Like any literary form or rule, the poetry reading raises questions regarding subjectivity and context: whose conventions are these, what do they enable, and how do they suit the projects at hand?
July, 2007. The Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. The Italian comedian Roberto Benigni takes the stage and begins to recite poetry. Pausing between cantos of Dante’s Divine Comedy, he offers observations about the poem and anecdotes from his own life. Maybe this type of event sounds simple, or
Last week, Guernica published an interview with art critic Ben Davis, which begins with Davis questioning the premise that “the central tension of the art empire is that between creativity and money.” Davis says there can obviously be tension between what sells and what an artist wants to express, but he argues that money also funds
Christy Burch didn’t think she was a writer. This was before she worked with rape crisis centers and with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (KDVA), working with advocates statewide to support victims of violence. While in these roles, she was instrumental in the release and pardon of thirteen incarcerated, battered women. She
A couple months ago, my blog, “Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public” nearly caused a riot. Teeth were bared! F bombs thrown! I wanted readers to learn from pop music’s ability to connect with more people. Readers translated this as a suggestion that poetry be like pop music, sell like pop music, sell out like
For songwriter Vienna Teng, the secret seems to lie in her variety of influences. While I combed through your fabulous feedback (!) on What Poetry Can Learn from Pop Music last month, I connected with Teng for my ongoing interview series, “Hey Guys, Other People Read Too!“ A Taiwanese-American songwriter, Vienna’s chamber-folk style has led her to
Hey Poets. I was in LA last month for music work, and I think I found something you dropped: The public. So—Maybe you weren’t sure when you lost it, but you seem pretty certain music stole it. Or film perhaps? Or YouTube cats? Meanwhile, poetry’s stayed alive. It’s been breeding