Poetry Pitfalls or What Makes Bad Verse Worse (Essential Writers Guidebooks Book 3)
What arrangement or rhythmic ordering of facts do they use in this process? What takes place in us as we confront the work of art, or, in other words, what is our reaction to an artistic stimulus? For an answer to such wider questions as these, we moderns turn to the so-called science of Aesthetics. But it should be borne in mind that aesthetic inquiry and answer may precede by thousands of years the use of the formal language of aesthetic theory.
Here are two faces, two trees, two colors, one of which seems preferable to the other. Wherein lies the difference, as far as the objects themselves are concerned? And what is it which the preferable face or tree or color stirs or awakens within us as we look at it? These are what we call aesthetic questions, but a man or a race may have a delicate and sure sense of beauty without consciously asking such questions at all. The awareness of beautiful objects in nature, and even the ability to create a beautiful work of art, may not be accompanied by any gift for aesthetic speculation.
Conversely, many a Professor of aesthetics has contentedly lived in an ugly house and you would not think that he had ever looked at river or sky or had his pulses quickened by a tune. Nevertheless, no one can turn the pages of a formal History of Aesthetics without being reminded that the oldest and apparently the most simple inquiries in this field may also be the subtlest and in a sense the most modern. For illustration, take the three philosophical contributions of the Greeks to aesthetic theory, as they are stated by Bosanquet: [Footnote: Bosanquet, History of Aesthetic , chap.
Finally he may come to lose himself with Kant or Hegel or Coleridge in philosophical theories about the nature of beauty, or to follow the curious analyses of experimental aesthetics in modern laboratories, where the psycho-physical reactions to aesthetic stimuli are cunningly registered and the effects of lines and colors and tones upon the human organism are set forth with mathematical precision.
He need not trouble himself overmuch at the outset with definitions of Beauty. The chief thing is to become aware of the long and intimate preoccupation of men with beautiful objects and to remember that any inquiry into the nature and laws of poetry will surely lead him into a deeper curiosity as to the nature and manifestations of aesthetic feeling in general. The Impulse to Artistic Production Furthermore, no one can ask himself how it is that a poem comes into being unless he also raises the wider question as to the origin and working of the creative impulse in the other arts.
It is clear that there is a gulf between the mere sense of beauty—such as is possessed by primitive man, or, in later stages of civilization, by the connoisseur in the fine arts—and the concrete work of art. Thousands enjoy the statue, the symphony, the ode; not one in a thousand can produce these objects.
Mere connoisseurship is sterile. How is it that they cross the gulf which separates the enjoyer from the producer? It is easier to ask this question than to find a wholly satisfactory answer to it. Perhaps this may be true, in a sense, and we shall revert to it later, but first let us look at some of the conditions for the exercise of the creative impulse, as contemporary theorists have endeavored to explain them. Social relations, surely, afford one of the obvious conditions for the impulse to art. It is true that as civilization has proceeded, this communal emotion has often seemed to fade away and leave us in the presence of the individual artist only.
But the creative act thus performed in solitude has a singular potency, after all, for arousing that communal feeling which in the moment of creation the artist seems to escape. What he produces in his loneliness the world does not willingly let die. His work, as far as it becomes known, really unites mankind. It fulfills a social purpose. He overlooked the obvious truth that there are certain types of difficult or intricate beauty—in music, in architecture, and certainly in poetry—which so tax the attention and the analytical and reflective powers of the spectator as to make the inexperienced, uncultured spectator or hearer simply unaware of the presence of beauty.
But although Tolstoy, a man of genius, overstated his case with childlike perversity, he did valuable service in insisting upon emotion as a basis for the art-impulse. The creative instinct is undeniably accompanied by strong feeling, by pleasure in the actual work of production and in the resultant object, and something of this pleasure in the harmonious expression of emotion is shared by the competent observer. The permanent vitality of a work of art does consist in its capacity for stimulating and transmitting pleasure. This analogy is curiously suggestive, though it is insufficient to account for all the phenomena concerned in human artistic production.
The play theory, again, suggests that old and clairvoyant perception of the Greeks that the art-impulse deals with aesthetic appearances rather than with realities as such. The work of the impressionist painter or the imagist poet illustrates this conception. The conventions of the stage are likewise a case in point. I once saw an unskilful fencer, acting the part of Romeo, really wound Tybalt: the effect was lifelike, beyond question, but it was shocking. Disinterested, because they consist so largely in delighted contemplation merely.
