Why Do Writers Have To Sound So Constipated When They Read Their Poetry?

Gregory Orr

“Poet Voice,” is the pejorative, informal name given to this soft, airy reading style that many poets use for reasons that are unclear to me. The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.”

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The Decline Of Harper Lee

harper lee

Boris Kachka offers a notably sympathetic account of how the 88-year-old author of To Kill a Mockingbird, so feisty – and so beloved by her friends and neighbors – for so many years, came to her enfeebled, embattled, litigious current state.

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Novelist Thomas Berger, 89

thomas berger

“The reclusive and bitingly satirical novelist … explored the myths of the American West in Little Big Man and the mores of 20th-century middle-class society in a shelf of other well-received books.”

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The Surprisingly Savvy Weird Al Internet Machine

weird al

“So as we try to make sense of Mandatory Fun, Al’s fourteenth studio album – and as we round into the fourth decade of his career – it’s becoming clear that his old-school/new-school media business playbook is a little genius. In many corners of the English-language Internet, this week has been Al-saturated, his new music videos and songs unavoidable. How does he do it? Where will it lead? And will this be his media strategy forever?”

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The Way Kids, Um, Talk Is, You Know, Like, Actually Conscientious

kidspeak

“Often enough, something we propose as a serious idea turns out to be more or less a joke. It’s much rarer that something proposed as a joke – or, at least, proposed as a semi-serious conceit, offered in the spirit of what’s often called, grimly, ‘tongue in cheek’ – turns out to be, or to have the germ of, a serious idea.” But Adam Gopnik has one.

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New $30,000 Choreography Competition In Australia Has Its First Winner

30000 choreography award a

“Melbourne-based artist Atlanta Eke has taken out the inaugural Keir Choreographic award , the first major national prize of its kind in Australia.” (includes video of all four finalists)

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BBC Cut Spending On Talent By £6 Million

bbc talent

“The BBC spent £6 million less on talent in 2013/14, the Corporation’s latest annual report claims, with a £194 million bill for its star presenters and performers representing a 15% fall in wages over the past five years.”

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Choreographing For A “Cathedral Of Trees”

cathedral of trees

The provincial English town of Milton Keynes is known for a long stand of arching trees planted to roughly match the footprint of Norwich Cathedral. Choreographer Rosemary Lee writes about creating Under the Vaulted Sky, a site-specific dance for the spot. (includes video)

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How Classical And Jazz Are Getting Screwed By Streaming

U.S. musician David Byrne attends a conference with public before screening his movie "True Stories" at the Estoril Film Festival

“Between low royalties, opaque payout rates, declining record sales and suspicion that the major labels have cut deals with the streamers that leave musicians out of the equation, anger from the music business’s artier edges is slow[ly] growing. … The shift to digital is also helping to isolate these already marginalized genres: It has a decisive effect on what listeners can find, and on whether or not an artist can earn a living from his work.”

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David Zinman Says His Farewell To Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra

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“The American conductor David Zinman is a small man, physically – conductors often seem to be – but with a giant profile in the Swiss city of Zurich. People recognize him on the sidewalk. Waiters hover. Strangers wave.”

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Save The Corcoran Group Granted Standing To Oppose Merger In Court

Corcoran

“Judge Robert Okun ruled that nine members of the advocacy group Save the Corcoran must be admitted as intervening parties in a proceeding launched by the Corcoran last month to revise its 1869 charter” to allow a merger with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University.

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When Brigham Young Got A Mormon Alphabet

mormon alphabet b

“In 1853, after [George D.] Watt taught shorthand to Brigham Young, the Mormon leader commissioned the British clerk to create a 38-character ‘Deseret alphabet.’ The phonetic alphabet was meant to simplify the spelling of English words. Watt said … ‘An alphabet should contain just as many letters as there are simple-pure atoms of sound.’”

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Top Opera Director Says Sydney Opera House’s Problems Are “Extreme”

sydney opera house

David McVicar, in town to rehearse a new staging of Don Giovanni: “I think they thought about the outside before they thought about the inside. The problems of the Joan Sutherland [Opera Theatre] are extreme. It’s a very quirky space, it is inadequate for opera, it just simply is.”

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Inside America’s Biggest Employer Of Musicians

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“The military is one of the largest employers of musicians in the Washington area; indeed, the Army’s Web site claims that the institution is “the oldest and largest employer of musicians in the world.” The combined budget for the nation’s military bands was projected, in 2013, at $388 million (before sequester-related cutbacks).”

