“Taking Chances” by Sharon Van Etten

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+-*SVE contacted me a few months back to see if I’d like to come up with some ideas for “Taking Chances,” her first single off the new record. When I first heard the song the lyrics immediately made me think about the opening sequence to the great Agnes Varda film “Cleo from 5 to 7,” one of my favorites. I usually mull over ideas for days or weeks before coming up with anything decent to share with an artist, but this one just came out immediately. I sent a sketch of the idea onto Sharon and Zeke Hutchins, her manager, then I didn’t hear back from them for over a week, at which point I thought, well, damn, they must hate the idea, I blew it! But soon Zeke contacted me and asked if Sharon had sent me the album artwork. I said, no, I haven’t even heard anything else off the album yet, let alone seen anything from it. Sharon then texted me pretty much the same question, “Did Zeke send you the album before you wrote this?” Nope. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Finally they sent me a photograph that’s a big component of the […]

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“Addiction to an Old Mattress” by Rosemary Tonks

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+-*”Rosemary Tonks’ imagery has a daring for which it’s hard to find a parallel in British poetry” – John Hartley Williams

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Top Five Vampires Having Inappropriate Relationships with Underaged Girls

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+-*Why are vampires always going after jail bait? I mean, not just people younger than them, since any person likely is younger than an immortal vampire, but rather, the actually underaged. Here are the top five.

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“Bric-a-Brac” by Dorothy Parker

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+-*Happy National Poetry Month, everyone. Every month is poetry month here at E-Verse, just so you know.

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“Homeland” by Mercury Radio Theater, from the Static Sessions

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+-*Mercury Radio Theater, Punk Rock Exotica from Philly!

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“The Murderer” by Kate Northrop

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+-*Kate Northrop is the author of Back Through Interruption, Things Are Disappearing Here (a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice), and Clean. She teaches at the University of Wyoming.

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“The Dead House” by J. T. Barbarese

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+-*J.T. Barbarese has published five books of poems, his most recent, Sweet Spot (Northwestern University Press, 2012). His poems and translations have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Boulevard, Poetry, The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement, and his literary journalism in Tri-Quarterly, boundary 2, The Sewanee Review, Studies in English Literature, and The Journal of Modern Literature. Since 2008 he has been the editor of StoryQuarterly.

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Top Five Toys that Just Look, You Know, Wrong

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+-*Who knows what these toy designers were thinking.

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Top Five Nazis in Space

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+-*Did you know that Nazis in space is a thing? I just learned this, and then quickly realized I’ve already experienced a lot of Nazis in space stories. Maybe you have too. The premise is somewhat plausible, actually. Wernher von Braun, the German rocket scientist who worked on the Nazis’ rocket development program and was largely responsible for the design and realization of the V-2 (“Vengeance 2″) missile during World War II, later worked with NASA as chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the superbooster that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. In Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon depicts von Braun imagining trips to the moon and the peaceful use of rocket technology even as the Third Reich crumbles all around his secret underground slave base at Nordhausen (the base is real, not science fiction). So, it seems as though the Nazis may well have had aims to colonize the moon (though Hitler was preoccupied with “hollow earth” theories and wanted to drill into the earth’s crust to expose an alternate interior planet). Here are five of the most popular Nazis-in-space novels, games, and movies.

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“The School Custodian on the Birds and the Bees” by Kevin Cutrer

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+-*Kevin Cutrer, born and raised in southeast Louisiana, lives in Boston. His work has appeared in The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Cimarron Review, The Raintown Review, Kin, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. He has been a featured reader at Carmine Street Metrics in New York and Mr. Hip Presents in Boston. His first collection is actively in search of a publisher.

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Ring in the Spring with E-Verse Equinox, Featuring Frank Sherlock, Elizabeth Scanlon, and Rick Mullin

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+-*Featuring Frank Sherlock, author of Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated, Rick Mullin, author of Sonnets from the Voyage of the Beagle, and Elizabeth Scanlon, author of Odd Regard, hosted by Ernest Hilbert.

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Top Five Newspaper Movies

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+-*As newspapers continue their precipitous decline in readership, it’s time to remember all the great newspaper movies of yesteryear.

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“Day in the Park” by Ernest Hilbert in the Best of the Asheville Poetry Review, 1994-2014 (with Audio!)

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+-*So nice to appear in such fine company, Borges and Boland, Niedecker and Oppen, Neruda and Patricia Smith, Gary Snyder and Alicia E Stallings, Billy Collins and Maryann Corbett, Michael Harper and Claudia Emerson, Jack Spicer and Gerald Stern, so many others, and seated right beside Mr. Garrett Hongo in the newly-issued Best of the Asheville Poetry Review, 1994-2014 20th Anniversary Issue

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“Thirteen New Ways To Spell ‘AMERIKKKA'” by Quincy R. Lehr

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+-*Quincy R. Lehr is the author of several collections, most recently Heimat and the forthcoming The Dark Lord of the Tiki Bar. He is the associate editor of The Raintown Review, and he lives in Brooklyn.

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Top Five links between President Obama and Star Trek

+-*There are more connections than you might expect . . .