A certain aloofness is often felt to characterize great art: it is perceived in the austerity and reserve of the Psyche of Naples and the Venus of Melos:. The lower pleasures of the senses of taste and touch, it is often pointed out, are less pleasurable than the other senses when revived by memory. Your dinner is your dinner—your exclusive proprietorship of lower pleasure—in a sense in which the snowy linen and gleaming silver and radiant flowers upon the table are not yours only because they are sharable.
If music follows the dinner, though it be your favorite tune, it is nevertheless not yours as what you have eaten is yours. There is one other aspect of the artistic impulse which is of peculiar importance to the student of poetry. It is this: the impulse toward artistic creation always works along lines of order. The creative impulse may remain a mystery in its essence, the play of blind instinct, as many philosophers have supposed; a portion of the divine energy which is somehow given to men. All sorts of men, good and bad, cultured and savage, have now and again possessed this vital creative power.
They have been able to say with Thomas Lovell Beddoes:. The little world which their imagination has created may be represented only by a totem pole or a colored basket or a few scratches on a piece of bone; or it may be a temple or a symphony. But if it be anything more than the mere whittling of a stick to exercise surplus energy, it is ordered play or labor.
It follows a method. It betrays remeditation. It is the expression of something in the mind. His knife, almost before he is aware of what he is doing, follows a pattern—invented in his brain on the instant or remembered from other patterns. He gets pleasure from the sheer muscular activity, and from his tactile sense of the bronze or steel as it penetrates the softer wood. Ellis writes narrative poetry that feels as lucid and as clear as a photograph.
In "To Squamish Waters, , she tells a Duwamish man's story about the high cost of reincarnation, and "All Signs Are Dares" is the story of a bracing nighttime car ride that becomes more dangerous — even deadly — than it needed to be. Both are complete stories that in prose wouldn't feel out of place in a story collection by a Northwest writer like, say, Raymond Carver.
From the moment her very first creative writing teacher in 9th grade handed her books by Tom Robbins for inspiration, she has been an eager participant in the Northwest tradition. Ellis says the teacher was reticent to let her participate in his class because he believed that "freshmen can't write poetry," but her hard work and determination earned her a rare privilege: by the end of the year, the teacher ceremoniously announced to the class that he was wrong, and that freshmen were capable of being poets.
When I ask about how community informs her work, Ellis offers a jarring answer: "I was excommunicated from my childhood church," she says. She laughs and adds, "that is such rich fodder right there. The manuscript that Ellis is working on now, titled Stranger Land , explores that connection to place and to people.
Additionally, the book is informed by Ellis's position as a local of a city that is growing at a ridiculous pace, "I do think about feeling like a stranger in Seattle now. Ellis founded it with poets Susan Rich and Harold Taw,.
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After five years of readings, WordsWest is coming to a close next week, on Wednesday the 19th. Five years seemed like a good round number, and we wanted to end on a high. But Ellis is already putting out feelers for writing groups to join and artists to share work with. It's all part, she says, of her search for "a thing that's bigger than me and bigger than all of us. And Ellis refuses to close the door on WordsWest forever. Yesterday, news leaked that a book distribution company called Readerlink LLC is trying to best Elliott Management's offer. I wouldn't trust a hedge fund to run a lemonade stand: they exist to extract money from real businesses, not to build communities or bring a new model to chain retail.
I think the only options are giant world-crushing chains or customer-obsessed indie bookstore; anything in between is just begging to be crushed or bought and absorbed or liquidated. Montana author Bryce Andrews's nonfiction book Down from the Mountain is a whodunnit about the death of a grizzly bear. In a way, we're all to blame. A Duwamish man told the story to my daughter at a school assembly.
He drummed in a world of children who walk into the water and who return as Salmon for the villagers to eat. Always the ocean down our street keeps up its chop and spit and rush and I pay bills, sack lunches, wash clothes in cycles spinning my hand-me-down story, the one I will not give her. She plucks each bone of a stolen story from the dish in her hands and feeds them to the waves that slosh against her legs like underpinnings of a miles-long pier.
