Top Five Anti-Christmas Christmas Songs


Christmas has more songs than any other holiday, maybe all the others combined. That means it also has the most songs written against it. Let’s have a listen.

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“Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC

One of the great Christmas songs!

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Classic Horror Tales, with an Introduction by Ernest Hilbert


I finally managed to obtain a copy of the horror anthology for which I supplied the introduction (9,000 words), which was issued in October for Halloween. It seems the publisher is angling for some sort of national award for Kitschiest Binding of the Year, right down to the little stamped bats and glittery, scowling willow tree.

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“A Dirge” by Christina Rossetti

1886. chalks, 79x63.5cm

“Of all Victorian women poets, posterity has been kindest to Christina Rossetti….Her poetry is increasingly being recognized as among the most beautiful and innovative of the period by either sex.” — The Poetry Foundation

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“The Cartographer” by Rob Griffith

sea monsters

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Rob Griffith is the author of four collections of poetry: A Matinee in Plato’s Cave, winner of the 2009 Best Book of Indiana Award; Poisoning Caesar; and Necessary Alchemy, winner of Middle Tennessee University’s Chapbook Prize. His most recent book is The Moon from Every Window (David Robert Books, 2011), which was nominated for the 2013 Poets’ Prize, and his work has also appeared in magazines and journals such as Poetry, First Things, River Styx, The North American Review, PN Review, The Sewanee Theological Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Oxford American.

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The Book Collector: A New Opera by Stella Sung and Librettist Ernest Hilbert

Book Collector Title Only

Have a look at the new postcard for The Book Collector, read the synopsis, and watch some videos of the making of our last opera, Red Silk Thread: An Epic Tale of Marco Polo.

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“The Little Vagabond” by William Blake

by Thomas Phillips, oil on canvas, 1807

“Blake neither wrote nor drew for the many, hardly for work’y-day men at all, rather for children and angels; himself ‘a divine child,’ whose playthings were sun, moon, and stars, the heavens and the earth.” — Alexander Gilchrist

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“Giving Thanks” by Tony Harrison


“A poet of great technical accomplishment whose work insists that it is speech rather than page-bound silence”– Sean O’Brien

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Hissssssssssssssssss: Top Five Cat Bands!

Let’s check out some top feline rockers.

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“Minnesota Thanksgiving” by John Berryman

“The frankness of Berryman’s work influenced his friend Robert Lowell and other Confessional poets like Anne Sexton. The poet’s lifelong struggles with alcoholism and depression ended in 1972, when he jumped off a Minneapolis bridge in the dead of winter.” – Poetry Foundation

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“The Arctic Ox (or Goat)” by Marianne Moore


“More than any modern poet, she gives us the feeling that life is softly exploding around us, within easy reach.” –John Ashberry

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“Sunset Threnody” by Yusef Komunyakaa


“The best writing we’ve had from the long war in Vietnam has been prose so far. Yusef Komunyakaa’s ‘Dien Cai Dau’ changes that.” — William Matthews

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“My Wedding Ring” by J.D. McClatchy

Plundered Hearts

With his first several books, J. D. McClatchy established himself as a poet of urbanity, intellect, and prismatic emotion, in the tradition of James Merrill, W. H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop––one who balances an exploration of the underworld of desire with a mastery of poetic form, and whose artistry reveals the riches and ruins of our “plundered hearts.” Now, opening with exquisite new poems––including the stunning “My Hand Collection,” a catalogue of art objects that steals up on the complexity of human touch, and a witty and profound poem entitled “My Robotic Prostatectomy”––this selection is a glorious full tour of McClatchy’s career. It includes excerpts from the powerful book-length sequence Ten Commandments (1998) and his more recent works Hazmat (2002) and Mercury Dressing (2009)—books that explored the body’s melodrama, as well as the heart’s treacheries, grievances, and boundless capacities. All of his poems present a sumptuous weave of impassioned thought and clear-sighted feeling. He has been rightly hailed as a poet of “ferocious alertness,” one who elicits (says The New Leader) “the kind of wonder and joy we experience when the curtain comes down on a dazzling performance.”

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Paul Ferraro’s Poster for Ernest Hilbert and David Blair’s Reading in Cambridge

Poster by Ferraro

New Poetry by Ernest Hilbert and David Blair, hosted by Daniel Wuenschel of the Cambridge Public Library, Thursday, November 12th at 7PM at the First Congregational Church, 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138

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“This Living Hand” by John Keats


“There is a quality in Keats more clearly present than in any other poet since Shakespeare. This is the gift of tragic acceptance, which persuades us that Keats was the least solipsistic of poets, the one most able to grasp the individuality and reality of selves totally distinct from his own, and of an outward world that would survive his perception of it. ” –Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling

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Ernest Hilbert Reads with David Blair at First Congregational Church in Cambridge, MA

First Congregational Church

New Poetry by Ernest Hilbert and David Blair, hosted by Daniel Wuenschel of the Cambridge Public Library, Thursday, November 12th at 7PM at the First Congregational Church, 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138

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From the Vault! “His Eyes Blazed with a Sort of Demonaic Fury, and He Suddenly Made a Grab at My Throat”: Top Five Vampires

Thanks to everyone who helped with this list. “Children of the night. What music they make.”

