Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Muse: Delaware's Twin Poets Laureate

. . . I think we'll be able to put poetry and art in places 
and conversations where it hasn't been in the past. . . .
~ Albert Mills*

This appointment will allow us to continue to create
an environment where it's OK to express your emotions
and your love, your care and concern for another person. . . .
~ Nnamdi Chukwuocha*

In an announcement made December 16, 2015, Delaware's governor named two spoken word artists to the position of state poet: identical twins Nnamdi Chukwuocha ("choo-Quo-cha") and Albert Mills, who are known for their live performances of socially conscious work, including, most famously, "Dreams Are Illegal in the Ghetto" and "Homework for Breakfast".

Together, the co-Poets Laureate, referred to as "The Twin Poets", succeed Dr. JoAnn Balingit, who served from May 14, 2008 through December 1, 2015.

Information about the creation and responsibilities of the position is found in my Monday Muse post about JoAnn Balingit (May 24, 2010).

The brothers envision taking poetry, especially spoken-word performance, into schools, libraries, and community centers; theatres; orphanages and group homes; detention centers, correctional facilities, and work-release programs; military bases and veterans programs, and nonprofit organizations throughout underserved areas of Delaware to promote awareness of poetry and to demonstrate how poetry and the spoken word can be used transformationally—not only to help solve difficult urban problems, especially poverty, drug abuse, and gun violence in African American communities, but also to as a way to empower, help heal, and give support to those in need.

* * * * *
We believe art is a true tool to combat gun violence.
We believe that 100 percent and believe that art
is one of the key things missing in our community.
~ Nnamdi Chukwuocha**

Nnamdi Chukwuocha (Left) and Albert Mills (Right)

Nnamdi Chukwuocha (named Elbert Mills at birth) and Albert Mills, raised in Wilmington, Delaware, in a family of community advocates (their father was a civil rights activist), were taught as children to channel their emotions through written or spoken word, especially as a way to alleviate stress and resolve issues. Later, they began writing stories and poems. The emergence of rap gave them a way to speak and perform their poems, although they declined to accepted offers from within the entertainment industry, deeming the industry antithetical to their desire to be positive change agents and inspiring role models. Both men are Army veterans, married, and fathers. 

The brothers' books include Our Work, Our Words...: Taking the Guns from Our Sons' Hands (iUniverse, 2008).

Used to touring nationally and internationally (they have performed in Ghana, Jamaica, France, Germany, and Ireland, among other countries), the brothers are the subject of the documentary Why I Write (Hearts and Minds Films, 2011). (See trailer below.) They have appeared on HBO's Def Poetry (Def Comedy Jam on YouTube), BET's Lyric Cafe, and NPR's Poetic License programs. Repeatedly lauded and recognized for their community service, they are the recipients of the Village Award (2006) from the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families and a Local Heroes Award from Bank of America (2006). The Twin Poets were State of Delaware Mentors of the Year in 2001.

The entire documentary, Why I Write: The Twin Poets, may be viewed on YouTube. (The documentary also is available on DVD.)

Chukwuocha's and Mills's poem "Home for Breakfast" is to become a children's book. Illustrated by Robyn Phillips-Pendelton, it will be released this year by Mariposa Ranch Press.

The brothers — Mills is a family therapist an community-based social worker and Chukwuocha is a Wilmington City council member and social worker — recently launched Art for Life - Delaware, a community mentoring program that uses art to change lives. They also are the founders of GOALS (Getting Organized Always Leads to Success), a tutoring and mentoring program that teaches children about the importance of self-expression and writing. (A "G.O.A.L.S." poem is found in their book Our Work, Our Words.

Here are several excerpts from The Twin Poets' work:

so many people who call themselves poets are more concerned with
     writing poems
but i am more concerned with making a difference
for me these aren't poems but rather essays of my existence
~ from "essay of my existence"

[. . .] you see these poets here help mend broken homes
and have young boys
writing mommy i appreciate everything you do for me poems
~ from 'these poets"


Photo Credit: Cylinda McCloud-Keal; Courtesy of State Arts Division

All Poetry Excerpts © Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills

* Quoted from News Release from Office of the Governor (See link below.)

** Quoted from Jenna Pizzi Article (See link below.)

Office of the Governor, "Governor Markell Appoints 17th Poets Laureate for the State of Delaware", News Release, December 16, 2015 (Watch the appointment ceremony on video.)