Previously: All Signs are Dares. The medical profession is an odd bird: intimately engaged with human life at its most joyful and most sorrowful and most messy — and also, somehow, always holding itself apart. From William Carlos Williams to Henry Marsh, books by doctors betray that carefully guarded distance. Lawrence, who writes a different kind of doctor book. What we love about the Anchorage physician's novels is that they close the gap between doctors and the rest of humanity.
Lawrence's second novel, House of Jesus , follows a jaded surgeon to Haiti, just after the earthquake. Seattle surgeon Phillip Scott we also love that Seattle setting! Check out the first chapter from Lawrence's book, which he's generously sharing on our sponsor feature page this week only — and we guarantee you'll be pulled in..
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It's about a woman who was born magic-free in a world full of magic. Seattle author Laurie Frankel joins Tara Conklin onstage to talk about The Last Romantics , Conklin's book about a poet who is asked about the meaning behind her most famous poem. I reviewed this one back in February. Eve Ensler's latest book is a searing exploration of child abuse and forgiveness and memory.
It's about the apology that Ensler always wanted, but never received, from her own father. Marshall, will read from and discuss their new play. It's pretty great that Deavel and Marshall are still creating new work together after all this time. Maybe all aspiring playwrights should retire from the bookstore business? Fishes of the Salish Sea , a new book from UW Press, has supposedly been in production for four decades. Authors and Ted Pietsch and James Orr have been researching the fish in our region, studying their appearances and characteristics down to practically the molecular level.
Orr and Pietsch have been collaborating with Joe Tomelleri, a painter who illustrated every single one of the fish featured in the book. It's not often anymore that you see serious academic texts combined with a more abstract visual art like painting. Photography is generally the only accepted visual medium in science texts, but it's hard to capture meaningful details in photographs of sea life, which is why this book serves as such a unique blend of artistry and science. Arundel's copy for the event refers to the book as an "important" and "extraordinary feat of scholarship, devotion to the natural world, and exquisite artistry.
Okay, but why does a book about fish matter? Well, honestly, because of climate change those fish might not be around for much longer, so while this book was intended as a work of serious scholarship it might serve as a memory bank for future generations who have lived through a Great Extinction. But I don't want to be such a Negative Nancy. This book is a huge accomplishment, and a beautiful piece of art. Why not celebrate its birth with the creators who wrote and illustrated it, and the staff who helped bring it into the world?
You don't get the opportunity to celebrate the culmination of 40 years of work every day. Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles we enjoyed this week, good for consumption over a cup of coffee or tea, if that's your pleasure. But do we truly understand that this company is failing, from a consumer perspective, while succeeding wildly at extracting subsidies and avoiding regulation? Do read this, even if you think you know all about Uber, the geeky detail will make your brain bigger.
Well, anyway, it did mine. Ceridwen Dovey brings the receipts. Speaking of self-medicating, British ish brand Calpol has pulled a sort of reverse Munchausen, soothing parents by helping them soothe their kids. A Calpol booklet offering an immunisation guide for parents depicts a blissed-out baby asleep with her arms outstretched and a smile on her face.
Taking down The Second Mountain , which seems to be a book-length mixed metaphor, is like shooting monkeys in a barrel of worms. Or something. Angela Garbes is a Seattle-based writer. Go see her speak, and bring all your questions about the astounding, wonderful, and strange biology — and sociology — of pregnancy.
I'm in early research mode for my next project, a book of essays about bodies, so I'm reading widely, sometimes superficially, getting lost in ideas, pulling on threads, and thinking a lot about craft.
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Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good — a collection of essays, annotated works, and interviews by adrienne maree brown — has been at the top of my stack for a while because I am enjoying it as much as I am struggling to move through it! I feel like I'll just be happily living with this book for a while.
I'd been wanting to shake up my relationship to my devices and social media for a while, and Odell's words and ideas were exactly what I needed to make that change. Since reading it, among other things, I've put a dozen plants in the ground, spent more time dancing and rolling on the carpet with my daughters, connected with friends IRL, and started leaving my phone at home when I run errands or go on walks.
