“The Courage of Poetry”: Alicia Stallings TED Talk


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


“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


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


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


“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

Dark Horse

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)


“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


“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


“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


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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“Just Because I Love You” by BC Camplight


From the new album How to Die in the North.

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“the rites for Cousin Vit” by Gwendolyn Brooks


“Her formal range is most impressive, as she experiments with sonnets, ballads, spirituals, blues, full and off-rhymes. She is nothing short of a technical virtuoso.” –Elizabeth Alexander

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“I Literally Can’t Even Right Now”: Daniel Nester on the Vogue for Vaguebooking on Facebook


E-Verser Daniel Nester, noted essayist, poet, and personality, has published an article on the new phenomenon of vaguebooking over at Buzzfeed.

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Top Five Movies to Watch if You Miss Mad Men


The great TV series Mad Men just ended. For those hiding in a bomb shelter or trapped in an underground cult run by a crazy cult leader such as this one, Mad Men is a recent AMC television series set in the recent past, beginning in 1960, about advertising executives on Madison Avenue in New York. It follows them all the way through 1971, amidst tremendous social, political, and personal upheavals. I previously did a list of “Top Five Movies to Watch While Waiting for Mad Men to Come Back” while it was on hiatus in 2011, but that focused more on the early 1960s years of Mad Men. They were, for the most part, romantic comedies that centered around men and women playing absurd games with each other to conceal their true feelings and either get a girl into bed or get a guy to the altar. Since Mad Men ends at the cusp of 1971, here are a few movies, most romantic comedies, to watch that focus on what it was like closer to the end of the time covered by Mad Men.

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“The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy


“There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn’t there.” – Thomas Hardy

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Top Five Movies to Watch for Cognitive Dissonance

iron manium

So, there’s the Hollywood version, and then there’s reality. We all know this. Sometimes Hollywood gets pretty close, but other times they couldn’t be further away from the truth. Watch these pairs of movies to get the real story and the glamorous Hollywood fantasy. You’ll never see those movies the same way again.

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“Song of Myself VI” by Walt Whitman


“I see him America’s poet. He is America. His crudity is an exceeding great stench, but it is America. He is the hollow place in the rock that echoes with his time. He does ‘chant the crucial stage’ and he is the ‘voice triumphant.’” – Ezra Pound

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“Bad Newz” by Stephen Burt

Alec Soth. USA. Grand Rapids, Minnesota. 2002. Kenny & Bill - Bad Newz, garage band. Courtesy of Magnum Photo

Breezily contemporary in feel, yet deeply lyrical in quality and effect. . . . Belmont is an outstanding collection at once thoughtful and witty, meditative but rapid-fire, a domestically rooted yet lyrically urbane accounting of modern life as interpreted by one of the gifted critical intellects of our time. – New York Journal of Books

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“Little League” Kevin Durkin


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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Ernest Hilbert with Brian Heston and Therese Halcheid

tattoed mom

A Sunday Evening of Poetry with Ernest Hilbert, Brian Heston, and Therese Halchied Sunday, May 24, 7:30PM Tattooed Mom

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Ernest Hilbert Reads with Anna Evans in Princeton


An Evening of New Poetry with Ernest Hilbert and Anna Evans Free and open to the public Monday, May 11th, 7:30PM Princeton Public Library 65 Witherspoon St Princeton, New Jersey 08542 (609) 924-9529 Anna M. Evans’ poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, American Arts Quarterly, and 32 Poems. She gained her MFA from Bennington College, and is the Editor of the Raintown Review. Recipient of Fellowships from the MacDowell Artists’ Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and winner of the 2012 Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award, she currently teaches at West Windsor Art Center and Richard Stockton College of NJ. Her new sonnet collection, Sisters & Courtesans, is available from White Violet Press. Visit her online at www.annamevans.com. “If Verse Forms Were Superheroes . . .” by Anna Evans The villanelle is Batman, suave and dark, a bit self-conscious of his repetends. The sestina’s Ironman—like Tony Stark he loves himself and irritates his friends. The pantoum’s Tarzan, always getting by on half the words because of twice the muscle. You’ll really believe the triolet can fly, but don’t ask me why Spiderman’s a ghazal. Yet who do they all turn to when […]

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“The Third Rail” by Brian Heston


Brian Patrick Heston grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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, won the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. He is also the author of the chapbook, Latchkey Kids from Finishing Line Press. His poetry and fiction have appeared in such publications as Many Mountains Moving, Rosebud, West Branch, North American Review, Harpur Palate, 5AM, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, South Carolina Review, and River Styx. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at Georgia State University.

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“L’An Trentiesme de Mon Eage” by Archibald MacLeish


“[Archibald MacLeish] is one of the few American poets to have a sound of his own.” — James Dickey

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“Black Woman” by Erica Dawson

erica dawson

“Reading Erica Dawson’s poems reminds me of the time a former race car driver took me on a crazy tour along the southern French coast’s narrowest roads. It felt dangerous and exhilarating. I kept peering over the edge of the cliffs at the ocean far below, and I kept thinking, ‘Well, this will be a beautiful place to die.’ But that driver, much like Erica Dawson, was always in control. I love her poems for that control, and for their music and humor and eccentricity. She is one of my favorites. – Sherman Alexie

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“Ruby Ring” by Kyle Potvin


Kyle Potvin’s poetry has appeared in The New York Times, Measure, The Huffington Post, JAMA, Blue Unicorn, Alimentum, and on BBC’s World Update, among others. She was named a finalist for the 2008 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her first collection of poetry, Sound Travels on Water (Finishing Line Press), was co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s 2014 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She lives with her family in New Hampshire.

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Top Five Movie Posters in this Style


In the past Bethany has shown us certain styles that one finds again and again in movie posters. Here’s another, the thing they do with faces.

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“Divine Intervention” by James Feichthaler

James F

James Feichthaler is the co-founder of the poetry group “Dead Bards of Philadelphia,” who meet every month at The Spiral Bookcase in the Manayunk section of the city to share their works. The self-proclaimed “forrealist poet” is set to release his first book of poetry in summer 2015, titled Three Incantations of the Modern Druid.

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“After Alaska” by Therése Halscheid


Therése Halscheid’s new book of poems is Frozen Latitudes (Press 53). Other collections include Uncommon Geography, Without Home, Powertalk, and a Greatest Hits chapbook award. Her poems and essays have appeared in many journals, among them The Gettysburg Review, Tampa Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Natural Bridge. By way of house-sitting, she has lived the life of an itinerant writer. Her travels have taken her from a swamp in the Florida Panhandle to the Arctic north of Alaska, where she lived with and taught an Eskimo Inupiaq tribe. See www.ThereseHalscheid.com.

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Top Five Words I Recently Made Up


Bethany brings us some new words she feels we could all use.

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