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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Opera Out In The Wild (And Great Fun It Is Too)

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“Sometime a few years ago some local members of the arts scene decided that it would be fun to start a summer opera company and hold all the productions in an outdoor platz that is part of the ruins of an old milling company, now turned into an educational museum. The next morning, when they had sobered up, it still seemed like a good idea, so they ran with it. The result is one of the most fun and entertaining additions to the Twin Cities art scene in many a year.”

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Amazon Working On “Netflix For Books”

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“The e-commerce giant is working on a subscription ebook service called Kindle Unlimited, which would offer unlimited ebook rentals for $9.99 a month. It’s a move that’s very much aligned with where both the tech and the publishing industry are headed.”

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Harper Lee Disavows New Biography (Again)

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“Now, with the publication this week of The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee, [former neighbor] Marja Mills’s memoir of what she describes in the book as a warm friendship with Ms. Lee and her older sister, Alice Lee, Harper Lee is back to remind us that she did not authorize the book or cooperate with Ms. Mills.”

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English National Ballet Hunting For Major New HQ

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“The English National Ballet is planning a move to a major new home, which it hopes will help it create a ‘powerhouse in the dance world’. The company … wants to sell the lease on its current cramped premises in Kensington and join the English National Ballet School at a new London site.”

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John Luther Adams’s New Score Is Five-Pieces-In-One

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Sila is actually five separate scores – one each for strings, winds, brass, percussion, and chorus – that can be performed concurrently in any combination, from one section at a time to all five together. ‘If you just perform it with strings, then it’s pretty delicate, like a Japanese rock garden,’ Adams says. But gather the whole thing into an ensemble that is 80 strong, and the result should be able to hold its own.” It’ll need to – it’s premiering outdoors in Manhattan.

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No, Your Language Does Not Influence How You Experience the World

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“It’s become fashionable in recent years to tout the notion that the language you speak affects the way you think, and even influences how you experience reality itself. It’s an attractive idea, and one that makes some visceral sense.” But linguist John McWhorter says it’s wrong, wrong, wrong, and he explains why in this Lexicon Valley podcast.

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Thinking Of Applying To Run An Italian Museum? Don’t

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“Every now and again [politicians and boards] appoint a foreigner … in the hope of getting a bit of that magical know-how, and then they get rid of him or her in humiliating, destructive and unprofessional ways that in the UK or US would be inconceivable.” Anna Somers Cocks explains why this happens, and offers three horror stories case histories.

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Knowing When To Quit: How Much Harry Potter Is Too Much Harry Potter?

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“While it’s heartening to know that Harry’s doing well in his career as an Auror and that Viktor Krum is still going strong as Bulgaria’s Seeker, it begs the question anew of when exactly it’s time for a creator to walk away from their creation—and whether they really can these days.”

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Talent Versus Hard Work (It’s Complicated)

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“The value-of-practice debate has reached a stalemate. Compiling results from 88 studies across a wide range of skills, it estimates that practice time explains about 20 percent to 25 percent of the difference in performance in music, sports and games like chess. In academics, the number is much lower — 4 percent — in part because it’s hard to assess the effect of previous knowledge, the authors wrote.”

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