Also I go on more walks. Shoutout to SPL's Peak Picks , which made it possible for me to pick it up at the library yesterday — no holds, no wait!! My guest post-it chooser for May was my littlest sister, the only family member not yet pressed into service thus far. I appreciated her decisive style, so unlike my own. I feel it is possible she should be in charge of many things. My intended ritual was initially sporadic; many nights went undocumented.
I also dabbled in the impossible, using impractically ephemeral materials like faint pencil, privately writing captions or dates on the back where no one could see. My now ex wife also poses a lurking risk in all the early years—exposing that familiar closeness feels so unseemly now, little relics like time bombs, our failed openness too naked to look at.
I was still in grad school, where practicalities were tacitly treated as a bit shameful, small-time. An ideal artist has no limits.
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But museums have not come calling for us, so here I am, telling you what I wrote on the back. In retrospect, it appears broken heating was a real feature of life in England. In early post-its I kept repeating the same kinds of treehouses I made obsessively as a kid, suddenly figured out why I love drawing so much.
Carefully build my own safe world, logic is only darkly laughable, and the whole thing fits in the palm of my hand. The TV lesbians were on an otherwise unremarkable drama about finding missing persons. I felt a shocked elation as the missing lesbian, unlike most missing characters on the show, actually escaped death—the usual fate of our dramatized queer brethren. But can we go back to Stockard Channing for a minute? This month I harbored fantasies of brevity, but let us instead swoon languorously over Stockard Channing.
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View this post on Instagram View this post on Instagram 5. View this post on Instagram 8. One of the Seattle authors who was MeToo-ed last year seems to be angling for a comeback. But I am curious about how thoughtful and deliberate it all seems. Cienna, do you think that shitty men can improve themselves? Has any man done a good job of responding to MeToo? Is it even possible? Or is fame a privilege that, once you abuse it by abusing women in not-illegal-but-not-right ways, you deserve to have taken from you forever? Whenever a human girlfriend invites me to her wedding, I like to take a voodoo doll of the groom as my date.
This accomplishes two things: first, I am able to get fresh hair clippings and once a tooth! It's the least I can do to counter the ceaseless waves of shit women endure. I won't get into the blah blah blahs of it because anyone reading this column is familiar with them, except to say that the metoo movement has shown that this isn't an issue of a couple of rapey apples, just as the anti-abortion movement isn't about preserving life.
In that respect, can we blame men for treating us how they've been taught? The answer is yes. Yes we can. And we can demand more than public apologies and rehab. We should expect sincere, personal apologies to victims, not blanket statements that try to deflect, explain, or minimize abhorrent behavior. We should expect to see these men ask pivotal questions like, "what can I do to begin to make amends for my actions? Where do I start? I don't think fame can be revoked at will, and even if it was, I don't think it would be as satisfying as it sounds. But we should expect that shitty men want to improve themselves for the sake of being better people although I haven't seen convincing evidence of it yet.
It would be a shocking but welcome evolution, like watching a whale shit out chic polar fleeces from all the plastic she's ingested. Seattle author Angela Garbes discusses her popular book about the biology and culture of mothering, which is now out in paperback. Every month, Olivia Waite pulls back the covers, revealing the very best in new, and classic, romance.
We're extending a hand to you. Won't you take it? And if you're still not sated, there's always the archives. Two characters sit at a table, chatting—when suddenly, the bomb beneath the table goes off! Suspense is what you get when, first, the director shows you the anarchist planting the bomb beneath the table, then lets you bite your nails watching those same two people chatting in blithe ignorance of the threat, while the clock slowly ticks down explosion-ward.
The characters themselves are still surprised, in the second scenario. But the viewer has more information, and a fuller sense of what is actually going on in the story. In romance, what we have is people. Hearts and hands and a few stickier bits. Expectation is an end point. Romance characters exist to be thwarted, poor souls. They almost never get what they say they want at the start of the book. How many times do we see heroes state that they just want a string of casual partners, so as not to interfere with the safe, predictable course of their lives?
Better people, better partners, better citizens of whatever world they inhabit. We require that happy ending. We demand it as a right. Reading tons of romances, over the course of years or decades, fine-tunes expectations even further. The genre, like any genre, rewards repeat engagement—you start to notice narrative conventions and trends, and the kind of moments that look like nothing special to an outsider, but which to authors and frequent readers might as well be stages with spotlights burning down upon them.
