“Doctor Coyote When He Had a Problem” by Gary Snyder

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Gary Snyder is the author of sixteen collections of poetry and prose. Since 1970 he has lived in the watershed of the South Yuba River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992, he has been awarded the Bollingen Poetry Prize and the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.

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“Pedestrian at Best” by Courtney Barnett

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“I like to try to play with a lot of alliteration and see how many syllables I can squeeze into a sentence,” Barnett says. “I write and rewrite just for my own amusement so I can layer up songs.”

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“Casus Belli” by R.S. Gwynn

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“Gwynn juxtaposes styles and subjects not customarily seen together—mythic and modish images phrased in language alternatively sublime and debased—but told with such force of imagination and assured musicality that the resulting poems seem not idiosyncratic but inevitable.” – Dana Gioia

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Top Five 50 Shades of Grey Parodies

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Parodies guaranteed to be better than the original. Beware, NSFW for any of these!

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“Party-Time! Excellent!” by Quincy R. Lehr

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Quincy R. Lehr’s most recent books are Heimat (2014) and The Dark Lord of the Tiki Bar (2015). He lives in Brooklyn, where he is the associate editor of The Raintown Review, teaches history, and plans to one day own your goddamn skull.

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“The Last Page” by David M. Katz

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David M. Katz is the author of three books of poems: Stanzas on Oz, Poems 2011-2014 (Dos Madres Press), Claims of Home, Poems 1984- 2010 (Dos Madres Press), and The Warrior in the Forest (House of Keys Press). His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Criterion, The Paris Review, PN Review, The Raintown Review, Alabama Literary Review, and Southwest Review. He lives in New York City, where he works as a financial journalist.

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“The Room” by Jeff Holt

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Jeff Holt’s first book The Harvest is available through White Violet Press. He works as a Licensed Professional Counselor, serves as the assistant editor for the Raintown Review, and lives in Plano, Texas.

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“The Young Ones” by Elizabeth Jennings

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“It is the business of poetry to restore thought to its dignity as a harmonious process, and so make it memorable, and that is what Elizabeth Jennings achieves.”– Peter Levi

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“Fleshly Answers” by Rachel Hadas

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Rachel Hadas has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, two Ingram Merrill Foundation grants, the O.B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She was a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars & Writers with the New York Public Library. She has taught at Columbia, Princeton, and Rutgers, and at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

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Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” Performed by Father John Misty

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“Fresh from releasing his latest critically lauded album I Love You, Honeybear, Father John Misty (or Josh Tillman if you are feeling familiar) has decided to cover Nirvana’s classic ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ from their In Utero album for Valentine’s Day. Rejecting the original’s cathartic vitriolic volume in favour of a more restrained and coiled rendition, Tillman’s explores the folkish elements of Cobain’s music perhaps giving a clue as to what avenues Cobain would have explored had he survived fame. Worth a listen.” – Overblown.com

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“Meridian” by Ernest Hilbert

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“Ernest Hilbert’s poems are beautifully made in their diction. The intelligence is clear.” – Donald Hall

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“It’s Not the Heat So Much as the Humidity” by James Tate

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“A poet of mad wit and stunning anecdote.” –Julian Moynahan

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“Little Naomi: The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann)” by Susan de Sola

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Susan de Sola is an American poet living in Amsterdam. Her poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, The Hopkins Review, Ambit, River Styx, and many other venues. She holds a PhD in English from The Johns Hopkins University and publishes scholarly essays and reviews as Susan de Sola Rodstein. She is a David Reid Poetry Translation Prize winner, and has published a photographic chapbook, Little Blue Man, from Seabiscuit Press. You can view her photography at: thunderbirdman.tumblr.com

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“Human Interest” by Ernest Hilbert (with Audio)

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Tough-minded and precise, Ernest Hilbert’s lyrics, like his old mirror left out at the curb, turn an unflinching gaze on pieces of inner and outer landscapes we often push to the periphery. The poems in Caligulan fashion a stern, witty, and often poignant music out of seemingly unpromising elements courageously glimpsed, combined, or imagined. – Rachel Hadas, author of Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems and editor of The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present

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“Weathering” by Fleur Adcock

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“Fleur Adcock (b.1934) is a New Zealander by birth but spent part of her childhood in England, returning to live in London in 1963. She worked as a librarian until 1979 before becoming a freelance writer. She is the author of ten books of poetry and a collected edition of her work, Poems 1960-2000, was published by Bloodaxe in 2000. Recipient of a Cholmondeley Award in 1976 and a New Zealand National Book Award in 1984, she was awarded an OBE in 1996.” – The Poetry Archive

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Top Five Famous TV Fathers with Dark Sides, Allegedly . . .

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Bit of a downer of a top five today. I used to watch TV shows and envy the perfect families depicted there. But gradually, one by one, as the years go by, the veneer of wholesomeness of the lead actors has worn away. Check these out.

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Top Five Reasons Why Ants are Evil

We're ready for the weigh-in. We're gonna whip these humans.