Jenna Pizzi, "Wilmington's Twin Poets Named as State Poets Laureate", The News Journal (DelawareOnline), December 16, 2015 (Video Interview Available)

Layla Garms, "'Twin Poets' Use Rhyme to Change Lives", The Chronicle, October 9, 2013

Stephen Salisbury, "From the Twin Poets, One View of Inner-City Life: The Brothers' Works Mix Rap, Theater, Morality Tale, and Political Tract",, December 5, 2001 (Lines from "Little Shane" are included in the article.)

Nnamdi Chukwuocha Profiles Online: City of Wilmington, "Nnamdi Chukwuocha's Story" on YouTube

The Twin Poets' Poetry Online: "Dreams Are Not Illegal" at Poet Laureate Page (Video); "Why I Write" at National Writing Project; "The Beauty of the Journey", YouTube (Video Recording at Appointment Ceremony); "Inner City Disease" from The Bandana Republic (Anthology) on GoogleBooks

Our Work, Our Words on GoogleBooks

Why I Write: The Twin Poets on FaceBook

The Twin Poets on FaceBook and Twitter

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thought for the Day

You will have only one story. . . You'll write your one story
many ways. Don't every worry about the story. You will have only one.
~ "Lucy Barton"

Quoted from Elizabeth Strout's novel My Name Is Lucy Barton (Random House, January 2016)

Elizabeth Strout Website (Strout received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Olive Kitteridge. Her book also won the Premio Bancarella Prize and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday Short

I want to put joy back in charge for the rest of my life.
~ Owen Suskind*

Today I encourage everyone to take a peek at Life, Animated, by Roger Ross Williams (director) and Julie Goldman (producer). (Click the movie title link and scroll down to view the trailer.) A documentary, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and was awarded the Sundance Directing Award in the U.S. Documentary category.

The film relates Owen Suskind's touching story as a child and young man with late-onset autism; at age 3, Owen suddenly stopped talking and as his father, Ron Suskind, says, "vanished" for years. Remarkably, after engaging Owen's attention with a puppet, his father and mother learned that their son had been memorizing hundreds of lines from favorite Walt Disney movies and could deliver them with the skill of a professional impressionist. It was through movies and those lines he memorized that Owen gradually found the language to communicate. 

Owen's is an amazing and moving story of self-discovery, of being "left behind" and then finding his voice.

Life, Animated on FaceBook

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of an excellent Democracy Now! interview with the film's director and Owen Suskind and his father, a writer: "Life, Animated: How a Family Reached Their Autistic Son Through Disney Movies", January 27, 2016.

* This statement is quoted from the Democracy Now! interview.

Friday, February 5, 2016

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ History, art, and artifacts are celebrated in The Collections: The University of Texas Press (UT Press, January 2016), a new book surveying more than 80 collections in the university's holdings, including selections from Harry Ransom Center, Blanton Museum of Art, and Lyndon B. Johnson School for Public Affairs. Edited by Andree Bober, the book also has more than 800 color and 117 black-and-white images. Click the title link above for a look inside.

✦ Canadian artist Floyd Elzinga takes his inspiration from nature. His metal pine cones (and cones from other trees) and landscapes of steel are especially impressive. Elzinga also makes art playful; see a selection of installations, including a zippered lawn. 

✦ Human trafficking is the subject of the metaphorical Red Sand Project described at Hyperallergic. Visit Molly Gochman's Website to learn more about the social justice project.

✦ The Creators Project spent some time "Looking Back at 15 Years of Wikipedia and Art" (January 15, 2016).

✦ You have until February 14 to see "Graphic Novelist Residency: Eleanor Davis" at Ohio's Columbus Museum of Art. Davis is a wonderful illustrator and cartoonist.

✦ Here's a preview for the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition "Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse", on view in London through April 20:

Read a review of the exhibition, described as "thrillingly cosmic", in The Guardian.

✦ The subject of a recent feature article, "Social Fabric", in American Craft (February/March 2016), Karen Hamilton talks in the video below about how she came to be an artist. Visit Hamilton's Website to view a selection of her historical narratives, weavings, and portraits. Additional videos are accessible from her Website. 

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ On view through April 3, "You Go Girl! Celebrating Women Artists", at The Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York, brings together work by more than 50 artists, including Berenice Abbott, Elaine de Kooning, Audry Flack, Jane Hammond, Georgia O'Keeffe, Betty Parsons, Miriam Shapiro, Emma Stebbins, and Jane Wilson. Drawn from the museum's collections and dating from the late 19th Century to today, the artworks are representational and abstract. Among the media are prints, oils and watercolors, photographs, and sculptures. See a selection of images from the show. 

