May 3, 2010 • 2:15 pm 0
Bill Murray reading poetry to construction workers finishing up the building of the new Poets House in Battery Park City, New York.
Poets House – About Us: Poets House is a national poetry library and literary center that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Our poetry resources and literary events document the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, and stimulate public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture.
Founded in 1985 by poet Stanley Kunitz and arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, Poets House has created a home for all who read and write poetry. From 1990 to 2007 that home was located in an intimate loft at 72 Spring Street in Soho. As rent increases began to make Soho an impractical location, Poets House was fortunate to be designated by the Battery Park City Authority as a rent-free tenant in a new building on the banks of the Hudson River. In the summer of 2009, Poets House moved to its permanent home at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City and opened to the public on September 25, 2009.
One of the poems that Murray reads of which I am particularly fond (thanks to another marvelous poet, Denise Lawson) is this, by Lorine Niedecker:
Learn a trade
to sit at desk
The poem is itself a wonderful example of the process of “this condensery” and of the tradecraft of poetry that is its subject. (Note that this is not a faithful reproduction of the poem; the lines should be indented in a particular way which adds to their force and effect.)
You can read more by and about Niedecker here:
- Lorine Niedecker : The Poetry Foundation : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.
- Lorine Niedecker – site maintained by the Friends of Lorine Neidecker
- Lorine Niedecker – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- EPC | Lorine Niedecker | selected poems.
(Thanks to Roger Ebert (ebertchicago) on Twitter for bringing the video to my attention.)
May 2, 2010 • 5:08 am 0
Dutch troops boarding a ship hijacked by Somali pirates. And here’s the original…
(thanks to William Gibson for a tweet turning me on to this.)
- Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare on Amazon.com
- Deadly Waters: Inside the Hidden World of Somalia’s Pirates by Jay Bahadur – on Powells.com
- Pirate State: Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at Sea by Peter Eichstaedt – on Powells.com
April 29, 2010 • 9:22 am 0
It’s a shelf. And boxes.
I love books – the physical objects – as well as texts – the intellectual content. I love the feel of them, of a brand new hardback – stiff pages with still sharp ragged edges. The smell of them – even the slightly musty smell from an old paperback I’ve picked up at an op shop or garage sale. I love the look of them. I’ve been known to rearrange the books on my shelves, not by subject or in alphabetical order, but simply to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing balance of spines, of heights and colours.
And I have a special fondness for Penguins and Pelicans – nostalgic, almost erotic or fetishistic, springing not just from my love of books, but also from a particular relationship to intellectualism, the life of the mind, and the sense (part marketing fantasy, part high culture snobbery, part real) of those imprints as particularly worthy… All of which is to say, I want that shelf unit.
April 24, 2010 • 8:34 am 0
I hope this gets exported to the USA…
A certain US soft drinks giant may disagree, but Bolivia has come up with a fizzy beverage it says is the real thing: Coca Colla.
The drink, made from the coca leaf and named after the indigenous Colla people from Bolivia’s highlands, went on sale this week across the South American country.
It is black, sweet and comes in a bottle with a red label – but similarities to Coca-Cola end there. One is a symbol of US-led globalisation and corporate might; the other could be considered a socialist-tinged affront to western imperialism.
April 14, 2010 • 2:00 am 0
Ritual Coffee – “bold, nutty, and sweet.” And that’s the staff. The coffee’s good too. The quality of Web2.0 work declined noticeable when they removed power outlets from the Valencia St. café, but, hey, at least now you can get a seat in there sometimes.