The movie Ant-Man is coming out on July 17th. I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview of it, and it was quite good. There was only one problem: ants. Ants, ants, everywhere! Is Spider-Man followed around by spiders? No. Does Wolverine have pet wolverines? No! Does Batman go around spending time in a bat cave? Um, nevermind. But why does Ant-Man have to have ants around all the time? Some people think ants are cool. They write songs about them, have them as the stars of animated films, they marvel at their complex social structure, they keep ant colonies as pets, and more. But some of us haven’t swallowed the ant-infested Kool Aid—we know that ants are pure evil. Whether they’re killing Cate Blanchett in the worst Indiana Jones movie known to man or starring in the most disturbing short story ever included in anthologies for grade school students (“Leiningen Versus the Ants,” seriously, who decided this was OK for kids to read?), they’re just bad news. Still not convinced that ants are the most devious creatures the world has ever seen? Well, here are five more reasons why.

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“An Excerpt from ‘American Letter'” by Archibald MacLeish

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“Americans are the first self-constituted, self-declared, self-created people in the history of the world.” — Archibald MacLeish

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“The Courage of Poetry”: Alicia Stallings TED Talk

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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations).

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“Kite” by Ernest Hilbert (with Audio)

Hilbert at St. John's College, Oxford, June 12th, 2011, where he lodged after his reading at Albion Beatnik.

“The comparisons to Lowell are just . . . What’s so attractive [in All of You on the Good Earth] is the colloquial nonchalance that transpires within the formal decorum. It’s quirkier, more low to the ground, more hip, as one said in the olden days. “You should know I’ve come to terms with weather / since you left.” This made me laugh out loud.” – James Longenbach, author of Modern Poetry after Modernism

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“The Common Life” by W.H. Auden

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“Auden is the most inclusive poet of the twentieth century, its most technically skilled, and its most truthful.” – Edward Mendelson

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“At The Chophouse” by David M. Katz

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David M. Katz is the author of three books of poems: Stanzas on Oz, Poems 2011-2014 (Dos Madres Press), Claims of Home, Poems 1984- 2010 (Dos Madres Press), and The Warrior in the Forest (House of Keys Press). His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Criterion, The Paris Review, PN Review, The Raintown Review, Alabama Literary Review, and Southwest Review. He lives in New York City, where he works as a financial journalist.

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“Toddler Beneath a Jacaranda” by Kevin Durkin

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Kevin Durkin attended schools in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Germany before earning his degree in English literature from Princeton University. He has taught English in Singapore, Kitakyushu (Japan), New York City, and Washington, D.C. He also has performed in the plays of Shakespeare across America. Currently the managing editor at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, he resides with his wife and two daughters in Santa Monica.

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Waxahatchee Unplugged at the Sunday Sessions Berlin

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“Alabama native Katie Crutchfield—twin sister of Swearin’s Allison Crutchfield—writes in the liner notes of American Weekend, her piercing debut as Waxahatchee. Crutchfield builds her songs from humble materials—usually just an acoustic guitar and her sweet, faintly cigarette-cracked lilt—but they’ve got an emotional directness that imbues them with huge power. American Weekend has the unvarnished texture of an early, lo-fi Mountain Goats record and the lonely, confessional feel of Liz Phair’s self-recorded Girlysound tapes. I don’t care, I’ll embrace all of my vices, Crutchfield sings on Grass Stain, poignant but defiant. These songs have the resonant urgency of a voice coming from the bottom of a well, its owner not so much calling for help but instead trying to see how far the echo will travel. American Weekend is a record about late nights, sharp hangovers, fumbled relationships—a record about being young. (Perhaps the album’s best line: I don’t care if I’m too young to be unhappy). Crutchfield’s a uniquely talented lyricist who’s able to find the feelings in ordinary moments (Barefoot parking lot, getting high in Portland, Oregon) and make the particular feel universal.” – Lindsay Zolad

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Ernest Hilbert at Poets House to Celebrate The Dark Horse’s 20th Anniversary

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Hey, New Yorkers, join us at Poets House to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the legendary literary magazine The Dark Horse, hosted by editor and poet Gerry Cambridge. The New York event is the third launch for the issue, after gala evenings in Edinburgh and London.

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“The Gelding” by Ernest Hilbert (with Audio)

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“Tough-minded and precise, Ernest Hilbert’s lyrics, like his old mirror left out at the curb, turn an unflinching gaze on pieces of inner and outer landscapes we often push to the periphery. The poems in Caligulan fashion a stern, witty, and often poignant music out of seemingly unpromising elements courageously glimpsed, combined, or imagined.” – Rachel Hadas, author of Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems and editor of The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present

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“Adam’s Curse” by William Butler Yeats

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“One of the few [poets] whose history is the history of their own time, who are a part of the consciousness of an age which cannot be understood without them.” –T.S. Eliot

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Two Poems from Anne Boleyn’s Sleeve by Juliana Gray

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“Juliana Gray is a beautiful and keen poet. My word, a gifted vision, almost egoless and yet fullhearted.” – Barry Hannah

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Top Five Similarities Between Game of Thrones and Arrested Development

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Arrested Development is of course the greatest sitcom ever made. And hey, it’s coming back for a 5th season on Netflix in 2016! Can’t wait that long? Console yourself by watching Game of Thrones, which some regard as one of the best dramatic TV series ever. So it’s not surprising that the two series bear a remarkable number of resemblances to one another. Here are the top five.

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