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Check Out The Subtle Thread by John Tavano, Alfred Nicol, and Ann Harter

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+-*The Subtle Thread, a CD of nine original songs written by classical/flamenco guitarist John Tavano (music) and poet Alfred Nicol (lyrics), is finally available online (at CD Baby, iTunes, etc.).

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“Among Women” by Marie Ponsot

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+-*Ponsot’s collections of poetry include Easy (2009), National Book Critics Circle Award-winner and Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize finalist The Bird Catcher (1998), The Green Dark (1988), and True Minds (1956). Springing: New and Selected Poems (2002) has been praised by critic Harold Bloom, who proclaimed, “Marie Ponsot’s poetic achievement is fiercely independent. A courageous eloquence is sustained throughout her work, as she mounts up what Emerson called ‘the stairway of surprise.’” With Rosemary Deen, Ponsot co-authored Beat Not the Poor Desk (1982), a guide to teaching writing. She has also translated more than 30 books into English from French, including Love & Folly: Selected Fables and Tales of La Fontaine (2002) and the Golden Book of Fairy Tales (1958). – Poetry Foundation

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“Hype” by A.R. Ammons

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+-*“Filled with sharp irony and passionate insight, the more than 100 poems in the collection span the career of one of the deans of contemporary poetry. . . . Ammons makes you laugh and forces you to think hard about the way humans relate to natural phenomena and to themselves. From such simple, short expression emerge complex, often confounding ideas. New readers of poetry as well as those with an active interest in lyric verse will love this volume.” – Booklist

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Top Five Best Nimoy Moments in Star Trek

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+-*Like so many others, we’re pretty upset about the death of Leonard Nimoy. He was such a huge part of pop culture in my formative years, and he seemed like a really nice guy, too. So if you want a quick view of some of Nimoy’s greatest moments as Spock, check these out.

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“No Doctor’s Today, Thank You” by Ogden Nash

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+-*Nash’s first published poems began to appear in the New Yorker around 1930. His first collection of poems, Hard Lines, was published in 1931. The book was a tremendous success; it went into seven printings in its first year alone, and Nash quit his job with Doubleday. That same year, he married Frances Rider Leonard; they had two children. Nash worked briefly for the New Yorker in 1932, before deciding to devote himself full time to his verse. – Academy of American Poets

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“The Stenographers” by P.K. Page

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+-*Patricia Kathleen Page is best known as a Canadian poet. She is the author of more than thirty published books that include poetry, fiction, travel diaries, essays, children’s books, and an autobiography. Her work is often praised for its wit, wisdom, moral sensibility, and passionate yet objective viewpoint of human nature and relationships.

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Top Five Frankenstein’s Monsters in Film

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+-*Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein has been adapted an untold numbers of times since it was first published in 1818. Many of these screen adaptations are crappy, but there are a few that stand out.

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“The White Ship” by Geoffrey Hill

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+-*Geoffrey Hill, the son of a police constable, was born in Worcestershire in 1932. He was educated at Bromsgrove County High School and at Keble College, Oxford. After teaching for more than thirty years in England, first at Leeds and subsequently at Cambridge, he became Professor of Literature and Religion at Boston University in Massachusetts, where he was also founding co-director of the Editorial Institute. In 2010 he was elected Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford.

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In Search of Steve Ditko (2007)

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+-*A BBC Four documentary about comic artist Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Spiderman and Doctor Strange. Features interviews with Stan Lee, Alan Moore, and Neil Gaiman.

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Top Five Literary/Cultural Reference Points Still Recognizable to Kids Today

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+-*Nowadays, there are vastly more entertainment options available than there were in decades past. That has resulted in a greater diversity of knowledge and appreciation of movies, TV shows, and books, a fact that became obvious to me one day when I tried to use Star Wars as an example in class, and found that less than half of the students had seen it. So I thought E-Versers might appreciate this list, based on a comment by the late Christopher Hitchens. He used to teach writing to students, and he has found that there are really only five common cultural reference points he was able to use in his classes.

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Excerpt from It’s Time by Frank Sherlock

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+-*Frank Sherlock is the Poet Laureate of the City of Philadelphia, and was a Pew Fellow in the Arts for 2013. His books include Over Here; The City Real and Imagined; and Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated. His current project is “Write Your Block,” which encourages Philadelphians to write about their neighborhoods.

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For Mardi Gras, Some Professor Longhair!

+-*Henry Roeland “Roy” Byrd (December 19, 1918 – January 30, 1980), better known as Professor Longhair, was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. The music journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, stated “The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey “Piano” Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John.”

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Philip Levine at the NYS Writers Institute in 1996

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The former Poet Laureate of the United States (2011-2012) Philip Levine died this weekend at the age of 87. Levine was best known for his poems about the American working class and his native city of Detroit. Below is footage of him speaking and reading at The NYS Writers Institute in 1996, the year after he won a Pulitzer Prize for his collection The Simple Truth.

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Music Alive Trailer for Stella Sung’s New Ballet “Fate of Place”

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+-*As may of you probably know, I’ve been working on a new opera with composer Stella Sung, commissioned by New Music USA and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, to premiere in May 2016. The Dayton Opera and Ballet may also stage a full production of our last opera, Red Silk Thread (2014), in the next few years. Here is a short video created by Music Alive to promote Stella’s latest ballet, which premieres this week.

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