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CaligulanRough (2)

If you like my new collection, Caligulan (or even if you don’t!), you might want to check out the Caligulan t-shirt, designed by Jennifer Mercer, who also designed the covers of my three books and all related paraphernalia.

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“The Costume Party” by Juliana Gray


Juliana Gray is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections and an associate professor of English at Alfred University.

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“Great White Fleet” by Ernest Hilbert


My poem “Great White Fleet,” slated for my fourth book, Last One Out, appears in the new anthology, Best of the Raintown Review, edited by Anna Evans, Quincy Lehr, and Jeff Holt. It includes poems by John Foy, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Erica Dawson, Kevin Cutrer, Jesse Anger, Rick Mullin, Sarah Busse, Jehanne Dubrow, Kevin O’Shea, Rory Waterman Anton Yakovlev, and many others.

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“All the Dead Dears” by Sylvia Plath


“The fiercest poet of our time”– Anne Stevenson

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“Allegheny Cemetery Day in Winter” by David Blair

saint-johns-cemetery-brook-burling (1)

David Blair is the author of Ascension Days (Del Sol Press, 2007) and Arsonville, which will be published by New Issues Poetry & Prose in 2016. He teaches at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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Ernest Hilbert’s Introduction to Classic Tales of Horror, Issued in the Canterbury Classics Series

Publisher's suitably corny cover art.

Ernest Hilbert provides a comprehensive introduction to this new popular edition of the classic horror stories, spanning the century between Polydori’s groundbreaking 1819 short novel Vampyre and early twentieth-century classics by H.P. Lovecraft and Franz Kafka.

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“No Scrrrrrrubbing!” Scary Funny Vincent Price Commercial for Tilex



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“Singer” by Justin Quinn


JUSTIN QUINN has lived in Prague since 1992. His most recent collection is Early House (Gallery, 2015) and he has translated the work of Czech poets, including Ivan Blatny, Petr Borkovec and Bohuslav Reynek.

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Top Five Things I Learned about Slavery from Reading 12 Years a Slave

twelve years

The 2013 film 12 Years a Slave was universally praised for its portrayal of the brutality of slavery in America. The screenplay by John Ridley is based on a formerly little-known 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, written with the help of David Wilson. Copies of the first edition, published by Derby and Miller in New York, are incredibly scarce and go for as much as $7,500 on the rare book market. E-Verse senior writer Bethany Leigh takes a look at the book and the ways in which it differs from the film.

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“Madman Bucket List: A Study for my ‘Lemon Meringue Pie Thrown in Face of George Bush’ Poem” by James Feichthaler

me reading(1)

James Feichthaler runs an open-mic poetry reading called “The Dead Bards of Philadelphia” at the Venice Island Performing Arts Center in Manayunk, PA. The self-proclaimed “forrealist poet” is set to release his first book of poetry in 2015, titled “Three Incantations of the Modern Druid.” You can follow him on Twitter — @forrealist_poet — and there is also a Facebook/Meetup page for The Dead Bards of Philadelphia, which lists upcoming events and schedules.

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“Little Song” by Rowan Ricardo Phillips

rowan ricardo

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and the GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, is the author of The Ground (FSG, 2012). He lives in New York City and Barcelona.

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Top Five Movies in Which the Golden Gate Bridge is Destroyed


But why pick on the Golden Gate? I mean, who wants to go to Marin anyway? The Oakland Bay Bridge is much more important. The Golden Gate has 100,000 vehicles per day, and the Oakland Bay Bridge has 240,000. Plus, the Oakland Bay Bridge actually was damaged and shut down (with the loss of one life) in the 1989 earthquake.

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“The View Near a Black Hole” by Christine Klocek-Lim


Christine Klocek-Lim received the 2009 Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in poetry. She has four poetry chapbooks: Ballroom – a love story (Flutter Press 2012), Cloud Studies – a sonnet sequence (Whale Sound 2011), The book of small treasures (Seven Kitchens Press 2010), and How to photograph the heart (The Lives You Touch Publications 2009). She has a bestselling young adult novel, Disintegrate (Evernight Teen, 2013). Her science fiction novel, Who Saw the Deep (Evernight Publishing, 2013) was a Semifinalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Awards 2012.

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