"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Margaret Atwood Writes Like...

Stephen King, or James Joyce, according to I Write Like -- the popular website that told William Gibson he writes like Haruki Murakami, and based on my blog entries, told me I write like J.D. Salinger. Fun. Try it. Read Atwood and Gibson's results at the Guardian.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Janine Pommy Vega and Andy Clausen

Happy to report that I saw these two excellent Beat poets read in Woodstock, NY, yesterday. You can look them up on youtube -- it was an amazing reading, and even more so to see them together, Janine drawing on personal mythology and her work in the prisons, Andy with political and humorous work. People who really believe in poetry are inspiring. It's good to be reminded that poetry can be a force.

Weirdly, only a lot of older folks in the audience. I hate being the youngest person at these things. Where is everyone?

I bought Janine's Mad Dogs of Trieste, and Andy's 40th Century Man, as well as a copy of Long Shot, with a tribute to Gregory Corso. Andy signed, and when I got it home, I realized it had already been signed by Ferlinghetti. Nice.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

He loved invective.

“It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden.” Mark Twain, quoted in his new, unexpurgated autobiography. Review at NY Times. Title quote from Justin Kaplan, author of an earlier bio, and also of the acclaimed bio of Walt Whitman. This is volume one, and I'm sure it's a good read. Three volumes are planned, based on material Twain dictated to a stenographer over four years before he died in 1910.

“From the first, second, third and fourth editions all sound and sane expressions of opinion must be left out,” Twain instructed them in 1906. “There may be a market for that kind of wares a century from now. There is no hurry. Wait and see.”