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poetry

Overwhelmed? Had a Busy Week? Slow Down with a Poem

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When things get overwhelming and you feel knee deep in distractions, what do you do to slow things down? Some people turn to meditation. I use poetry as my remedy. As soon as I sense a whiff of spring, I dig up the first stanza of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and recite these words to whomever will listen: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. I don’t know why I memorized this part of the poem in college, but through this exercise I realized that reading and experiencing a poem can be transformative.  It takes me away from what’s happening around me, an escape…

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It’s National Poetry Month!: 30 Unique Ways to Celebrate Poets and Their Craft

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April is National Poetry Month! Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, it has become the largest worldwide literary event. Schools, libraries, bookstores, publishers and fans of literature celebrate poets and their craft with events like Poem in Your Pocket, Poem-a-Day, and Dear Poet. If you are looking for creative ways to celebrate poetry in all its forms, here are 15 suggestions from the Academy of American Poets’ list of 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month: Sign up for Teach This Poem, a weekly series for teachers. Review these concrete examples of how poetry matters in the United States today. Learn more about poets and poetry events in your state. Ask your governor or mayor for a proclamation in support of National Poetry…

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Poet, Social Activist and Storyteller Cleo Wade Talks from the Heart

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The Cut called her The Millennial Oprah,  Fast Company named her one of the country’s 100 Most Creative People of 2017, and with featured articles and photoshoots in Elle, Time, and Entertainment Weekly, it is clear: Cleo Wade is not your average “Instagram poet.” A self-proclaimed social activist, poet, artist and storyteller, Wade isn’t just an online personality who wrote a book to cash in on her celebrity.  For her, this comes from the heart and her words of inspiration and advice are anything but run-of-the-mill; they’re art that speaks to both your mind and your soul. Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life (Atria/37 INK), Wade’s first book, is a poetry collection that reads more like you’re having a personal…

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World Poetry Day: 8 Stunning Poetry Collection Books Like ‘Milk and Honey’

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World Poetry Day comes just in time as much of the country braces for another major winter storm. It may be cold outside, but this article from on October 2017, shares some of the best st poetry collections to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you read Milk and Honey and thought you’d never get to enjoy another collection of poetry quite like it, well…in a way, that’s true. Divided into four sections—the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing—Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey chronicles her heartbreak, recovery, and self-discovery. Despite the bitterness, anger, and vulnerability crafted through the lines, Kaur speaks to the sweetness lingering between. These eight titles mirror Milk and Honey’s content or…

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Prince, John Grisham, Anna Faris, Oliver Sacks and Nikki Giovanni Reign!: New Books, Old Favs

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If there was ever a list of new releases that displayed the kind of diversity and breadth that we love about books, it would be this list. We have one of the most intimate books of the personal life of Prince (you never forget your first time hearing a Prince song), as well as the diary entries of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, following his spiral down into heroin addiction, paranoia, and efforts to draw himself back up; the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara (#BestSisterEver) have documented their time growing up in the White House, with Secret Service agents following them to college, and Oliver Sacks’ last book that he was working on before his death. If you’re looking for a…

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Poetry and Climbing the Highest Mountains in These New Podcasts

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BookTrib.com recently added Writer’s Bone to our weekly features. Daniel Ford and Sean Tuohy have been bringing us podcasts of discussions they have with writers about the craft of writing and what motivates them to tell a good story. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we do. In the first episode we have to share with you, Poet Marcus Wicker speaks with Daniel Ford about his new poetry collection, Silencer. Wicker discusses the personals of his life, such as why he pursued an MFA and how hip-hop influences his poetry. He personally shares one of his poems on the air and explains the differences between writing, reading, and speaking poetry. You may know Marcus Wicker from his other book of poetry, Maybe the…

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Author Paul Lisicky Answers One Question about ‘The Narrow Door’

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You are your own worst critic, but friends can be a close second. They know you better than most, aside from parents but even that can be up for debate. Going through a particularly rough time as a post-grad living in a new city where I know practically no one, I picked up Paul Lisicky’s The Narrow Door (Graywolf Press, January 19, 2016), a memoir about two relationships: one romantic, the other platonic. Lisicky weaves the narratives of life as a writer alongside his good friend and colleague Denise Gess and his troubled relationship with his ex-husband, poet Mark Doty. I highly recommend this fabulous book that so genuinely depicts the trials and selfish tribulations friendships evoke in us. Given…

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Book Cravings: Read the Next ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Girl on the Train’!

