In Thousand Star Hotel, the bilingual writer’s struggle with expressing himself in English becomes a metaphor for the immigrant’s struggle with navigating the host nation’s hostile-yet-lucrative social terrain.
To do spoken word, you need bodies, you need people, you need that sense of gathering. Poets have always tapped into an unspoken understanding that language can tap into the ways in which the world works. Over at the Huffington Post, Daveed Digs and Danez Smith discuss how poetry equips children with a sense of voice that inspires them […]
Fonograf Editions, a new Portland-based vinyl record-only poetry press that aims to publish two to three spoken word poetry records on vinyl each year, is set for its first release on May 17 with Aloha/irish trees by Eileen Myles. The collection features a total of 36 selected and new poems on two sides. The record itself is […]
Dutifully we come out for the readings, we put on our thinking faces, we offer our commentary, but behind our pensive stares there remains that clandestine part of us that’s honestly just trying not to fall asleep. Lucky for us, this literary cabaret series promises to inject a little razzle-dazzle into our stale evenings.
Should poetry be heard and not seen? In most, though not all, historic literary traditions, verse is distinguished from prose by the fact that the lines or stanzas are identified as such by recurrent patterns of sound (quantity, accent, rhyme, or assonance) which are independent of both the syntax and the meaning. This strict definition […]
In a new history of the evolution of language, Matthew Battles focuses on humans’ relationship with writing. For Slate, John H. McWhorter argues that Battles’s distinction between the written and spoken word misunderstands how we use the Internet: Much of the “collective, aphoristic” writing Battles describes would today be termed tweets and posts.
From Portland, Oregon, Black Cake Records is compiling an audio archive of contemporary poets reading their work. As they put it, “We envision a library full of blood. We want the very best blood, & we want it everywhere.” Check it out here.
Spoken word poet Maggie Estep has passed away. The Los Angeles Times has a wonderful write up of her life and career and how she shaped a whole movement. “In her early work, Estep was a downtown New Yorker who talked tough, joked and was drawlingly sardonic while being sexually explicit. Her pieces often expressed […]