“Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi” by Garrett Hongo

Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawai‘i, lived as a child in Kahuku on O‘ahu, and grew up thereafter in Los Angeles. He is the author of two previous collections of poetry, three anthologies, and Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai‘i. His poems and essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. He has been the recipient of several awards, including fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, and teaches at the University of Oregon, where he is Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Top Five Movies in which the Good Guys are Trying to Stop a Nuclear Bomb from Detonating, Usually One Sent by Other Good Guys

This trope has been around for awhile, but I’ve recently noticed it in three big summer blockbusters. There are probably more—can you think of any? Basically, it involves some nominally good guys (usually the US government) nuking someone, while Our Hero tries to stop them.

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“Summer” by Lucien Stryk

A translator and influential practitioner of Zen poetics, Lucien Stryk was born in Kolo, Poland, in 1924. He moved to Chicago with his family in 1927 and studied at Indiana University; the University of Maryland, College Park; the Sorbonne; and the University of Iowa. A lifelong poet, he began writing in elementary school, even taking a copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass with him when he served in World War II. – Poetry Foundation

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“In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry

A genuine, bona fide summer classic. Enjoy!

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“Barrier Island” by J.S. Renau

J. S. Renau is a native of Charleston, S.C. For 15 years, Mr. Renau lived in New York and worked as a marketing consultant and speechwriter. In 2012, he relocated to rural South Carolina. His poems and reviews have appeared in American Book Review, Contemporary Poetry Review, Paris Review, and Wallace Stevens Journal, among other publications.

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“Sonnet XXXVI” by Ted Berrigan

“The Sonnets are an enduring benchmark in mid-20th-century American poetics. Intimate, endlessly inventive, they make an extraordinary manifest of that time and all its habits of person and place. They are without question a great literary artifact but they are also the unique presence of our human world—just yesterday, as one says, and now forever and ever.” — Robert Creeley

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Top Five Creepy and Evil Blue Eyes

Why is it that when writers go for inhuman eyes they so often select blue as the go-to color of evil? Is it because the blue reminds us of the distance of the sky? The coldness of ice or water? Surely the Nazi obsession with blue eyes didn’t help their reputation much. Who knows? But here are five examples.

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“Going Upstairs to Bed” by Stephen Berg

Stephen Berg was the founder of The American Poetry Review and the author of many collections of poetry and translations, including Halo, Rimbaud: Versions and Inventions, The Elegy on Hats, and 58 Poems, published by Sheep Meadow. He passed away in June, 2014.

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“Summer Holiday” by Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing performs “Summer Holiday” live in the KEXP studio. Recorded 3/11/11.

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“My Life as One of King Charles II’s Mistresses” by Anna Evans

“Historical poetry often makes me shudder, being either narrowly polemical or a means of piggybacking on someone else’s life when one’s own creativity is wanting. Anna M. Evans’s Sisters and Courtesans, in its sweep from the well-documented to the at least semi-mythical, from the (relatively) privileged to the humble, anonymous camp followers and drawers-of-water, is, by contrast, a work of generous and expansive imagination. It neither denies suffering nor wallows in it, and Evans is far too clever to let the demands of a unified sequence of sonnets obscure the specificity of the individuals she portrays. This is a poet who should have had a first book years ago. It’s good to see White Violet Press remedy that deficiency.” – Quincy R. Lehr

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Nate Kostar with Justin “J-Boogie” Hatchter

Last Friday I had the pleasure to read at the Philadelphia’s storied Sketch Club, the oldest continually operating arts club in the country, for Kelly McQuain and Dawn Manning’s PoetDelphia series. After my half-hour reading, the talented young poet Nate Kostar took the stage with his one-man backing band, Justin “J-Boogie” Hatcher, both up from New Orleans for the event. Here are some videos of them performing in Asbury Park. Check them out.

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“The Turtle” by Nathaniel Kostar

Nathaniel Kostar is a graduate of Rutgers University and currently pursuing his MFA at The University of New Orleans Low-Residency program. He will read with Ernest Hilbert tonight at the Sketch Club in Philadelphia.

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Top Five Songs that Extol the Virtues of Rock ‘n’ Roll

No musical genre has expended as much energy declaring its own importance and describing its many worthwhile facets as rock ‘n’ roll (with the possible exception of hip hop, and let us set aside for the moment songs that extol the virtues of “rock,” a matter for another day). Have these anthems historically been an indication of the genre’s health or its perennial decline? The word is wielded as a magic spell. The music itself has talismanic properties (some say Satanic ones as well) that can bring about renewal of youth and spark frenzied feelings of love. Bands with albums titled simply Rock ‘n’ Roll include Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Motorhead, New York Dolls, Vanilla Fudge, and Ryan Adams, among others. It’s a badge of honor to “get back to the roots” of rock ‘n’ roll, 3-minute, 3-chord, high-energy, youthful, ecstatic songs that used to inspire audiences to dance in the aisles. The number of songs about rock ‘n’ roll is beyond reckoning, but a few capture the essence of rock and wave the flag for us all. Let’s have a listen to a few.

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Top Five Movies in which Samuel L. Jackson is Not a Badass

Samuel L. Jackson: A mean motherfucker, right? He’s Shaft, he’s on the Jedi council, he’s Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, he’s Nick Fury, and in his spare time, he gets motherfucking snakes off motherfucking planes.

Well, in this top five expose, I’m going to show the top five times he just frankly sucked. Let it not be said he’s been typecast, because in these situations he plays basically the guy he’d be too cool to talk to in any other movie.

