“The Jetty” by Daniel Tobin

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“So refreshingly original and so much needed . . . Tobin opens new ground as he strikes inwards and downwards, unearthing interpretive treasures and, best of all, new kinds of questions.” – South Atlantic Review

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Mosh Pit at a Poetry Reading: Iron Reagan’s “Miserable Failure”

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It’s funny how poetry readings are used in movies, music videos, and televisions shows to establish a hushed, sanctimonious, precious atmosphere. Perhaps there’s still something to that, which may explain why so many poets pack their work with expletives and lurid accounts of sexual encounters. Épater la bourgeoisie! In any case, here’s a video by a DRI-style punk-metal outfit called Iron Reagan in which the metalheads (dressed circa 1987) attend a sedate poetry reading and are inspired to break into a mosh. Now, I’ve always wished a mosh pit would erupt in the middle of a poetry reading. Now we have it! Thank you, Iron Reagan.

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“The Death of a Cat” by Louis MacNeice

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Born in Belfast Frederick Louis MacNeice was an outsider almost from the beginning. His family moved to Carrickfergus, County Antrim, soon after his birth. His father, John Frederick MacNeice, although a minister and eventually a bishop of the Anglo-Irish Church of Ireland, favored Home Rule, believed in ecumenical cooperation, and spoke out against the Protestant bigotry and violence in Northern Ireland. When MacNeice was six, his mother, Elizabeth Margaret MacNeice, who was suffering from severe depression, entered a nursing home in Dublin; he did not see her again, and she died in December 1914 of tuberculosis. His father remarried when young MacNeice was ten, and thereafter MacNeice was educated at English schools. At Sherborne Preparatory School in Dorset and later at Marlborough College, he found the promise of a wider and more colorful world than the puritan rectory of his father and stepmother. He lost his Irish accent and abandoned his baptismal first name of Frederick and his father’s faith. He could never again feel entirely at home in his father’s house or in Ireland, but he never lost a sense of himself as an Irishman in England, and his imagination returned again and again to childhood fears and memories.

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Dream Song 370 (“Henry Saw with Tolstoyan Clarity”) by John Berryman

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“You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise you’re merely imitating yourself, going nowhere, because that’s always easiest.” – John Berryman

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“Searingly bright with the clarity of madness”: Introducing Lovecraftian Perfumes . . . from Beyond (and Other Fun Cthulhu Things)

H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos, the product of a fertile imagination, profound depression, and mounting paranoia, have taken many forms in popular American culture since the 1920s, most notably since the 1980s, when an entirely new audience emerged for the reprinted Arkham House titles. Lovecraft’s wildly overwritten but intoxicating tales are ideal for the Goth mindset, and they kept me up reading through the night when I was a teenager, listening for the rats in the walls.

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“Parent’s Pantoum” by Carolyn Kizer

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“Her poetry is intensely, splendidly oral, wanting to be read aloud, best of all to be read or roared by the lion herself.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

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For Halloween: Top Five Ways to Come Back from the Dead!

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4. Zombie. Benefits: contagious, so you can bring lots of friends with you! Downside: The smell ain’t pretty, you can’t walk so fast, and your body parts have a tendency to fall off. Plus there’s the whole insatiable appetite for brrrrraaaaiiinnns!

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1969 Film of Shirley Jackson’s Chilling Short Story “The Lottery”

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For many decades, Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” was taught in high school English classes, typically under the rubric (or textbook chapter, if you will) of “Irony.” I don’t know if they still teach it, but, given the way the world continues to turn and burn, it probably ought to be standard (though my personal favorite is “The Summer People,” which still creeps me out twenty years later). E-Verser Andrew sent in this 1969 film of “The Lottery.” ‘Tis the Season . . . of the Witch! So watch.

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“Halloween Pants” by Laura Spagnoli

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Laura Spagnoli is the author of the chapbook My Dazzledent Days (ixnay press). Her poems have appeared in various places, including Jupiter 88, ONandOnScreen, and Apiary, and her story “A Cut Above” was published in the collection Philadelphia Noir. She lives in Philadelphia.