For instance: first kisses. The first kiss in the first romance you read is a singular experience. The first kiss in the fiftieth romance you read? You start to recognize the machinery of the story. And you start to select for the mechanisms that gives you, personally, the most satisfying result.
Literary fiction is the genre of surprise. Like a stage magician, pledging to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat. The story is a fiction, but what you feel is real. Like Alex, our American hero, this book has heard about this thing called subtlety and wants absolutely nothing to do with it. Alex is a mesmerizing combination of discipline and impulsiveness. Henry, our royal prince, is by turns perfectly dry and deeply vulnerable, a tweedy type whose formality masks a wicked sense of humor and poetry. Their connection is electric, and irresistible, and unfolds with a remarkable view of the dizzy, dazzling hedonism of youth.
If I could attend any one of the parties in this book I could die a happy woman. So I liked it a great deal, even if parts of it made me wince a little when they poked my own particular sore spots. Others definitely are different! We all find hope in different things! I am very interested to see where the author goes next! The skin is soft, probably exfoliated and moisturized daily by some royal manicurist. The camera snaps nearby. His eyes are big and soft and blue, and he desperately needs to be punched in one of them. Pride and Prejudice retellings are never out of style in Romancelandia—see below—but despite some awkward moments this one is significantly more rewarding than most.
I am resisting the temptation to write you a full essay on exactly what changes Jalaluddin made to the original story and how brilliant her overall vision is. I mean, placing a story about hasty judgments and self-knowledge in the context of present-day Islamophobia and misogyny and how those systems intersect is already Full Galaxy Brain, but there are so many more aspects of this book that made me gasp and stop and scribble notes about parallels and contrasts. For example: our less-than-impressive rejected suitor, Mr.
Darcy is possibly the most well-trod territory in all of romance, but traditional and devout Muslim Khalid is the sharpest take on Darcy I have ever seen. What happens when your heart comes into conflict with your beliefs and traditions? Wickham figures often come off as merely inappropriately sexy, rather than actively predatory. Modern retellings like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and now Ayesha at Last translate this successfully by making the Wickham figure not merely a romantic rival, but also someone who trafficks in the worst aspects of online sexuality: revenge porn, coerced nudes, exploitative and misogynist sex sites.
This book really puts the ick back in Wickham and gives us the proper emotional zing for the storyline. Ayesha walked Khalid to the door, and he took his time putting on his shoes. When he stood up, she noticed he had flour in his beard, and she reached out and absently brushed it away. His beard was soft, like spun cotton, and her hand lingered. He clasped her wrist to stop her, and their eyes met—hers wide in sudden realization, his steady. Ayesha blushed bright red, embarrassed at violating their unspoken no-touch rule.
He looked at her for a long moment, then gently, reluctantly, dropped her hand. We have a brash chemist heroine, a golden-boy hero, and a great many female characters on the side, all chipping away at the foundations of the patriarchy. We know how that goes, in Romancelandia. She opened her mouth to protest, but stopped. Everybody does. Harvard people have a way of working it into conversation. It makes for a lovely change of pace. Trisha is definitely a genius and devoted to her medical work even if she struggles with her bedside manner, her politically ambitious family, and pedestrian tasks like remembering to eat.
Her lax approach to dining is one of the many ways she outrages DJ Caine, our British expat hero, an accomplished chef who worked his way up from nothing to a Michelin star—and whose sister needs a life-saving operation only Trisha can provide. It means this book has some heavier angles that readers ought to know going in. But in the expert hands of Sonali Dev, all the angst and anguish is worth it. Also, my god, I could listen to DJ rhapsodize about food and flavor all damn day. Trisha Raje was without a doubt the most insufferable snob DJ had ever come across in his entire bloody life.
But it had never bothered him. Not like this. Our heroine Polly Gowan is no debutante: she spends her days organizing strikes and supporting workers at a 19th-century Glasgow cotton mill. There are pub jaunts, and football games in the mud, and clashes with the tyrannical power of the law. And while we all love a good historical gown description some of us have even written whole romances about that, in fact! The people on the ground, doing the actual labor, turning the great wheels of history one working day at a time.
