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Poetry

Michael J. Rosen: ‘Read poets from other countries, in other languages, if possible.’

Michael J RosenHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with writer Michael J. Rosen.

Throughout his writing career, Rosen (pictured, via) has authored more than a dozen books. Recently, he wrote two installments of a children’s book series that focuses on animal-themed haikus, The Cuckoo’s Haiku and The Hound Dog’s Haiku. Next Spring, Candlewick Press will release book three The Maine Coon’s Haiku. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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Clint Smith Uses Spoken Word Poem ‘Memoir’ For Activism

What are your thoughts on immigration reform?

Clint Smith, a poet and a high school English teacher, decided to express his opinion in a poem. The video embedded above features Smith delivering a performance of “Memoir.”

In a Q&A with Food Politic, Smith talked about his inspiration for this piece: “‘Memoir’ wasn’t something I thought about until I had a student that said, ‘It doesn’t matter if I have a 4.0 and 2400 on my SATs. I don’t have a social security number so I can’t go to school.’ My poetry is me trying to reconcile my own life and opportunities I’ve had with opportunities my students aren’t given and how profoundly unfair that is.” What do you think? (via UpWorthy)

Julie Andrews Reads Her Poem ‘Missing’

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve dug up a video of actress Julie Andrews performing a recitation of her poem, “Missing.” Andrews has collaborated with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, on several books including Dumpy the Dumptruck, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother and Child, and Very Fairy Princess.

The mother-daughter writing duo both served as narrators for the audiobook version of the Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. They won the 2011 Grammy Award in the “Best Spoken Word Album for Children” category. What’s your favorite poem?

‘To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter’ Poem Goes Viral

How would you treat the people who may become a love interest for your children? Jesse Parent penned a cautionary spoken-word poem entitled “To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter.”

The video embedded above features Parent performing his piece at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted it earlier this month and it has since attracted more than 840,000 views.

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David Lehman: ‘Enjoy being a poet. Take pleasure in the act of writing.’

LehmanHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with author David Lehman.

Lehman (pictured, via) has published several volumes of poetry including his most recent book, New and Selected Poems. He initiated The Best American Poetry series in 1988 and has continued to serve as the series editor. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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Jack Prelutsky Recites ‘Today is a Very Boring Day’ Poem On ‘Arthur’

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we found a video featuring Jack Prelutsky’s guest appearance on the animated TV series, Arthur. The video embedded above features him delivering a performance of his poem, “Today is a Very Boring Day.”

Prelutsky, the United States’ first children’s poet laureate, has written more than eighty volumes of poetry. Back in April 2012, we sat for an interview with him and asked him for tips about reading poetry aloud; he feels that “a poem is a living organism, and no two are alike. Most poems (perhaps all poems) are read best when read aloud.” What do you think?

Hannah Sanghee Park Takes Walt Whitman Award

hannahsangheeparkUSC student Hannah Sanghee Park has been selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout as the Academy of American Poets’ 2014 Walt Whitman Award winner.

“The poems in The Same-Different, beginning with a set of gnomic sonnets, tell it slant, then slanted,” stated Armantrout. ”They are so full of chiasmus, pun, and near-rhyme that their figures twist back on themselves like strands of DNA or a staircase by Escher. They are mirror-bright. This book is a literally dazzling debut.”

As the winner, Park gets her first book published, a $5,000 award, a month-long residency at Vermont Studio Center, as well as promotion on Poets.org. The Academy will also purchase thousands of copies of her book and distribute them to members.

Park joins the likes of previous recipients including: Nicole Cooley, Suji Kwock Kim, Eric Pankey, Matt Rasmussen, and Alberto Ríos.

Naomi Shihab Nye: ‘Read it slowly, and more than once, if you love the poem.’

unnamedHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with author Naomi Shihab Nye.

Throughout her writing career, Nye has penned short stories, fiction books, and poetry collections. Some of the honors she has received include the the Jane Addams Children’s Book award, the Carity Randall Prize, and the The Pushcart Prize. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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Kickstarter Poetry Project Remixes Art with Monkeys

Doodler Alan J. Hart has raised more than $4,600 on Kickstarter for his poetry project, Everything’s Better with Monkeys. The funds will be used to cover the cost of printing 500 books.

Hart has written a lengthy poem pondering about the adding monkeys to art pieces by René Magritte, James McNeill Whistler, and Vincent Van Gogh. To accompany each funny verse, he re-created these pieces with appearances from baboons, orangutans, and more. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The complete poem includes homages to famous paintings including Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, and more. In all, more than a dozen classic paintings get the simian improvement treatment.”

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Does the English Language Drive You Crazy?

Does the English language drive you crazy?

Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffit, the co-creators of the AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel, have written a poem called “English Is Crazy!” The two collaborators posted a poetry video on their second channel, AsapTHOUGHT, featuring Moffit as the narrator.

The Huffington Post lists some of the reasons why English can cause frustration; “grammar rules can be inconsistent, spelling nonsensical and don’t get us started on plurals, pronouns and pronunciation. Tough, cough, bough and dough. Enough said.” What do you think?

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