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.
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.
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.
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.
April 16, 2016 |
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.
December 4, 2015 |
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.
November 23, 2015 |
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.
November 11, 2015 |
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.
July 18, 2015 |
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.
March 23, 2015 |
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.