They—we—deserve happy endings at least as much as the nobs do. Rumors started spreading earlier this week that the adult imprint of DC Comics, Vertigo, was finally being shuttered. If you've only been reading comics for ten years or less, you might not think this is a big deal.
from Poetics by Aristotle | Poetry Foundation
But for people like me, who've been reading comics since the early s or before, this news carries with it a certain kind of wistfulness. It's hard to explain now how important Vertigo was in a lot of comics nerds' lives. It's the only big-name comics publisher that would have given full support to Y the Last Man. A lot of the books that are now considered canonical came from Vertigo. But Vertigo had not produced a lot of work worth reading in recent years. Or rather, Vertigo couldn't be trusted to consistently publish excellent work.
The imprint's track record became erratic, and then it basically disappeared from view. So what was Vertigo's secret? Why did the imprint succeed so well for so long? Yes, talent had a lot to do with it. And so did a creative environment at DC that allowed creative teams to patiently build their worlds out without fear of immediate cancellation.
But I think Vertigo's secret weapon was in its editors. Karen Berger founded the line, of course, and her stewardship was likely the single most important reason for Vertigo's early success. Berger made space for other editors, like Tom Peyer and Stuart Moore, to follow their own dreams. And she allowed some exciting young editors, like Axel Alonso, to shepherd new and exciting projects through the imprint. Most people — hell, I'd be willing to bet that most comics readers — don't know what comic book editors do. It's especially tricky because a lot of comics editors don't do their jobs.
But a good comic book editor is as much a part of the collaboration process as a colorist or artist or letterer or writer. A good comics editor will help define a book, and ensure that the writer keeps to those themes throughout the book's lifespan. They will fight for the best ideas, and kill the worst ideas before they can fly out of control and endanger the whole project. They'll help every member of the team do their best work possible. And when a good editor leaves, you can tell by the rapid decline in quality.
These are books that are adult without being pornographic or overly violent. They aspire to literature, while still remembering what makes comics so damn fun in the first place. They tell stories about characters and not just plot points. They make room for what's great in comics, in a package that doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. I refuse to believe that this is an endangered market. There will be more Vertigos out there sometime soon.
If you're reading it like literary fiction, the "character" we learn the most about in The Mueller Report is Robert Mueller himself. His character is throughout the book: intensely literal, a devout believer in the letter of the law, and an unquestioning devotee of the American experiment. As the world saw in his quietly outraged public appearance last month, Mueller has a profound sense of right and wrong, but even his G-Man morality is nothing compared to his devotion to the law.
Mueller announced that he could not indict a sitting president, and that he would have cleared the president of indictable offenses if he could. The inference, of course, is that President Trump committed indictable offenses, but Mueller is bound by duty to not say that out loud. The big question is if Mueller made the right call by sticking to protocol.
Is it possible that our times are extraordinary enough that the lantern-jawed advocate of fair play should have broken character and spoken frankly about his findings? Is Donald Trump enough of an existential threat to the country that Mueller should have dropped the coyness and sounded the alarm? Only time can answer that question. It is a legal document, one which walks the reader — deliberately and with great detail — through the Trump campaign's connections with foreign agents and President Trump's attempts to kill the investigation into those dealings.
It's not a page-turner, nor is it exceptionally accessible. But it is important. Even though there aren't many new facts in the book, seeing all the details laid out in order, written in dry legal prose, is simply stunning. Nobody — not even Attorney General Barr — could read this report and come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is as innocent as a newborn child. Members of last night's book club had plenty of questions that The Mueller Report could never answer — about Russian money being funneled into social media, about whether Trump would be indicted on leaving office, about whether the country could ever recover from the damage that Trump's destructive policies are unleashing.
The conversation repeatedly leaned toward darkness. But I found it heartening that the conversation always came back to facts. What does Mueller say? What doesn't he say? When did this event happen? Can we even prove that this event ever happened? People kept trying to find solid ground on which they could stand. For all his real estate deals, solid ground is the one thing that Donald Trump and his cronies will never be able to buy.
When you build a kingdom on lies, you're destined to spend the rest of your days trying to avert disasters. Every day, the chaos president sinks a little bit deeper into a trap of his own making. The best way to keep from drowning in lies is to only build on truth, and we have a lot more truth about Donald Trump this month than we did six months ago. Some good news about the state of independent bookselling from Publishers Weekly :. Cheatham wrote the poem that became Hi Blue Sky for himself, but he decided that he wanted to share it with children, to help them through the grieving process.
