Cornelius Eady has a review in the NY Times of The Crossover, a novel in verse for middle-school kids, by Kwame Alexander, that sounds pretty compelling for the adult reader as well.
Vijay Seshadri’s Pulitzer makes me happy. Brian Lehrer on WNYC posts an interview with Seshadri and links to poems on the New Yorker and Poetry Foundation websites.
Leah Umansky is a very busy poet. Her Game of Thrones poems can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website, her Kattywompus chapbook Don Dreams and I Dream is reviewed by Tobias Carroll in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and she is among the poets who discuss Deconstructing the Poetry Goddess with Amy Di Donato, on Huffington Post.
Thanks to Peter Verheyen at the Book Arts Web for pointing out a couple of interesting pieces, A. O. Scott’s The Paradox of Art as Work in the NY Times, and Brandon Keim’s Wired article, Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be Paper.
In a job interview a prospective employer once told me, You can do only two things. Her work, she said, provided a break from raising her family, and vice versa. I told her for me there was a third thing too, making art. She clucked her tongue.
Right now I am doing four things, which may account for my state of mind. I’ll grant that managing four things at once is too many; one of them always gets dumped or short-changed.
Because of this disheveled state of affairs I began reading a novel a few pages at a time. I was bummed that I hadn’t, outside of work, been reading enough, so I decided it was better to read a handful of pages at a time, than not to read. I’m not talking about Infinite Jest, with its long dense pages, page-long sentences, and extensive footnotes, which I find by nature difficult to read in larger chunks, but a light, lovely, fairy-tale-like novel by Ann Patchett–smart choice, as Patchett’s seductions quickly drew me back into the incessant habit of reaching for the book.
When I’m not working on my own writing, the sense of it, the narrator’s voice, the scenes inhabit me in a dreamlike way, rising and sinking through the skin of the day, the opposite of a siren call: if you don’t answer, you’ll be dashed against the rocks.
I can never find the attribution but Gertrude Stein reputedly said, One does what one can, and some of what one should.with love, sammy