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Poetry

8th Grader’s Poem Draws 144,000+ Tweets

A palindromic poem written by a 14-year-old named Jordan Nichols went viral after his older brother Derek tweeted a photo of it (embedded above). The piece, entitled “Our Generation,” has attracted more than 144,000 retweets.

According to The Independent, the poem “at first appears to paint a gloomy picture of modern society and one obsessed with careers and money…In reverse the poem is a lot more optimistic, a declaration of hope full of the kind of one-liners you would expect in a presidential address, and all this from an 8th grader.”

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Viral Video Features a Man Who Wants ‘Girls Who Read’

Are you spending Valentine’s Day with a bibliophile? For one man, he wants a girl “with passion, wit, and dreams… So I want a girl who reads.”

The video embedded above features a recitation of a poem called “Girls Who Read.” Roundhouse, a London-based art studio, uploaded the video onto their YouTube channel. Back in November 2013, the video went viral drawing more than 3 million views.

Poet Mark Grist created the poem and performed the reading featured in this video. Filmmaker Guy Larsen served as the director. Larsen wrote two blog posts showcasing behind-the-scenes photos. What do you think?

Poet Maxine Kumin Has Died

maxinekuminU.S. poet laureate Maxine Kumin has died at the age of 88, reports The Associated Press. Kumin, the author of dozens of poems, as well as works of fiction, nonfiction and a memoir, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for “Up Country.”

Here is more from the AP: “The Bennett Funeral Home in Concord says Kumin, who wrote more than three dozen books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature, died Thursday at her home in Warner after a year of failing health. Kumin was an advocate for women writers, human and political justice and animal rights. Her final work, “And Short the Season,” is scheduled to be released later this year.”

Kumin got her start publishing poems in The New Yorker. The magazine has paid tribute to the poet by sharing an audio recording of Kumin reading “Truth.”

Mexican Poet Jose Emilio Pacheco Has Died

joseemilioMexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco died on Sunday. He was 74 years old.

Pacheco was the author of numerous volumes of poetry, as well as a number of short stories and essays. His poetry collections included: Los elementos de la nocheEl reposo del fuego; and La arena errante. He was the recipient of dozens of esteemed literary awards in his career including winning the Reina Sofía Award and the esteemed Cervantes Prize in 2009.

Mexico’s National Council for Culture and Arts revealed the news of Pacheco’s passing on their site. “As a writer he received all the awards in Mexico and in our language can be granted and his work was translated and published in many countries and closer through his translations of some of the most important works of the twentieth century and authors like Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams and TS Elliot,” said Rafael Tovar, president of Mexico’s National Council for Culture and Arts in a ceremony honoring Pacheco. (Via NPR).

Maya Angelou Pens Tribute Poem to Honor Nelson Mandela

Acclaimed author Maya Angelou has written a tribute poem, entitled “His Day is Done,” to honor former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela.

We’ve embedded a video with a reading of the poem above–what do you think? AL.com reports that this piece was commissioned by the U.S. State Department.

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James Carling’s ‘Raven’ Illustrations on Kickstarter

The Poe Museum hopes to raise $60,000 to preserve a collection of illustrations inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s beloved poem, “The Raven.” The money will also be used to create and publish a coffee table-style book.

According to The Huffington Post, artist James Carling created these art pieces 130 years ago. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The amount of conservation will vary from piece to piece. They will be professionally photographed and placed into a gallery frame for inclusion in a traveling exhibition. A large part of the money will be used to prepare and publish the book which will contain all 43 original illustrations. The small staff of the museum will also be working on writing all 43 catalog entries for inclusion in the book.”

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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.

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