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Poetry

Poetry Longlist Revealed for the National Book Award

The National Book Foundation has revealed its first ever Poetry longlist for the National Book Award.

Below, we’ve listed all the books longlist, including a free sample (if available). The finalists will be announced on October 16. Yesterday, we linked to free samples of all the books on the Young People’s Literature longlist. Here’s more from the release:

Nine of the ten authors are receiving National Book Award recognition for the first time. The selection includes many of the country’s preeminent writers of contemporary poetry and one emerging voice, whose first published collection has already received significant acclaim.

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5 Steps to Slam Poetry

Do you dream of writing slam poetry? In this three-minute TED-Ed lesson, slam poet and educator Gayle Danley shares “Five Steps to Slam Poetry,” illustrating how one writer crafts a slam poem.

We’ve embedded an animated video with the lesson above. Over at the TED website, poetry fans can access a quiz, a discussion board, and more resources.

Two styles of animation were incorporated into this video. To go behind-the-scenes and learn more, follow this link.

Etgar Keret Annotates a Story on Poetry Genius

Israeli author Etgar Keret has annotated his short story “What Do We Have in Our Pockets?” on Poetry Genius, the literary arm of the lyric annotation site Rap Genius.

His funny notes add images, commentary and writing insight. Here’s an excerpt, explaining the moment he conceived the story:

I began writing this story during a train ride to Haifa. When I passed through the electronic security gate at the entrance to the railway station, it buzzed. And as I took out the tons of stuff I had in my pockets I couldn’t help noticing the security guy’s look which was full both of pity and contempt. I wanted to say to him something in defense of my bulging pockets but couldn’t come up with anything. By the time I’ve reached Haifa I’ve already had my first paragraph.

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Lemony Snicket Selects & Annotates Poetry Portfolio

Bestselling children’s author Lemony Snicket has selected and annotated 20 different poems for a special called “Poetry Not Written for Children That Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy” portfolio in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine.

Caldecott winner Chris Raschka illustrated the collection. You can read the portfolio online as well. The portfolio includes work by Sherman Alexie, John Ashbery, Dorothea Lasky and Eileen Myles. Snicket (the pen-name of Daniel Handler) had this comment:

Some time ago I found myself locked in the basement of the Poetry Foundation building.… The basement is crammed with the efforts of poets living and dead, famed and forgotten, terrific and terrible.… By the time it was safe for me to emerge, blinking, onto the streets of Chicago, I had gathered together the poems you now find here.

Charles Bukowski Manuscripts Online

If you love the work of the poet and author Charles Bukowski, you can explore a vast archive of poem and letter manuscripts by the prolific author at Bukowski.net.

What’s your favorite book or poem by Bukowski? On Reddit, a number of readers shared their favorite memories of reading the late author. One reader shared this story:

Many years ago, I was a young college student deeply in love for the first time. My beloved and I were living together in the state of bliss that’s unique to besotted young lovers. She was taking a poetry class and was opening her mind to the subject. One Saturday morning, she walked to a local bookstore and spoke with the proprietor. She described our situation and asked for a recommendation on a book of poems we could share together. The bookseller recommended Love is a Dog From Hell by Charles Bukowski, an author with whom my beloved was completely unfamiliar. I will always be grateful to that bookseller. Sadly, my then-partner and I parted ways not to long after, but I still have a shelf full of Bukowski.

The University of Colorado Collects Haikus for a Mars Mission

Earlier this year, the University of Colorado held the “Going to Mars” haiku writing contest. More than 12,000 people turned in submissions. Every poem that picked up at least two votes in a public poll will be included in a DVD for a space mission with the MAVEN.

According to Mashable, NASA plans to send the MAVEN spacecraft to Mars in November. The contest organizers announced that five haikus each received more than 1,000 votes and earned a place in a “top five” list. Here is one those pieces, penned by Benedict Smith:

“It’s funny, they named
Mars after the God of War
Have a look at Earth”

(Photo Credit: Kevin Gill)

Neil Hilborn’s ‘OCD’ Love Poem Counts 1.2 Million Views

Publisher Button Poetry has released a video of poet Neil Hilborn reading his poem, “OCD.” The video went viral this week, earning more than 1,252,000 views on YouTube and thousands of comments on reddit.

We’ve embedded a video above–what do you think?  Hilborne’s love poem was filmed during the individual finals of the 2013 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam. Button Poetry published Hilborn’s collection of poetry, Clatter.

Philly.com called the poem “a passionate description of the kind of love that transcends serious disorders like OCD.” (via Gawker)

Choose a Haiku To Send To Mars

You can help choose a haiku to fly to Mars in an unmanned spacecraft, part of NASA’s historic MAVEN mission. Follow this link to read and vote on your favorite haiku to send into space.

We voted for this Douglas Adams-inspired poem. While you can no longer submit a haiku, you can add your name to a DVD that is headed to Mars. Here’s more about the MAVEN mission to Mars:

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, scheduled for launch in late 2013, will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The goal of MAVEN is to determine the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. Where did the atmosphere—and the water—go?

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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Summarized in the Style of Dr. Seuss

What if Dr. Seuss had translated Fifty Shades of Grey?

Reddit user Traceofbass rewrote E.L. James‘ mega-bestseller as a Seuss-ian poem when one reader challenged someone to ”Summarize the plot of Fifty Shades of Grey like you are Doctor Seuss.” The funny results contain some not safe for work language. Check it out:

Here there are spoilers,
Of a lewd little tail,
About a man named Christian,
His last name not Bale.
Oh the places you’ll go!
Under whipdoozles and chainflams,
Into crosswhizzles and jimjams!

Walt Whitman & Walt White Parallels in New eBook

Are you counting the days until Breaking Bad returns to television for its final episodes? You should read some poetry while you wait.

AppNewser has an excerpt from an interactive digital book that exploring parallels between the main character and a famous poem:

Have you noticed parallels between Breaking Bad character Walt White (played by Bryan Cranston) and Walt Whitman? A new digital book has more about the connection. Sony Pictures Television and the Breaking Bad creators have published Breaking Bad: Alchemy, an interactive digital book only available on iBookstore.

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