Walt Whitman Archive

American Poetry: Video and the Evolution of Language

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The composition of poetry has taken on a new life. Poetry has evolved from oral and traditional forms, to print and performance, and to our present moment where an amalgam of all forms is possible with technology. Video is a revisiting of the oral and performative traditions of poetry

Round-Up: Ancient Egyptian Stories, Tom Hanks, and Walt Whitman

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From newly translated ancient Egyptian stories to Walt Whitman's lost novel, here's the latest literary news.

On Abstraction and Acessibility: Poetry, Perspective, and the Painting of Jordan Kantor

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Lately, I've been particularly intrigued by the work of Jordan Kantor. His work has prompted me to revisit how I have been formulating the Venn diagram of poetry and painting. Kantor is an artist who gets many things right.

Accessing Social History through Books

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The required reading for the entering undergraduate class the year I enrolled was Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen. I didn’t read it.

Lilies in the Yard: On Getting Away

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I reread Sylvia Plath this summer on a fairly remote island off Ireland’s Connemara coast. Plath had been there once in September of 1962. She and Ted Hughes accepted an invitation from the Irish poet, Richard Murphy, to visit him at his home in the country’s heralded west.

Urban Pastoral: American City Poets and Poems

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American poetry has a rich tradition of creating space for the full truth of our cities in poems and drawing connections between the interdependent worlds of American city life. Thinking about this tradition in formal terms, we might call it the urban pastoral.

Notes on the State of Virginia: Journey to the Center of an American Document, Query VI

This is the fourth installment of a year-long journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. You can read previous installments here, here and here. ** Query VI: “Productions mineral, vegetable and animal” A notice of the mines and other subterraneous riches; its trees, plants, fruits, &c.

Reconstruction: How the Lyric Essay Rendered One Body After Trauma

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1. I didn’t start writing lyric essays until I found out I had cancer. The melanoma buried in my right cheek was at first missed, and then misdiagnosed in its severity. Clark’s stage IV, they told me. Likely in my lymph nodes, but they wouldn’t know until my third

The Words Beneath the Sound: Music Inspired by Literature

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As Virginia Woolf famously observed, the best writing often begins with a rhythmical “wave in the mind,” an inner tempo around which syntax and diction are arranged, a guiding beat of artistic intuition that, when struck upon, makes it nearly impossible to set down the wrong word. Other writers

So Long, Dear Writer

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  The poet C.K. Williams died this Sunday, September 20, 2015. For the last few months I’ve been enjoying a review copy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s beautiful new collection of Williams’ poems, the Selected Later Poems, but I’m finding that now, in light of Williams’ death, I can’t