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“Song at the Turning of the Tide” by Jon Stallworthy

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Jon Stallworthy (M.A. and B.Litt. Oxford) is Senior Research Fellow at Wolfson College of Oxford University, where he is an Emeritus Professor of English Literature. He is also former John Wendell Anderson Professor at Cornell, where he taught after a career at Oxford University Press. His biography of Wilfred Owen won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, and the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His biography of Louis MacNeice won the Southern Arts Literary Prize. He is also the author of Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems and Singing School: The Making of a Poet, and editor of the definitive edition of Wilfred Owen’s poetry, The Complete Poems and Fragments; The Penguin Book of Love Poetry; The Oxford Book of War Poetry; and coeditor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Stallworthy has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature.

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“Gerard Manley Hopkins” by Leontia Flynn

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“Exact and casual and formally adept, a bit like an Irish (and female) Frank O’Hara, and not a bit like anyone else.” – Adam Phillips

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“40th Anniversary Edition” by Michael Robbins

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“Michael Robbins is our contemporary poet laureate for beautiful sins of language….. The Second Sex is a confident, skillful work that will make readers reconsider poetry.” — The Millions

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“The ‘Buried Book'” by Meredith Bergmann

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Meredith Bergmann is a sculptor whose public commissions include the Boston Women’s Memorial, the Labor Memorial for the Massachusetts State House, and the September 11th Memorial for NYC’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She is currently working on the FDR Hope Memorial for Roosevelt Island, NYC. She is poetry editor of the American Arts Quarterly, and her poetry and criticism have appeared in Barrow Street, Contemporary Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, The New Criterion, The Same and the anthology Hot Sonnets; and online at Lavender Review, Light, Mezzo Cammin, Per Contra, and Umbrella. Her poem “The Bird in the Bathroom” won an honorable mention from the Frost Farm Poetry Prize in 2013. Her chapbook, A Special Education, has just been published by Exot Books and may be ordered from their website at http://www.exot.typepad.com/exotbooks/

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Top Five “Virgin” Songs

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It’s a big topic for songwriters. It lends itself to nostalgic lyrics, portrayals of young love, and, of course, lots and lost of sex. Here are some songs about that first time.

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“Langston Hughes’s Grandma Mary Writes a Love Letter to Lewis Leary Years after He Dies Fighting at Harper’s Ferry” by Erica Dawson

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“Dawson draws an especially timely self-portrait. She generates great energy by pulling at the impossible and sometimes pleasurable tangles of what is constant in us, and what is disposable in the world.” – Slate

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“Red Eyes” by The War on Drugs

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The War on Drugs performs “Red Eyes” at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain.

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Jonathan Creasy Interviews Ernest Hilbert for New Dublin Press, Part One, Plus a New Poem, “Caligulan,” with Audio

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Jonathan Creasy, an editor at New Dublin Press, conducted a comprehensive, long-form interview with me over the course of several months. The first installment has been published, along with a new poem, “Caligulan,” with a recording of me reading it. Head on over and check them out. They publish many fine authors.

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Jack White at Château de Fontainebleau

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Jack White performs “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” and “Entitlement” for La Blogotheque in Saint-Saturnin Chapel, Fontainebleau Castle, on June 30th, 2014.

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“Tadpoles” by Brian Patrick Heston

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Brian Patrick Heston grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He holds an MFA in fiction from George Mason University and an MFA in poetry from Rutgers University. His poems have won awards from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, and the Lanier Library Association. His first book, “If You Find Yourself,” recently won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and is due to be published in November of 2014. He is also the author of the chapbook, “Latchkey Kids,” which is available from Finishing Line Press. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such publications as Many Mountains Moving, Rosebud, Lost Coast Review, West Branch, Harpur Palate, 5AM, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, South Carolina Review, Tampa Review, and Tupelo Quarterly. Presently, he is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at Georgia State University.

