PopMuse: Written http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2020 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ After Rubén by Francisco Aragón https://www.pw.org/content/after_ruben_by_francisco_aragon https://www.pw.org/content/after_ruben_by_francisco_aragon Tue, 04 Aug 2020 04:00:00 UTC adavis@pw.org at Poets & Writers francisco_aragon_page_one.mp3 Francisco Arag�n reads from his poetry collection After Rub�n, published in May 2020 by Red Hen Press. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Sahar Mustafah https://www.pw.org/writers_recommend/sahar_mustafah https://www.pw.org/writers_recommend/sahar_mustafah Thu, 04 Jun 2020 14:00:00 UTC jkashiwabara at Poets & Writers Printable Version Log in to Send Log in to Save Pinterest “Here’s an antidote for a writing slump: Record yourself reading a polished passage from your working draft. Go ahead—don’t be shy. Choose the one that is like a celestial harp strumming in the background when you first composed it because it’s so good, the one that gives you goose pimples and brings tears to your eyes. It only gets better when you hear it out loud, off the flickering computer screen. It’s not vanity. We may not be giving ourselves license to celebrate what’s actually working on the page. Despite my own nasal Chicago accent, I relish hearing successful parts of a draft. It’s a necessary affirmation, welcoming me back into a project with a vigor and promise that I can produce more of the magic—again and again. It reminds me I am good at this.I started recording early chapters or sections from a short story as a way of revising: I listen back for what reverberates, what doesn’t quite land. I glean the clunky sentences from the ones that roll off the tongue. But really, I’m celebrating the potential for a story’s first splendid sentence to its supreme ending.Trust me and listen to yourself.”—Sahar Mustafah, author of The Beauty of Your Face (Norton, 2020) Writer Photo:� saharmustafah_300.jpeg Writer Photo Credit:�Tamara Hijazi http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ From Freddie Gray To George Floyd: Wes Moore Says It's Time To 'Change The Systems' https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/868565590/from-freddie-gray-to-george-floyd-wes-moore-says-its-time-to-change-the-systems?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=authorinterviews https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/868565590/from-freddie-gray-to-george-floyd-wes-moore-says-its-time-to-change-the-systems?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=authorinterviews Wed, 03 Jun 2020 18:24:09 UTC Terry Gross at Author Interviews : NPR In Five Days, Moore chronicles the uprising that occurred in Baltimore following Gray's death. "We're basically reliving history right now," he says of Floyd's death at the hands of police. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The City We Became https://www.pw.org/content/the_city_we_became https://www.pw.org/content/the_city_we_became Wed, 03 Jun 2020 14:06:00 UTC bchau at Poets & Writers N K Jemisin, "The City We Became" “He forgets his own name somewhere in the tunnel to Penn Station. He doesn’t notice, at first. Too busy with all the stuff people usually do when they’re about to reach their train stop: cleaning up the pretzel bags and plastic bottles of breakfast....” N. K. Jemisin reads from the first chapter of her new fantasy novel, The City We Became (Orbit, 2020), the first in her Great Cities trilogy, and answers audience questions�for a virtual event hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore.� Tags:�N. K. JemisinreadingThe City We Became2020OrbitGreat Cities http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Writer’s Notes From COVID NOLA: Tracy Cunningham https://www.pw.org/content/writers_notes_from_covid_nola_tracy_cunningham https://www.pw.org/content/writers_notes_from_covid_nola_tracy_cunningham Wed, 03 Jun 2020 14:00:00 UTC USW Blogger at Poets & Writers PoetryTracy Cunningham is the managing director of the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival and co-director of the New Orleans Writing Marathon. A fiction writer, her writing has appeared in Louisiana Literature and in various anthologies.How has this pandemic impacted you personally and professionally?Personally, I’ve been truly lucky, in that no one in my family or my immediate close circle of friends has been ill from the virus. I’ve been able to continue working with ease, as I already have a dedicated writing studio at home, so I’ve just made room for my festival work in my creative space. Professionally, this has been quite a challenge. Our year of preparing for the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and Saints+Sinners LGBTQ literary festival was all for naught, as we had to cancel just twelve days before our opening event. Since then, we’ve scrambled to adapt to the online world, and we’ve done a few online events with more planned for the coming months. A festival is inherently a social activity, and to move portions of that to an online format is daunting, but we’re eager to connect with our writers and patrons.What books are you reading while quarantined?I’m finally finding time to read some of the books by authors who were part of our 2020 festival programming. I’ve recently enjoyed Jac Jem’s False Bingo, Saeed Jones’s How We Fight for Our Lives and Jamie Attenberg’s All This Could Be Yours. Now I’m diving into Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow, and I can already see why it’s getting so much praise. Katy Simpson Smith’s newest book, The Everlasting, is next in my pile.If you knew five months ago what you know now, how would you have prepared for this moment?Professionally, knowing that far in advance that our festivals would be canceled would have made that process so much easier. Cancelling just twelve days before kickoff was extremely stressful, especially since we were among the earlier events that had to shut down, so there was no real model to follow.Luckily, our small team works well together and we were able to get the word out to our people and handle refunds quickly. Personally, I would have enjoyed the city more, had more cocktails and dinners with friends, and appreciated everything NOLA has to offer just a bit more.Have you attended or participated in any virtual readings? Are they here to stay or do you prefer in-person readings?I have attended some and I like it just fine, although it’s a bit awkward with everyone smiling and nodding silently. I like how unexpected