Cheatham has brought the book to a number of young readers to make sure that Hi Blue Sky worked on its target audience. It could be a story for kids who lose a friend who moves away. On June 12th, Cheatham is celebrating the launch of Hi Blue Sky with a family-friendly happy hour reading at The Station coffee shop on Beacon Hill from 5 pm to to 8 pm , with pizza and chocolate.
I lost my job. I had to move. I lost my car. And then a friend took him to The Station for the first time. I love them all to death. And once I was there, the owners embraced me as a part of their community and they allowed me to create. Last week, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller talked for less than ten minutes about the criminal accusations surrounding President Trump, the world reacted with shock and surprise.
Which, really, is pretty damn weird considering Mueller offered no new information that couldn't already be found in the bestselling report that bears his name. It's been right there in his book this whole time. But even if you haven't read the book, you should join us for our conversation about the Report and what it all means. And I'm also taking this opportunity to announce a contest for attendees tomorrow night: if your copy of the Mueller Report is more beaten than mine but still somehow readable, I promise to buy you a drink. View this post on Instagram My copy of the Mueller Report was in my backpack when I got caught in a rainstorm and now I have the most metal copy of the Mueller Report on the planet.
It's free and you don't have to have read the entirety of the book to take part in the discussion. Join us! Show up for the series, and you'll get a tasting menu of what's current in verse. The question of whether poetry matters is a tired old argument. Poetry is endlessly adaptable to the needs of whatever time we're in. Poets adapt endlessly, and serve up language with infinite variety. And SAL has a lens on it all. Check out the full list of names for this year's Poetry Series on our sponsor feature page , then reserve your seats today.
I find it shocking how few people know that Neal Stephenson is a Seattle-area author — particularly since his books are very obviously influenced by the nature and culture of the Pacific Northwest. His latest book, Fall, or Dodge in Hell , a stealth sequel to his thriller Reamde , is a book that imagines what the Singularity might mean for our concepts of life and death. Town Hall Seattle, 8th Ave. Orlando de Lange, a plant molecular biologist at UW, will discuss 26 "plants, people and places that define the green landscape and history of our city. Plus: Drinks! Fred Wildlife Refuge, Belmont Ave.
A native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon, Imbolo Mbue is the author of the bestselling debut Behold the Dreamers, the story of a young Cameroonian couple whose new lives in New York are upended by the Great Recession. A large and fun panel of cultural landscape specialists, historians, drag queens, and small business owners will discuss what it means for a traditionally gay neighborhood to face gentrification and massive construction.
How do we preserve important places while still allowing new people to move in? Seattle Public Library, 4th Ave. First, there was the Intruder comic magazine, a free tabloid-sized comics newspaper that was delivered to comics shops and other cool locales around town. Intruder closed up shop and was followed by a similar publication called Thick as Thieves. Given so much of the editorial staff is overseeing the transition from Thick as Thieves to Hair Flip , you probably won't see too much of a difference in this new first issue. And in fact, casual readers likely might not even be able to spot a negligible difference between Intruder and Hair Flip.
That's okay. These new identities and frequent reinventions are part of what makes our local comics scene so vibrant. Print media is something different now than it used to be — it's simultaneously less valuable to advertisers but more valuable to readers.
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If you can't make something new, bring a new attitude to a print publication, why aren't you just running a fucking blog or something? Better to keep things new and interesting, to keep handing the vision off to a new group every few years. Comics in this town have the energy and excitement of a thriving rock scene right now — best to harness that kind of energy with an of-the-moment magazine that might not exist a few years from now because it's too busy evolving into something else.
That's how the really great scenes keep alive. Kudos to all of them for treating Bezos, as much as possible, as just another novelist. The Elliott Bay Book Company hosted a reading of Ms Bezos' second novel in — and Mr [Rick] Simonson recalls some people questioning why an independent book shop would want to host a book associated with Amazon. However, he says: "I felt you can invite the other side in - and she's a legitimate writer who deserved a fair reading".
