of the University of Cambridge is compiling a list of all the world’s handwritten and illustrated versions of the Shahnameh, the masterpiece of Iranian poet Ferdowsi. “In the first step, I began to search libraries and museums in Iran, Turkey, the United States, India, and a number of European countries. After finding the sources, I traveled to the countries to study the versions that I had found in my search”. Ferdowsi's epic poem (English translation here) has 62 Stories, 990 Chapters, and contains 60,000 rhyming couplets -- making it more than seven times the length of Homer's Iliad.
posted by matteo on Apr 11, 2005 - 6 comments

"Mother Medea in a green smock"

Poems from the precipice. Sylvia Plath's late poems were published posthumously in a collection edited by her husband, Ted Hughes. As a new facsimile edition of the original manuscript is published, their daughter Frieda defends Hughes against criticism that he interfered with Plath's legacy. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Nov 16, 2004 - 25 comments

Dino & Sibilla

With our shipwrecked hearts. Ninety years ago Dino Campana, impoverished and outcast poet self-published his book Canti Orfici (.pdf file) ("Orphic Songs", mastefully translated into English by poet Charles Wright). The birth of the book wasn't marred only by Campana's mental illness (soon afterwards, he was committed to a mental institution). Initially, the "Orphic Songs" were submitted for possible publication to the poet/painter Ardengo Soffici, who promptly lost the manuscript. Campana spent the next six months reconstructing the book from memory. Finally in 1914, with the help of a local printer of religious tracts, he self-published a first edition of around 500, selling only 44. Campana attempted, with marginal success, to sell the remainder of his portion of the run (the printer had taken half the books as partial printing payment) himself at cafes in Florence. He is now remembered as one of Italy's greatest, most imaginative poets (with biographies ,award-winning movies about his troubled life and his dangerous, scandalous love affair with fellow writer Sibilla Aleramo. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 14, 2004 - 11 comments

Bukowski: Born Into This

"Whadyawant, motherf*ck?" These are the first words Charles Bukowski speaks in John Dullaghan's documentary about the poet and novelist, famous for his writing and infamous for his drinking and brawling and screwing. The audience member might respond, "To hear your story, Hank, that's what I want." The movie opens with friends (Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, Bono) and colleagues and lovers and fans recounting the myth; theirs are stories of blades pulled on the maitre d' of the swanky Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, of dangling dicks revealed in public, of a drunk who'd just as soon crack his bottle over your head than share its contents. (more inside)
posted by matteo on May 28, 2004 - 26 comments

Ginsberg's Celestial Homework

Ginsberg's Celestial Homework is the reading list Ginsberg handed out on the first day at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics as "suggestions for a quick check-out & taste of ancient scriveners whose works were reflected in Beat literary style..." Founded in 1974, Ginsberg taught at the school until his death in 1997.
posted by Satapher on May 21, 2004 - 16 comments

She collects Ruscha, you know.

Britney Says... Pop Superstar Discusses Her High-Brow Faves
Britney writes about her exposure to high art and literature. The gallery is meant to help her grow as an artist, and expose her to new audiences. She doesn't want to perform for teenagers all her life, she's getting older after all. Features pictures of Britney reciting lyrics and poems. She wants to be taken seriously as a PERSON.
posted by rschram on Mar 19, 2004 - 18 comments

Janet Frame dies at 79

Janet Frame, New Zealand writer, is dead at 79. More information about her life, here, and obituary notice here. Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Fiction last year, I had hoped she might yet win. RIP.
posted by jokeefe on Jan 29, 2004 - 5 comments

What's American About American Poetry?

What's American about American poetry?
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2003 - 69 comments

Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff VanderMeer is not only a great author of weird sf, and a creator of the mysterious city of Ambergris, but has an alternative official site where he makes merciless fun of himself and the whole idea of author web pages. The site includes bad poetry, a secret subsite of the "webdesigner" Garry and a strange alien baby project, just for starters.....
posted by inkeri on Jan 30, 2003 - 3 comments

Af-Am poet disses Maya Angelou's new book, gets disinvited to book signing

Af-Am poet disses Maya Angelou's new book, gets disinvited to book signing In this calm and thoughtful piece, smart, sharp poet Wanda Coleman reflects on the "furor" she caused in the Af-Am community with a savage review of Angelou's latest work. After the review appeared, she was asked not to attend a signing at a famous black bookstore for an anthology she participated in (story confirmed halfway down this page). She notes, "Critically reviewing the creative efforts of present-day African-American writers...is a minefield of a task." Also: Coleman on American poetry, Coleman recalls a mid-70's interview with Marley and Tosh and ponders black hair, Wanda's all-time top 10 books. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Aug 19, 2002 - 26 comments

So this year's Best American Poetry book is out, which means it's time once again for me to feel (English-major) guilt about not enjoying, or even "getting," more contemporary poetry. It looks like I'm not the only one, though, who wonders, "Does anybody like these poems?" Poet Joan Houlihan likens this collection to a "suburban poetry mall." (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by arco on Oct 5, 2001 - 51 comments

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