fun can erupt, though, like at the end of Leigh Camacho Rourks’s reading and interview for her book Moon Trees and Other Orphans. We were all fawning over her two cats, and suddenly all of us grabbed our pets to show them off onscreen. It was a hilariously sweet moment.In-person readings are ultimately better though for connecting readers and writers, getting books signed, and feeling more in tune to the literary community. But for now, this is what we have and I’m happy to see how many opportunities we have to connect. Our independent bookstores, like Garden District Book Shop, have hosted some great online events, and we partnered with them and Beauregard-Keyes House to host an upcoming Sunday Salon Series. And we partnered with Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop to feature some of our Saints+Sinners Festival speakers.What’s your hope for New Orleans during and after this pandemic?My husband works at Galatoire’s, so we’re eager to see the numbers drop low enough for restaurants to re-open (with careful measures to keep patrons safe, of course). I hope we’re able to gather again and enjoy the beauty and history and culture that is so uniquely New Orleans. cunningham_t_wide.jpg Tracy Cunningham. (Credit: Tracy Cunningham)�Kelly Harris is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in New Orleans. Contact her at�NOLA@pw.org�or on Twitter,�@NOLApworg.LOC:�New Orleans http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ A Little Patch of Something http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheParisReviewBlog/~3/ZAxER0NOzzM/ http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheParisReviewBlog/~3/ZAxER0NOzzM/ Wed, 03 Jun 2020 13:00:09 UTC Imani Perry at The Paris Review Even when the dirt was hard and spent, black hands eked sprouts from it, tended them to fullness. And ate from the bounty. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 525 https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-poetry/wednesday-poetry-prompts-525 https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-poetry/wednesday-poetry-prompts-525 Wed, 03 Jun 2020 12:36:54 UTC Robert Lee Brewer at Writer's Digest Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a calm poem. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The Chinese Diarist Who Saw Into the World’s Pandemic Future https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-chinese-diarist-who-saw-into-the-worlds-pandemic-future https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-chinese-diarist-who-saw-into-the-worlds-pandemic-future Wed, 03 Jun 2020 10:00:00 UTC Han Zhang at The New Yorker’s Books Coverage: Essays and Criticism Han Zhang on the prize-winning Chinese novelist Wang Fang’s “Wuhan Diary,” which chronicled the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic in Hubei. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press https://www.pw.org/agents_editors_recommend/michael_wiegers_of_copper_canyon_press https://www.pw.org/agents_editors_recommend/michael_wiegers_of_copper_canyon_press Wed, 03 Jun 2020 04:00:00 UTC squong at Poets & Writers Printable Version Log in to Send Log in to Save Pinterest As I consider these awful times, I’ve wandered into the trap of asking, “What’s the purpose of poetry?” Unfortunately, it’s a too-familiar�question: What can words on a page or screen possibly offer against crises of such scale? Bookstores are currently closed because of the�pandemic, things are looking grim for publishers. Teachers and students are adrift without a classroom to gather them into community. Readings are depersonalized by the homogenizing screen. There has to be a better way. What might poetry offer that might help us all?As an editor, I trust that poets, and other writers, will help guide our shared conversation,�and I look to them to help me shape my own thinking and feeling. The conversations that so many poets have been shepherding for years are again erupting more visibly, and necessarily, into our streets. I often draw upon Keats’s touchstone reminder that poets should be able to live “with mysteries, uncertainties and doubt” and while, at first, that idea struck me as quaint and insufficient for these times, I considered whether those beyond the poetry�community might learn from poets how to live with this “negative capability.” Maybe the answer is there, in poems across the years.�Over the past few days, I’ve been turning�once again to Jericho Brown’s The Tradition,�not for certainty, but for solace,�and for the thrill I felt when I first read the manuscript. As a Black man in America, Jericho has had to face “uncertainty and doubt” his entire life—and he’s bent that toward the beautiful mysteries. His poems and the poems of those who have led to his voice—June Jordan, Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, even Walt Whitman—have shared in the making of mystery out of our uncertainties, and have become part of a greater active imagination. Personally and professionally, for me�The Tradition�is more than a book title, it’s more than an awareness of those who laid the path for us, it’s more than an investigation of negative (and positive) histories: It’s a participatory way of being in the world that in turn guides the types of books I seek as an editor. Poets are my teachers, and poems help me find words in these uncertain times, just as they will help future poets and non-poets struggle with their�own uncertainty and doubt. Poems push humankind forward, and as we move further into uncertainty, the poet Hayden Carruth reminds us:��...but in what isours, here, let� � � �justice be primarywhen we sing� � � �my dear.—Michael Wiegers, executive editor and editor in chief, Copper Canyon Press�Photo:� wiegers_aer.jpg Photo Credit:�Miriam Berkley http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ 'Surviving Autocracy': Masha Gessen's New Book Tells A Story Of Trump's Presidency https://www.npr.org/2020/06/02/868209682/surviving-autocracy-masha-gessens-new-book-tells-a-story-of-trumps-presidency?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=authorinterviews https://www.npr.org/2020/06/02/868209682/surviving-autocracy-masha-gessens-new-book-tells-a-story-of-trumps-presidency?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=authorinterviews Tue, 02 Jun 2020 19:55:00 UTC Author Interviews : NPR NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with The New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen about their new book, Surviving Autocracy. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/