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I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to say this: The Trap by debut thriller author, Melanie Raabe, is the next book to follow the likes of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train. This anxious novel brings you into the dark world of Linda Conrads, a bestselling author who has locked herself inside her house (and mind) for the past 11 years. Accident or fate, Conrads catches a glimpse of the grey eyes of the man, who has both killed her sister and left her riddled with anxiety, while watching TV. This sets her down a path leading to a whirlwind of detective work, all while writing her next novel, not a romance this time but a…

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Dog Days of Summer: Books for Those Who Love Man’s Best Friend

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They are happy creatures. They are your best friend. And they always want to play — even when you don’t. If you haven’t guessed which furry four-legged creature I’m talking about then you must not be a dog person! Whether you have a companion dog, you’re a doggy foster parent or you’re simply dog-sitting for the week, we all know that at the end of the day these little pups are what get us through some of the hard times. Besides wet kisses and muddy feet, man’s best friend also comes along with some health benefits. After all, having a pet has been known to be emotionally and physically beneficial for ourselves. So here’s the thing: take a trip down to your local adoption…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Samantha Jayne and Quarter Life Poetry

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The creator of the popular Quarter Life Poetry Tumblr and Instagram tackles real-life truths of work, money, sex, and many other 20-something challenges in this laugh-out-loud collection of poetry. Samantha Jayne knows that life post-college isn’t as glamorous as all undergrads think it’s going to be… because she’s currently living it. At 25, Samantha began creating doodles and funny poems about her #struggle to share with friends on Instagram. To her surprise, these poems were picked up by 20-somethings all around the world who agreed, “This is literally us.” At a time when it seems like everyone else is getting married, snagging a dream job, and paying off their student loans, Samantha’s poetry captures the voice of young people everywhere…

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Celebrating William Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary with His Sassiest One-Liners

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William Shakespeare is known for many things: his beautiful language, his iambic pentameter, his poetry about people he definitely wasn’t married to, but one thing people have only recently begun to celebrate about him is his straight-up feistiness. While some of his contemporaries were secret spies, erotica pioneers and jealous haters, Shakespeare is the most widely recognizable writer on the planet arguably for his sly language and wit. Shakespeare could write some pretty sick burns when he wanted to, and was at least 8,000 times sassier than pretty much everyone else in the entire world. If he were alive today, he’d probably be really good at impromptu rap battles, in addition to being perplexed by emojis and female actors. April 23, 2016…

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World Poetry Day: 7 Collections We Can’t Wait to Get Our Hands on This Spring

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When people think “poetry,” different images spring to mind, either of the stuffy old poets you read in high school, or of cigarette-smoking mustaches in black turtlenecks speaking dramatically about politics in front of a brick wall with a spotlight. However, since it is World Poetry Day, which was instituted in 1999 by the United Nations to promote reading and creativity around the world, we think it’s a good idea to take a look at some contemporary masters who are changing the game with creative subject matter, language and ideas that are modern and inspiring. So get ready to do some spring cleaning for your brain with our new poetry reading list! play dead, francine j. harris (Alice James Books, April 12, 2016)…

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TED Talks: Harry Baker’s Love Poetry for Lonely Prime Numbers

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Words become fluid, flying objects when a spoken-word artist gets a hold of them. Internationally popular slam poet Harry Baker’s playful use of surprising metaphors create whimsical images that inspire and provoke thought. This week’s featured TED video is a talk from Baker, an award winning spoken-word poet and 2012 World Slam Champion. In this video he performs three poems for the TEDxExeter 2014 audience and discusses slam poetry and how he accidentally discovered it. His wonderful pun-laden poetry is perfect for a little Tuesday inspiration. Recommended Reading The Sunshine Kid, Harry Baker (Burning Eye Books, 2014) Harry’s first collection of poetry features some of the poems read on stage at TEDxExeter. It’s an honest, cheeky, and fun collection of…

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Dwelling in possibilities for Poetry Month

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April is National Poetry Month, and who better to kick it off than one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson? In her own quiet way Dickinson was a poetic rebel, ignoring the conventional and stiff rhyming structure of her time. Although her talent was noted while she lived, the few poems that were actually printed were heavily edited. After her sister, Lavinia, convinced publishers to produce her first volume of poetry in 1890, even her supporters were surprised at its enormous popularity. Her poems in their original form weren’t published until 1955. Since then, time has worked in Miss Dickinson’s favor and today she’s considered a literary giant. To kick off Poetry Month and inspire all of us, here is…

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From stage to screen to poetry with Israel Horovitz

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Adapting a piece from the theater to the silver screen isn’t so unusual. Making the move when you’re 75 isn’t quite so typical. Award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz certainly knows the material: he’s making his directorial debut with the dramedy My Old Lady, an adaptation of one of his own plays. The film, starring Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas and Maggie Smith, tells the story of a thrice-divorced, washed up playwright Mathias (Kline) who travels to Paris to claim the one remaining connection to—and asset of—his estranged father: an apartment in the Marais. The only small hitch in the plan is that there’s already a tenant, namely Mathilde (played by the indomitable Maggie Smith). Most of us would think twice before…

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The secret language of twins: Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman talk poetry

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Matthew and Michael Dickman share more than just DNA. The identical twins are also award-winning poets who call Portland, Oregon home. Matthew is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review, 2008) and Mayakovsky’s Revolver: Poems (Norton, 2012). Michael’s work includes The End of the West (Copper Canyon, 2009) and Flies (Copper Canyon, 2011); the brothers collaborated on the 2012 collection 50 American Plays, a book of poem-plays about all 50 states. In honor of National Poetry Month, BookTrib had the pleasure of speaking with Matthew and Michael about poetry, siblings, and all things art. What poem has resonated the most for you over the years? Would your answer have been different five, ten years ago? Matthew: One of the…

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