Long before the printing press, before parchment and papyrus, poetry was a strictly oral form. Many of the features we associate with verse—rhyme, meter, repetition, and extended similes—originated as mnemonic devices for poets and their audiences in times when bards composed extemporaneously from predetermined formulas.[...]
“Skid row is where people are mutilated and almost dead, they’re creeping, crawling, uncared-for creatures.” - Charles Bukowksi
The future does not seem like much of a commodity in Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña’s 1990 documentary, The Best Hotel on Skid Row. The Madison Hotel, with its $8.
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“Argh, you’re all amateurs in a professional universe!” roared Allen Ginsberg to a young class of aspiring poets in 1977 at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Their offense? Most of the students had failed to register for meditation instruction.
Dylan Thomas’s drinking was legendary. Stories of the debauched and disheveled Welsh poet’s epic drinking binges have had a tendency to drown out serious discussion of his poetry.
It’s a legend that Thomas helped promote, as this pencil sketch he made of himself attests.
In the final months of his short life, Bruce Lee wrote a personal essay, “In My Own Process” where he said, “Basically, I have always been a martial artist by choice and actor by profession. But, above all, I am hoping to actualize myself to be an artist of life along the way.[...]
Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and you haven’t gotten Mom a present yet. No worries, head over to poetryfoundation.org, where you can find a selection of Mother’s Day poems – or search for your own. You can even follow the directions here to join the Record-a-Poem group on Soundcloud and then share your poem with Mom.[...]
Much of what we once used the telephone for, we now use the internet for. Conversely, some tasks to which the internet now seems perfectly suited were once performed, imperfectly, through the phone. Take the case of hearing poetry read aloud.[...]
“Having others’ poems in our minds and hearts means we’re never really alone.”
—Karen Kovacik, Indiana State Poet Laureate
Youssef Biaz, reciting here, was 16 years old when he was named Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Biaz won a $20,000 award and $500 worth of poetry books for his high school in Auburn, Alabama.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
These three terse lines—with their offhandedly morbid bravado—may be the most remembered from Sylvia Plath’s body of work. The stanza pops out of the center of Plath’s “Lady Lazarus,” a poem Helen Vendler once called “a tantrum of style.
In 2001 or 2002, guitarist and singer David Gilmour of Pink Floyd recorded a musical interpretation of William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18″ at his home studio aboard the historic, 90-foot houseboat the Astoria.[...]