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How The Moon Became A Real Place

man in the moon

“In popular imagination, the moon vivid, expansive, and fantastic. There was talk of winged creatures, moon elephants, scalding heat, and deep oceans. Newspapers were filled with stories—fictional, scientific, and artistic. In 1902, The San Francisco Call had an actual man act out the various faces of the man in the moon.”

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When Crime Writers Mix Historical Fact With Their Fertile Imaginations

hindley

“If a child of mine had just been murdered I would find it hateful if somebody saw that as a means of making money.”

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The Man Who Turned Paper Dolls Into An Art Form For Adults Dies At 85

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“Meticulously drawn and colored, and annotated with historical information, Mr. Tierney’s paper-doll books are not just for children — and some are not for children at all. His aim, he often said, was to contribute to the visual literature of costume history.”

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So Why Was Julie Crosby Unceremoniously Dumped From the Women’s Project Theatre?

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“The way it was handled has created a situation we fear is damaging to the Women’s Project’s reputation, especially as it typifies the very thing we are committed to fighting — the lack of acknowledgment of the contribution of women to the American theater”

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That Time The Pet Shop Boys Wrote An Opera About Alan Turing For The BBC Proms

Photograph by John Wright

“The fact that a public work like this [is] going ahead in the very centre of one of our most famous concert series, on the BBC … there’s a sense of making up and making good, of expunging a lot of what was so bad about the old world.”

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True Open-Air Theatre Has Been Rare In Britain – But Now, Bring On The Picnics During ‘Timon Of Athens’

british outdoor theatre

“‘It’s a different experience, that appeals to people who are not necessary theatergoers,’ said Mr Jackson. ‘We see people just sit and relax into the atmosphere, and feel more included in the whole experience.’”

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When The White People In MFA Workshops Seriously Do Not Get It

emily xr pan

“A similar but different criticism occurs when a writer is told that her portrayal of minority characters isn’t different enough. A woman in my program has been told that her stories need to be more ethnic, that readers should be able to smell the food.”

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How Theatre Is Finally Making A Borderless Future

Luis Alfaro: Playwright of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Photo: Jenny Graham.

“This conference was what many of us in el movimiento have been waiting for: that moment when the next generation of amazing young artists, scholars, producers, and administrators are not only ready to step it up, but have also been trained through mentorship programs, internships, and good old theater jobs.”

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A Fight Against Censorship And For The Right To Read Heidegger

heidegger being and time

“If canonical philosophers were blacklisted based on their prejudices and political engagements, then there wouldn’t be all that many left in the Western tradition.”

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Roger Ebert Predicted This Would Happen (But He Didn’t Know The Movie Would Be About Him)

ebert life itself

“Sitting on my sofa, push-button dialing system by my side, I can’t help but feel that I’m filing a dispatch from a future entertainment universe. We should embrace and celebrate the fact that we can now watch great movies on TV the same day they’re in theaters. And yet this development feels like it’s brought on more consternation than joy.”

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OK, World, J.K. Rowling Plans To Produce More Mysteries Than She Did Harry Potter Books

rowling

“One of the things I absolutely love about this genre is that, unlike Harry, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and an end, you’re talking about discrete stories. So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases.”

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The Getty Research Institute Gets Permanent Records Of Ephemeral ‘Happenings’

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“The conundrum of how best to preserve the history of midcentury American performance art — art created before phones had video cameras — lies at the center of the Getty Research Institute’s recently announced acquisition of [photographer] Robert McElroy’s archive.”

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Have You Heard Of This Amazing New Contemporary Art Space … In Jersey City?

MANA-master675

“The complex occupies almost a million square feet — more than five Walmarts — and growing. It includes studios, galleries, a rehearsal space, a Middle Eastern art center and a museum of Richard Meier’s architectural models.”

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Writing Romance Novels Is A Feminist Thing To Do (Duh?)

romance writing

“In romance fiction, the lesbian werewolf with a thing for raw meat and three-ways underneath the full moon can get a date. The cross-dresser in 18th century England will find true love with a prince or a princess.”

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The Dream Of Speed-Reading (And What It Does To Our Brains)

speed-read

“It is much more difficult to gather ideas of any complexity at all using Spritz than it is in ordinary reading. Complex ideas, like those routinely presented in philosophy or literary fiction, require a lot of rereading as you go. Also, when the sentence begins in a Spritz display, you can’t tell how long it’s going to be: a terrific drawback for comprehension.”

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