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May 20, 1994 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
In Distant Survivors the actors don't speak to one another. Instead, they recite poems, primarily about the Holocaust, and two of them speak only in Polish. It's an odd piece of theater that, first off, requires an explanation of how it came to land on a Philadelphia stage. The show at the Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 5 is the result of trips that June Prager, the artistic director of the low-profile, Philadelphia-based Theatre International Exchange, took to Torun, Poland, under the Philadelphia Sister City program.
NEWS
August 11, 1993 | By Kay Raftery, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Sister Clare Immaculate McDonnell and Sister Julia Keegan, professors at Neumann College in Aston, have had their poetry selected for publication. "To Yeats," a poem by Sister Clare, associate professor of English and Franciscan scholar in residence, has been published in the journal The Cord. Sister Julia's poem, "St. Francis of Assisi," has been accepted for publication by the National Library of Poetry and will be included on the recording The Sound of Poetry, a collection of favorite poems from the library.
NEWS
June 12, 2011
By Garrison Keillor Viking. 512 pp. $20.95 Reviewed by John Timpane I read hundreds of poems like these when I was coming up. I'm grateful to them. They helped get me started loving poetry. The volume at hand joins Garrison Keillor's otheranthologies, Good Poems of 2003 and Good Poems for Hard Times of 2005. Here, Keillor fills his pages with poems in which people's lives take place against the landscapes of this country. Place, scene, where it happened , are as vibrant as any human presence.
NEWS
April 7, 2013
By Kim Bridgford White Violet Press. 98 pp. Reviewed by Kelly McQuain Picking up a poetry volume titled Bully Pulpit , you might expect a fair amount of sermonizing, given the book's focus on victimization. Kim Bridgford's collection rails with anticipated gusto; it provides balm to the injured and lashes back at the guilty, stopping just short of marching them behind the barn to cut their own switch. Bridgford subdivides bullying into three distinct spheres: Public, Private, and Mythological.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 1995 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Marjana Lipovsek, the mezzo-soprano who gave a memorable reading of Hans Werner Henze's arrangement of Wagner songs last week at the Academy of Music, reinforced the impression of her sterling vocalism yesterday. She sang Frank Martin's cycle Der Cornet with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch, in a program that runs tonight and Tuesday. Martin, a Swiss composer who died in 1974, has layered a musical masterwork on a literary one. The piece sets 23 of Rainer Maria Rilke's 27 poems to music; the poems recount the poignant adventures of a flag-bearer in the Austro-Hungarian war against the Turks.
NEWS
December 23, 1996 | By Ed Galing
For quite some time, educators have said that kids going to school these days can't read past 5th-grade level, that they do not understand the simplest of words, nor the English language. What a pity that even those who manage to graduate from high school are not able to put a sentence together, read a book or have any idea of what it means to be literate. Our kids are not being given the proper tools to meet life today. Oh, I know that not all of our kids are that way. Lots of kids are really smart, and know how to use a computer, which I, at my age, have not learned yet. I am not saying that ALL our kids are unlearned; but something is lacking when kids have to pack weapons in their lunch boxes, and be frisked inside the school entrance, before they can sit down to learn something.
NEWS
March 23, 2015 | By Sofiya Ballin, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was Valentine's Day when poet Sarah Blake received Kanye West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak from her then-boyfriend and now husband, Noah Schoenholtz. It was around the time both her grandfather and mother were diagnosed with brain tumors. For West, it was a time when he and his fiancée, fashion designer Alexis Phifer, broke up and his mother died. For four years, through marriage, pregnancy, and graduate school, Blake periodically researched West's work and life. And just as West was told by his mentors that he couldn't be a rapper and should stick to producing, Blake, 30, was told by her professor that her book on West was worthless.
NEWS
June 16, 2013
In Beauty Bright By Gerald Stern W.W. Norton. 125 pp. $25.95 Stealing History By Gerald Stern Trinity University Press. 306 pp. $17.94 Reviewed by Frank Wilson   Gerald Stern is one of those writers whose style insinuates itself into your consciousness like a catchy tune, so that you find your thoughts echoing its rhythms, bopping from one to another, back and forth, like thought and language doing a jitterbug. Here he is, in Stealing History , telling about "a ghostly experience" he once had: . . . when it happened I would have described it as a kind of dizziness, of being filled with deep pleasantness, a pleasure in which I was overcome and held onto the brick wall of a building beside me. I seem to remember I was always going slightly downhill, and it was my right hand I held against the wall - and it lasted for maybe ten, fifteen seconds - I think longer - and it was delicious, and there was absolutely no fear in it, and I walked normally and happily immediately after, and I never much thought about it and never told anyone about it. More laid back and (seemingly)
NEWS
April 21, 2012 | By Reity O'Brien, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Camden area's literary community will celebrate next week the release of a book of previously unpublished poems by Nick Virgilio, a pioneer of contemporary haiku and a lifelong city resident. Compiled and published by former New York Times war correspondent Rick Black, the book features new works selected from collections at the Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers-Camden, where nearly 20,000 haiku and correspondence of the late poet reside. "Nick's poems just hit home for me in meaningful ways," Black, who reported on the first Gulf War, said in a statement.