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“Alien Nation of Affections (or, The Whoa That is in Marriage)” by Don Share

Don Share became the editor of Poetry in 2013. His books of poetry are Wishbone (2012), Squandermania (2007), and Union (2013, 2002). He is the co-editor of The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (2012), and editor of Bunting’s Persia (2012) and a critical edition of Basil Bunting’s poems (Faber and Faber).

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Celebrate Bloomsday from Your Desk with New Dublin Press’s Recording of Joyce’s Masterpiece, Ulysses

Today is June 16th, the day Joyce’s famous character Leopold Bloom wanders the streets of Dublin, encountering all manner of trouble and triumph as the modern mock heroic variation on Homer’s Odysseus. New Dublin Press editor and man of many talents Jonathan Creasy serves as producer for “The Big Book,” New Dublin Press’s recording of scholars discussing James Joyce’s landmark modernist novel Ulysses. If you can’t get out to any of the many worldwide celebrations this Bloomsday, do it from your desk. Download from iTunes or stream directly. Click on the image below or here to jump to the page.

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“Strung” by Ernest Hilbert (With Audio)

Ernest Hilbert is the author of two collections of poetry, Sixty Sonnets and All of You on the Good Earth, as well as a spoken word album recorded with rock band and orchestra, Elegies & Laments, available from Pub Can Records.

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Excerpt from the Epic, Book-Length Poem Heimat by Quincy R. Lehr

Quincy R. Lehr is the author of several collections, as well as the imminently forthcoming Heimat. He is the associate editor of The Raintown Review, and he lives in Brooklyn, where he teaches history.

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Listen to Some Students Read Ernest Hilbert’s “Domestic Situation” for the National Poetry Out Loud Competition

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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“Night Moth” by George Witte

George Witte’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and reprinted in the Best American Poets 2007 and other anthologies. He received the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine and a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For twenty-nine years he has worked at St. Martin’s Press, where he is editor-in-chief. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

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Two Poems from Birds on the Kiswar Tree by Odi Gonzales

BIRDS ON THE KISWAR TREE by Peruvian Andean poet Odi Gonzales presents poems that sing in the voices of native birds and speak through the devout, but subversive, Quechua artists of Peru’s colonial era. Canvas by canvas, poem by poem, Gonzales gives us a poetry collection as a living and talking museum in which the Quechua artists of Peru’s past demonstrate both their sincere Christian faith and their opposition to the Spanish destruction of the Inca empire. Originally published in Peru in 2005 as “La Escuela de Cusco” (“The School of Cusco”), BIRDS ON THE KISWAR TREE stands as an elegant and richly imagined tribute to these indigenous and mestizo artists. Odi Gonzales is the author of seven poetry collections. BIRDS ON THE KISWAR TREE, an English translation by Lynn Levin, is Gonzales’ first book to be published in a bilingual Spanish/English edition.

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Bethany’s Top Five Kickass Teen Girls

Nowadays, it seems we mainly hear about teenage girls in regard to their appearance, sexuality, and eating disorders. I want to give a more prominent place to teenage girls who are/were awesome!

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“How it Ends” by Rick Mullin

Rick Mullin’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including American Arts Quarterly, The Raintown Review, Unsplendid, Méasŭre, The Flea, and Ep;phany. He is the author of Aquinas Flinched (Exot Books, 2008), Hunck (Seven Towers, 2010), SOUTINE (Dos Madres Press, 2012) and COELACANTH (Dos Madres Press, 2013).

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“Ornamental Waters” by Kit Wright

Poet and children’s author Kit Wright was born in 1944 and educated at Oxford University.

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“Swing Shift Blues” by Alan Dugan

“A plain stodgy no-nonsense American prose, like that of your nearest bartender.” – X.J. Kennedy

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Ernest Hilbert at Large

My publisher has always been attentive to developments, such as they are, in my writing career, such as it is, and kindly shares that information publicly in a most professional manner. Here at E-Verse my own site, I sometimes forget to announce the latest news. Though I’ve been remiss of late, by way of a remedy I offer a quick roundup of current events in the life of Ernest Hilbert as poet, again, such as it is or may be.

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“Café Future” by David Yezzi

David Yezzi’s poetry collections include Azores (2008) and The Hidden Model (2003), and his criticism and poetry have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Best American Poetry. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Yezzi is Executive Editor of The New Criterion. He has also edited The Swallow Anthology of New American Poetry (2009). His libretto for a chamber opera by composer David Conte, Firebird Motel, premiered in 2003 and was released on CD by Arsis (2007). Poet-critic Adam Kirsch, who selected Azores as one of Slate’s Best Books of 2008, noted that Yezzi’s poetry “displays a civilized mastery reminiscent of Philip Larkin and Donald Justice, which no poet of his generation can match.” David Yezzi is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and received his MFA from Columbia University.

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Alonetime on Screen: Top Five Movies that Devote Considerable Screentime to a Single Actor

Here are some movies that give a lot of time to just one actor, essentially the opposite of the “ensemble cast” style of movie. The single actors’ skills are truly showcased in these solitary situations, since there’s no one else to carry the weight of plot and action.

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“Introduction” by John Ashbery

“Since the death of Wallace Stevens in 1955, we have been in the Age of Ashbery.” – Harold Bloom

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“Coin” the Video Game, No, Animated Movie of a Video Game!

Thanks to Andrew for sending this cool animated short our way.

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