Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vote Grindr!

You may be voting on our next list this weekend. Please consider Jaimie Woo's Meet Grindr. You can read a sample on amazon and I think it will persuade you that this is a smart and well-written work covering the personal, the technological, and the political (all of interest in the Grindr phenomenon). And if you're eBook savvy, it's a steal on amazon for $2.99!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Horace Mann School

There's an erotics to the act of teaching and sublimation in the art of it. Ten months ago the New York Times Magazine published an article detailing some of the failed sublimation in the decades after the Sixties. This month the New Yorker does a probing profile of one of the creepier of the Unsublimated. Together they make worthwhile (and available!) reading. We might even use a meeting to discuss them. The price is right.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Paul's Case" — the opera

The Post today has a review of the world premiere by UrbanArias of Gregory Spears' opera of Willa Cather's story at Artisphere in Rosslyn. Last three performances are this weekend. I'm unable to go but I hope someone else will and post a review or comment. A ten-inch sample (oh Mary, how deranged!) — a ten-minute sample can be heard by clicking here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

where the lines break

What is a poem? In high school the joke was anything with a jagged right margin. Hence a "prose" poem (or maybe that's a prose "poem"). Dan Chiasson has something to say about this in his review of Carl Phillips' twelfth collection Silverchest :

Many fine poets would retain their power even if their poems were printed as prose. … The prosiest poets would not: there is no William Carlos Williams, or H.D., or George Oppen, without line breaks. Phillips is one of the latter.

And as an example: "The trees wave but, except to say 'wind—up again,' this means nothing." Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to break the quote and turn it into poetry. You can check your efforts against the original in the latest, 4/15/13 issue … Oh, how annoying! It's behind The New Yorker paywall! (Paying to read a poetry review—the idea!). I'll post the "answer" as a comment (below).

Carl Phillips, by the way, we've come across him in three anthologies we've read, most extensively in Word of Mouth. He's gay and black but doesn't make much of either. Notwithstanding, a very fine poet.

Monday, April 1, 2013

February House: The Musical!

Greetings, Colleagues--

While preparing for our Feb. 6 discussion of February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Less, Under One Roof in Brooklyn by Sherill Tippins (which I highly recommend), I came across a reference to an off-Broadway musical based on the real-life characters Tippins tells us about in her book.  It ran at the Public Theater a year ago; here is Ben Brantley's review in the May 22, 2012, issue of The New York Times.

My intention was to order the cast recording at that time, but (as too often happens) I promptly forgot about it.  But now, prompted by an article about the show's composer, Gabriel Kahane, in the March 31 Washington Post, I've finally ordered it.  I'm hopeful the music will live up to his reputation!

By the way, Kahane is giving a joint recital with another composer/performer, jazz pianist Timothy Andres, in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress this Friday, April 5, at 8pm. And Kahane's newest song cycle, "Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States" (sic) will be performed at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Center on Sat., April 20.  I can't make it to either gig, alas, but if any of you attend, please let me know what you think.

Cheers, Steve