The Skin of Meaning

Author: Aaron Shurin
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472052969
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A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation. In The Skin of Meaning, Aaron Shurin has collected thirty years’ worth of his provocative essays. Fueled by gender and queer studies and combined with radical traditions in poetry, Shurin’s essays combine a highly personal and lyrical vision with a trenchant social analysis of poetry’s possibilities. Whether he’s examining innovations in poetic form, analyzing the gestures of drag queens, or dissecting the language of AIDS, Shurin’s writing is evocative, his investigations rigorous, and his point of view unabashed. Shurin’s poetic practice braids together many strands in contemporary, innovative writing, from the San Francisco Renaissance to Language Poetry and New Narrative Writing. His mentorships with Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov; his studies at New College of California, where he was the first graduate of the epochal Poetics Program; and his years of teaching writing provide a rich background for these essays. San Francisco provides the color and context for formulations of “prosody now,” propositions of textual collage, and theories of radical narrativity, while the heart of the book searches through the dire years of the AIDS epidemic to uncover poetic meaning, and “make the heroes heroes.”

Flowers Sky

Author: Aaron Shurin
Publisher: Entre Rios Books
ISBN: 9780997395723
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Flowers & Sky: Two Talks brings together two lectures and a suite of unpublished poems by one of our finest lyric poets, Aaron Shurin. These intimate talks use Shurin's own work to illustrate the power and practice of image-making at the deepest level. The result is a continual act of discovery, part poetics, part literary autobiography, and part three-dimensional bibliography. An accompanying digital recording, in the poet's own voice, brings the work alive into full sonority. With the talks, poems, and recording together, the book offers a short course in poetic practice, and a glimpse into a unique life making, and made by, art.

The Ocean the Bird and the Scholar

Author: Helen Vendler
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674736567
Format: PDF
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A Times Higher Education Book of the Week One of our foremost commentators on poetry examines the work of a broad range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, Irish, and American poets. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar gathers two decades’ worth of Helen Vendler’s essays, book reviews, and occasional prose—including the 2004 Jefferson Lecture—in a single volume. “It’s one of [Vendler’s] finest books, an impressive summation of a long, distinguished career in which she revisits many of the poets she has venerated over a lifetime and written about previously. Reading it, one can feel her happiness in doing what she loves best. There is scarcely a page in the book where there isn’t a fresh insight about a poet or poetry.” —Charles Simic, New York Review of Books “Vendler has done perhaps more than any other living critic to shape—I might almost say ‘create’—our understanding of poetry in English.” —Joel Brouwer, New York Times Book Review “Poems are artifacts and [Vendler] shows us, often thrillingly, how those poems she considers the best specimens are made...A reader feels that she has thoroughly absorbed her subjects and conveys her understanding with candor, clarity, wit.” —John Greening, Times Literary Supplement

Air Traffic

Author: Gregory Pardlo
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 1524731773
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning poet: an extraordinary memoir and blistering meditation on fatherhood, race, addiction, and ambition. Gregory Pardlo's father was a brilliant and charismatic man--a leading labor organizer who presided over a happy suburban family of four. But when he loses his job following the famous air traffic controllers' strike of 1981, he succumbs to addiction and exhausts the family's money on more and more ostentatious whims. In the face of this troubling model and disillusioned presence in the household, young Gregory rebels. Struggling to distinguish himself on his own terms, he hustles off to Marine Corps boot camp. He moves across the world, returning to the United States only to take a job as a manager-cum-barfly at his family's jazz club. Air Traffic follows Gregory as he builds a life that honors his history without allowing it to define his future. Slowly, he embraces the challenges of being a poet, a son, and a father as he enters recovery for alcoholism and tends to his family. In this memoir, written in lyrical and sparkling prose, Gregory tries to free himself from the overwhelming expectations of race and class, and from the tempting yet ruinous legacy of American masculinity. Air Traffic is a richly realized, deeply felt ode to one man's remarkable father, to fatherhood, and to the frustrating yet redemptive ties of family. It is also a scrupulous, searing examination of how manhood can be fashioned in our cultural landscape.

Plainwater

Author: Anne Carson
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101911271
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The poetry and prose collected in Plainwater are a testament to the extraordinary imagination of Anne Carson, a writer described by Michael Ondaatje as "the most exciting poet writing in English today." Succinct and astonishingly beautiful, these pieces stretch the boundaries of language and literary form, while juxtaposing classical and modern traditions. Carson envisions a present-day interview with a seventh-century BC poet, and offers miniature lectures on topics as varied as orchids and Ovid. She imagines the muse of a fifteenth-century painter attending a phenomenology conference in Italy. She constructs verbal photographs of a series of mysterious towns, and takes us on a pilgrimage in pursuit of the elusive and intimate anthropology of water. Blending the rhythm and vivid metaphor of poetry with the discursive nature of the essay, the writings in Plainwater dazzle us with their invention and enlighten us with their erudition.

Mother Jones Magazine

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Publisher:
ISBN:
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Mother Jones is an award-winning national magazine widely respected for its groundbreaking investigative reporting and coverage of sustainability and environmental issues.

Upstream

Author: Mary Oliver
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698405625
Format: PDF, Docs
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One of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year! The New York Times bestselling collection of essays from beloved poet, Mary Oliver. “In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” So begins Upstream, a collection of essays in which revered poet Mary Oliver reflects on her willingness, as a young child and as an adult, to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature. Emphasizing the significance of her childhood “friend” Walt Whitman, through whose work she first understood that a poem is a temple, “a place to enter, and in which to feel,” and who encouraged her to vanish into the world of her writing, Oliver meditates on the forces that allowed her to create a life for herself out of work and love. As she writes, “I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.” Upstream follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost, the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully, intelligently, and to observe with passion. Throughout this collection, Oliver positions not just herself upstream but us as well as she encourages us all to keep moving, to lose ourselves in the awe of the unknown, and to give power and time to the creative and whimsical urges that live within us.

Nepantla

Author: Pat Mora
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 9780826345271
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Mora's insights on bilingualism, education, women, and family are sometimes barbed and always exact.

Glass Irony and God

Author: Anne Carson
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
ISBN: 9780811213028
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Anne Carson's poetry - characterized by various reviewers as "short talks", "essays", or "verse narratives" - combines the confessional and the critical in a voice all her own. Known as a remarkable classicist, Anne Carson in Glass, Irony and God weaves contemporary and ancient poetic strands with stunning style. This collection includes: "The Glass Essay", a powerful poem about the end of a love affair, told in the context of Carson's reading of the Bronte sisters; "Book of Isaiah", a poem evoking the deeply primitive feel of ancient Judaism; and "The Fall of Rome", about her trip to "find" Rome and her struggle to overcome feelings of a terrible alienation there.