NEWS
November 14, 1997 | by Ron Goldwyn, Daily News Staff Writer
The pastor is a poet of the barrio, where his congregants face the challenges of life in Hispanic Philadelphia. The Rev. Jaime Rodriguez of First Spanish Baptist Church is also a published poet, thanks to Proyecto Escribir, a project seeking to build the sparse list of faith-based Spanish literature for Hispanics in Philadelphia and other Northeast U.S. cities. Rodriguez's "Cruce de Caminos," or "Crossroads," is subtitled "poemas del barrio para el mundo", "poems from the neighborhood for the world.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 3, 2016
99 Poems New and Selected By Dana Gioia Graywolf Press. 194 pp. $24. Poetry as Enchantment By Dana Gioia Wiseblood Books. 36 pp. $5. Reviewed by Frank Wilson 'It is significant," Dana Gioia writes in Poetry as Enchantment , "that the Latin word for poetry, carmen , is also the word the Romans used for a song, a magic spell, a religious incantation, or a prophecy - all verbal constructions whose auditory powers can produce a magical effect on the listener.
NEWS
June 13, 2016
Beth Kephart delivered the commencement address at Radnor High School on Wednesday, from which the following is excerpted. The sky was on fire when I rose to write these words. A swell of orange. A streak of flax. Mad and wonderful cinnamon reds. The sky was on fire, but there was also, oddly, rain, and the comfort of bird talk, and the huff of an old bus traveling the road just beyond. A school bus, in its end-of-school-year rounds. I sat on my couch and I thought about you. I thought about your journey to now, to this place beneath this big and famous dome.
NEWS
May 15, 2016
Postcards from the Dead Letter Office By Dawn Manning Burlesque Press. 69 pp. $14.99 Reviewed by Frank Wilson Tanka, Dawn Manning explains in her introduction to these poems, is a very old form of Japanese lyric poetry, dating back more than 1,300 years. It is more expansive than the later haiku form, boasting 31 sound units (called on ) compared to haiku's mere 17. Those 17 syllables are admirably concise. But a 31-syllable tanka, Manning points put, "can feel long, so it is more accurate to think of a tanka as a five-line poem that can be said in about two breaths.
NEWS
May 2, 2016
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world - Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" Michelle Myers is an associate professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia and host of the Emmy-nominated "Drop the Mic" show on CCPTV I love my students. I accept them for who they are in the moment that I meet them, the moment during which our journeys through our respective lives intersect. I accept that they have had experiences that I cannot ever imagine or know, and that these experiences have made them profoundly beautiful people in their own right.
NEWS
April 16, 2016 | By John Timpane, Staff Writer
A.V. Christie, 53, of Malvern, a Philadelphia-area poet and teacher, died of breast cancer Thursday, April 7, at the Neighborhood Health Inpatient Hospice at Chester County Hospital in West Chester. Ms. Christie was born in Redwood City, Calif., and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Montana, and British Columbia. She was a graduate of Vassar College, where she studied with the writers Eamon Grennan and Nancy Willard, and received her master of fine arts degree from the University of Maryland, studying with the poet Stanley Plumly.
NEWS
December 4, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The music isn't likely to sound like anything most Americans have heard: The polarities between Arab and Western music, both obvious and subtle, are such that their fusion in this Saturday's concert, Words Adorned: Andalusian Poetry and Music, at Bryn Mawr College might seem impossible. Then it becomes perfectly doable. "It's supposed to blend the sounds of this pluralistic, cosmopolitan city," said Hanna Khoury, music director of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture Music Program, which instigated the year-in-the-planning concert with the Crossing choir in works by two Syrian-born composers.
NEWS
November 23, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
William Mercer Hollis Jr., 84, of Blue Bell, a poet, teacher, and philanthropist, died Friday, Nov. 13, of prostate cancer at the Hill at Whitemarsh. On his own and with his wife, Philadelphia Museum of Art trustee Andrea Baldeck, Mr. Hollis was for many decades an active participant in the cultural life of the city, said Timothy Rub, the museum's George D. Widener director and CEO. Born in Lakeland, Fla., and reared in the South, Mr. Hollis spent time in New England teaching at Dartmouth College and raising a family before finding a permanent home in the Philadelphia suburbs.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
In theory, musicians can inhabit pastoral music just as convincingly in a coal mine as in the late-autumn graciousness of Bucks County. Musical poetry, after all, comes from within. But Sunday's Vaughan Williams and Elgar program by Concordia Chamber Players (the second in the group's five-concert season) benefited not only from its setting - Trinity Episcopal Church at a picturesque hilltop crossroad in Solebury - but the sense that the season's days are numbered. Tenor Nicholas Phan, who has a prestige career in concerts more than in opera, sang Vaughan Williams' Merciless Beauty and On Wenlock Edge , supported with vibrant synergy from the quintet of Concordia regulars, all conspiring to give extra dimensions to the total effect of the composer's word settings.
NEWS
July 18, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The brochure from the University of Pittsburgh that arrived in the mail Thursday was like so many that had turned up at Tyrone Tillman's house this summer - bedecked with photos of lush quads and science labs and beaming undergraduates. When Tillman saw it, he broke down in tears. The brochure was meant for his son, T-Jay - 17 years old, a fullback on his high school football team, a budding poet with notebooks full of rhymes in his bedroom. Had he been at home to receive it, he likely would have read it with excitement.
NEWS
March 23, 2015 | By Sofiya Ballin, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was Valentine's Day when poet Sarah Blake received Kanye West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak from her then-boyfriend and now husband, Noah Schoenholtz. It was around the time both her grandfather and mother were diagnosed with brain tumors. For West, it was a time when he and his fiancée, fashion designer Alexis Phifer, broke up and his mother died. For four years, through marriage, pregnancy, and graduate school, Blake periodically researched West's work and life. And just as West was told by his mentors that he couldn't be a rapper and should stick to producing, Blake, 30, was told by her professor that her book on West was worthless.
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