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E-Verse Autumn Equinox at Fergie’s Pub!

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Featuring Iain Haley Pollock, author of Spit Back a Boy, Kate Gale, author of The Goldilocks Zone, and Quincy R. Lehr, author of Heimat, hosted by Ernest Hilbert

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“Heal” by Strand of Oaks

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“From the first bars of HEAL, the exhilarating melodic stomp of ‘Goshen ‘97’ puts you right into Tim Showalter’s fervent teenage mindset. We find him in his family’s basement den in Goshen, Indiana, feeling alienated but even at 15 years old, believing in the alchemy and power of music to heal your troubles. “The record is called HEAL, but it’s not a soft, gentle healing, it’s like scream therapy, a command, because I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that’s how I got better.” HEAL embodies that feeling of catharsis and rebirth, desperation and euphoria, confusion and clarity. It is deeply personal and unwittingly anthemic.”

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“London Bridge” by Kate Gale

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Kate Gale is the Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of The Los Angeles Review, and President of the American Composers Forum, Los Angeles. She teaches in Low Residency MFA programs around the country and serves on the boards of A Room of Her Own Foundation and Poetry Society of America. She is the author six librettos including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis which premiered in October 2010 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. Her latest poetry collections are The Goldilocks Zone and Echo Light, forthcoming this Fall. She is also the editor of several anthologies and blogs for Huffington Post.

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“Ocean Swimming” by Ernest Hilbert in Clarion

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The BU Literary Society was founded as BU Students for Literary Awareness in the fall of 1997, under the leadership of Jennifer Herron. The group’s original members meant to publish a magazine called The View from a Window; however, campus plans often being well-laid and then lost, the first issue of their new organ was released in spring 1998, under a more enigmatic title: a single question mark. Since 1999, that publication has been called Clarion, and been published under the aegis of a right red rooster.

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“Second Line” by Iain Haley Pollock

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“Beyond the bracing intelligence in these poems, beyond the surges of joy and trouble, beyond the poet’s awe in this split second, he plunges with imagination into the timeless work of loving witness, resonant with high style and the blues. Wherever Iain Pollock turns, the search is on, in history, art, family, in things on display and hidden in himself. What he finds he finds the art to celebrate with tenderness and wisdom.”—Brooks Haxton, author of They Lift Their Wings to Cry

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“Shoal of Sharks” by Richard O’Connell

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Richard O’Connell lives in Hillsboro Beach, Florida. Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Margie, National Review, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Formalist, Light, and others. His most recent collections are American Obits, Fractals, and Dawn Crossing.

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“Chamise” by Amy Glynn Greacen

Amy Glynn Greacen is the author of A Modern Herbal (Measure Press, 2014). Her work also appears in Best American Poetry (2010, 2012), New England Review, Poetry Northwest, Southwest Review, The New Criterion, Unsplendid, and elsewhere.

Amy Glynn Greacen is the author of A Modern Herbal (Measure Press, 2014). Her work also appears in Best American Poetry (2010, 2012), New England Review, Poetry Northwest, Southwest Review, The New Criterion, Unsplendid, and elsewhere.

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“‘THE LOST KINGS UPHOLD MY SIDE'” by Ernest Hilbert

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“Hilbert has written poems of superb lyricism. It’s hard to think of another poet with such range, and indeed with such brilliant delivery. Beauty, trash, exaltation, and humor are contained in his capacious and exacting forms. These are, quite simply, original and essential poems.” – Justin Quinn, author of American Errancy: Empire, Sublimity, and Modern Poetry

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“Mirror” by Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath (1932-63) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright fellowship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

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Top Five Robin Williams Performances

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Well, it’s really hard to pick out top five Robin Williams performances. He has had such a great career and played such a broad variety of parts. So I’ve picked five unusual appearances that are perhaps not on any other of the lists that people have started publishing.

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