Glenn Nelson expertly eviscerates David Shields's new documentary screening at SIFF , which returns to the ham-handed examination of race and sports Shields last attempted in his also eviscerated Black Planet. You can read this article in much less time and with much greater pleasure than either Shields's book or Shields's movie. It builds on the time-honored colonialist tradition of the white man or, sometimes, woman feeling uniquely qualified i. Yancy Strickler isn't the first to worry about what happens when the good guys exit social media stage right.
Is social media a dark forest that needs heroes to tame it? Or is it the tiresome party we'll all be happy to leave? Do we get to choose? Imagine a dark forest at night. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life.
The dark forest is full of life. To survive, the animals stay silent This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest. This story, Stephanie Montgomery's story, includes a description of her sexual assault. It also includes a description of how, when her employer and the justice system both failed to stand up for her, Stephanie took matters into her own mighty hands , painting a billboard that calls out every part of the system that failed her.
Nothing was going to happen. No justice, just another rape, the world moved on. The MeToo movement had opened up the conversation, sure, and it had also spurred men into hyperdefensiveness and aggression, but when the smoke cleared, had anything really changed? Where were the arrests, the convictions? An idea began to take hold. She was going to paint something, something huge. Knox Gardner is a poet and photographer, as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of the unique and wonderful local press Entre Rios Books — a press that focuses on collaborations between poets and artists.
He's the author of two collaborations: Twelve Saints , with Nia Michaels, and the brand-new release Woodland , with musician Aaron Otheim. Gardner will be appearing twice in the near future in support of Woodland : Sunday, June 2nd, at Open Books see our Event of the Week column for more details , and the official book launch for Woodland , Monday June 13th at Hugo House , where he will be joined by Otheim. It seemed appropriate being in NYC and in our new gilded age, and over the last few weeks with all the new restrictive abortion laws subjugating women, perhaps more so.
I feel like I must have read Age of Innocence in college, but I am not sure. I almost always end up reading the end of books first, so I know this is going to be a tragedy, but what I was not expecting is how funny and bitchy Wharton can be. My book is all marked up with zippy one-liners for my inner queen. Seriously, all queens should be reading Wharton. Oh Miss Bart is going to make some bad choices! I had the good fortune to find in a used book store on the same trip, Drift by Caroline Bergvall.
This is a deep, profound work by both the writer and book designer — truly a collaboration in design much like Don Mee Choi's impressive Hardly War with Wave Books. Our publicist has been encouraging me to start taking our press in a more national direction — and to publish work like this, well yes, I would.
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This book peers in to the despair of the refugee crisis, into our deep past, to create something so startling and immediate. One brutal thing since starting the press is how much less time I have for reading and yet how many more books are piling up around the house. These are the books currently at the top of my list:. But I tend to read until I fall asleep on the couch, and then I wake up to the sound of Mayte chowing down on the fifth chapter of whatever sleazy erotic historical novel I happen to be in the middle of at any given moment.
You are wise to realize that some bad habits are impossible to break — for instance, my bad habit of buying memorial plaques dedicated to people I dislike and bolting them to park dumpsters. Instead of changing her behavior, change yours. Try buying Mayte a couple of books to chew on while you read. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard and Infinite Jest by whatshisface are both very long, terrible books that would give Mayte's geriatric jaw a healthy workout.
In his last dozen years he published six volumes of poems, including Collected Poems , plus three volumes of prose. After his death in at age eighty-seven came Residues , Collected Later Poems , and now Uncollected Poems. The earliest poem collected dates from ; the latest, from his final years and after. With Geoffrey Hill, he may be the great embattled poet of faith from late in the twentieth century, but a reader new to Thomas would hardly know that from the Uncollected Poems. What to make of this is a puzzle.
It was easier to come out with you into the fields, where birds made no claim on my poor knowledge and flowers grew with no thought but to declare God. Of course, Thomas was a priest of the Church in Wales, an Anglican, a minority faith in his country, where nonconformist churches predominate. His outsider status was real but much dramatized and exaggerated.
Readers new to Thomas are advised to try one of the slender original volumes from Bloodaxe or even the Collected Poems , all pages of it. Back to that thought experiment. Here is the last of its three stanzas. This might be a self-portrait with two faces. Thomas as Juno, daughter of Saturn. Patrick Kurp is a writer living in Houston, Texas, and the author of the literary blog Anecdotal Evidence. The No World Concerto by A.