Friday, March 22, 2013

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying....

Your suggestions for poems on grief and loss. Thank you for these, and for the kind words. It helps.

Chuck Rybak’s Interactive Choose-Your-Own-Poetry-Adventure Game (called “All the Things You Cannot Do in Poetry!”). Quite fun. It’s cracking me up.

This piece from The Atlantic--Cities, called “Landscape Absurdism: An Urban Prairie in St. Louis,” by Mark Byrnes. “Landscape absurdism” is a wonderful phrase, isn’t it? (Thanks to Marcos Armstrong for the link.)

Emily Spivak’s article, “The Perils of Wearing Clothes,” for an(other) awesome Smithsonian blog, Threaded.
Look at that wonderful cover by Yao Cheng!

This book, The Ides of March: An Anthology of Ohio Poets, which I was very honored to edit. The book was just released from Columbus Creative Cooperative--it’s beautiful (the poems, design, and cover art!), and I adore the work in here. Some of my favorite poets (and people!) have work in this collection, including David Baker, Joshua Butts, Terry Hermsen, Charlene Fix, Nikkita Cohoon, Nathan Moore, Natalie Shapero, Jack Schwarz (my dad!), Sandy Feen, and Scott Woods. Many more in there, turned out so well.

Your turn! What are you reading and loving this week?


  1. That poetry test is a great illustration of that classic line: “if you see a Buddha on the road, kill it.” Whew, Hannah, looks like the Ides of March really meant something to you this year, the agony and the ecstasy, in true patrician fashion (and a new pope to boot!). The book looks great, btw – you sound so joyous and appreciative about it that I don’t detect any birth pangs.

    I am behind the times in everything, from music to technology, so it’s news for me to have discovered an essay from 1981 by a Mr. Jurgen Habermas called “Modernity versus Postmodernity.” The piece really blew me away by speaking - with the lucid logic that only German philosophers it seems are capable of delivering - of so many of the things I’ve agonized about: what is modernism?; why does post-modernism seem so incoherent as a concept?; the corruption in our sense of what art is; the loss in dialogue between the real world and the sphere of the scientists, artists, and intellectuals; and the mistaking the chicken of artistic response for the egg of modern technocratic capitalism that fatally flaws conservative arguments about the degradation of culture (conservative including to Habermas everyone from Wittgenstein to Derrida). His main point, following Max Weber’s insight, is that the modern world lost its unity of thought through the post-enlightenment division of mind, heart and spirit into distinct, secular realms – each of which are presided over by inaccessible experts. This has led to a complete breakdown in the historic interpenetration between, say, science and art, or art and civilized society, so that everything art tries to come up with to salvage some relevance out of its hyper-hip, naval-gazing existence is doomed by its own institutionalization. Its consciousness of itself becomes nonsense because everything is in a vacuum. His provisional answer is different social structures. I think of the so-called New Age movement as an example, something that took place completely outside of mainstream culture and as such was forced to develop a complete worldview and cultural architecture on its own, out of the shared life-experiences of those in the movement. The difference between it and other cultural cults (hey that’s a nice term) is there aren’t the same boundaries between roles, so poetry, for example, can be more readily shared as part of the lingua franca, it isn’t something that is mediated away from common experience. He ends up trashing Adorno, which is always to me good fun, but the overall impression is the same I’ve been getting from reading a lot of German thinkers recently, that what gives the German mindset such power is they really feel the loss of their Gods so keenly, that they were robbed of them and everything they’ve done (good or bad, magnificent or horrendous) is an attempt to grieve or reclaim that loss.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

  2. Ohh!! I'm gonna have to read that essay...

  3. Finished "Wool" by Hugh Howey. It is fabulous, a combination of hard science, social psychology and a style not unlike Ray Bradbury. Now reading all the others in the series, including the prequels.