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Poetry

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?

Samuel L. Jackson Performs ‘Boy Meets World’-Themed Slam Poetry

Just in time for National Poetry Month, Django Unchained actor Samuel L. Jackson recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performed slam poetry about the 90′s American sitcom, Boy Meets World.

In the video embedded above, Jackson makes references to the Corey-Topanga love story, the Corey-Shawn bromance, and Eric’s infamous “Feeny” call.

According to Mental Floss, Fallon later asked Jackson whether or not he was a fan of Boy Meets World; Jackson admitted that it’s probable he had never even “seen one episode.”

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New York City Hosts Twitter Poetry Contest

twitter304In celebration of National Poetry Month, New York City is once again hosting a Twitter poetry contest.

To enter, all poets must include the #NYCPoetweet hashtag in their tweets. All participants must adhere to this rule: “keep it clean and to one tweet.”

According to silive.com, “the best tweets posted before April 8 will be considered for publication in Metro New York on April 24, or ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day.’” First Lady Chirlane McCray, poet and wife to Mayor Bill de Blasio, will serve as one of the judges. Follow this link to learn more details about the contest and view last year’s winning poems.

‘The Paris American’ Shares ‘Film Sonnet’ by James Franco

James FrancoThe Paris American has selected actor James Franco as their “Poet of the Week.”

Franco (pictured, viashared the news on Facebook and received more than 6,000 “likes.” The online magazine posted Franco’s poem “Film Sonnet.”

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Marilyn Nelson: ‘Many performance poets seem to believe that yelling a poem makes it comprehensible’

marilyn nelsonHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson.

Throughout her career, Nelson has written several volumes of poetry. Earlier this year, Penguin Books for Young Readers published her memoir How I Discovered Poetry. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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4th Annual Shakespeare Sonnet Slam on Kickstarter

Melinda Hall hopes to raise $1,600 for the 3rd Annual Shakespeare Sonnet Slam. This free event, celebrating William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, is scheduled to take place in New York City on April 25, 2014.

The stage, the Naumburg Bandshell inside Central Park, will feature readings of all 154 Shakespearean sonnets. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“This is our 4th year and so far, we’ve had Sonnet Readers from ages 8-96 perform their Sonnet and there have been Readers from over 30 Countries.  Some Readers are professional actors but many are not, they just share a common love of Shakespeare and are willing to get up on that stage to perform. The audience is comprised of people of all ages who stay for as little as 10 minutes or stay the entire three hours and hear all 154 Sonnets by 154 Readers.”

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