Marguerite Zorach, Moonlight, 1910
Oil on Panel, 16" x 12-3/4"
Gift of Baker/Pisano Collection 2001.9.288

The Heckscher Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., is presenting "Artists' Books and Africa" through September 11. This is the first exhibition focusing on African artists' books in the Smithsonian Libraries' Warren M. Robbins Library and NMAfA. View the online exhibition, if you can't get to Washington.

Here's a six-minute film that introduces some of the artists whose wonderful work is on exhibit:

NMAfA on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Architecture as concept, metaphor, and practice is examined in "Architecture of Life", the inaugural exhibition, continuing through May 29, at California's Berkeley Art Museum | Pacific Film Archive. Located in BAMPFA's new building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the exhibition of more than 200 works occupies every gallery. On view are scientific illustrations and architectural drawings and models, in addition to sculpture, oil paintings, photographs, prints, and other artworks in a wide range of media. At the exhibition link, you'll find a list of related programs by month and images of a selection of objects in the show.

Accompanying the show is a 362-page exhibition catalogue, Architecture of Life (University of California Berkeley & Pacific Film Archive, 2015), with 280 color illustrations. Among the essayists contributing to the catalogue is Rebecca Solnit.

Catalogue Cover Art

BAMPFA on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram

✭ In Arizona, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art continues through May 1 "Betye Saar: Still Tickin'". A retrospective, the exhibition is organized around three themes: nostalgia and memory, mysticism and ritual, and the political and racial. On view are multimedia collages, assemblages, sculpture, works on paper, and re-conceived installations. View four images from the show.

SMOCA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube


✭ Danforth Art Museum and School, Framingham, Massachusetts, is presenting a two-part exhibition that draws from works in the permanent collection: "The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior". The first part, continuing through February 28, features the work of Lindsey Beal, Marie Craig, and Molly Lamb. The second part, continuing through March 6, showcases work by Leslie Graff and Astrid Reichwitz. The works on view are in a variety of media, including installations. Artist and gallery talks are scheduled. Visit the main exhibition page and individual exhibition links to view images and obtain more information about the participating artists.

Danforth Art on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Photographs by the late Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) are on view through March 20 in "Tiny: Streetwise Revisited" at Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. The exhibition draws from Mark's 30-year-long Streetwise series and includes both a forward and backward look at the Seattle pimps, prostitutes, panhandlers, drug dealers, and other down-and-out youth Mark continued to photograph over decades. ("Tiny" was a 13-year-old prostitute when Mark met her; the mother of 10 children, she died in 2015 at age 75.) This is an important exhibition; the series documents a range of challenging issues — homelessness, poor health care, drug addiction, lack of education, poverty — and serves as a record of how those problems became intergenerational.

A catalogue, published last fall by Aperture and including essays by Isabel Allende, John Irving, Martin Bell, and Mark, is available (see image below).

Catalogue Cover Art

Norton Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday's Three on Art

Today's post features a trio of reissued, recently published, or forthcoming titles on art and artists.

✭ Published two decades ago, art critic Deborah Solomon's authoritative Utopia Parkway: The Life & Work of Joseph Cornell (Otherpress, October 2015) has been reissued in paperback and as an e-book. The biography has been updated and the text revised.

Cover Art

Joseph Cornell (1903-1972)

✭ Formerly Art in America's executive editor, Dave Hickey is the author of the forthcoming 25 Women: Essays on Their Art (The University of Chicago Press, February 16, 2016). Among those profiled are Lynda Benglis, Vija Celmins, Roni Horn, Hung Liu, Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Murray, Elizabeth Peyton, Fiona Rae, and Bridget Riley. A 192-page compilation of earlier published, now revised and updated, monographs, the book is available in an electronic edition.

Cover Art
U Chicago Press on FaceBook

Read a review of the book in The New York Times (January 8, 2016).

✭ Scholar and author Jonathan Fineberg, founding director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art, now Center for Art and Knowledge, and trustee emeritus of the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., published last summer Modern Art at the Border of Mind and Brain (University of Nebraska Press, August 2015). Currently Visiting Professor at University of California-Irvine, Fineberg addresses in Modern Art how the brain's structure is affected through the representation of visual forms and the mechanics of perception. Robert Arneson, Alexander Calder, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Jean Dubuffet, Joan Miro, Robert Motherwell, and Elizabeth Murray are some of the artists whose work Fineberg examines in delineating the relationships among artistic production neuroscience, and creating meaning through form.

Cover Art

Read an excerpt (18-page pdf).

University of Nebraska Press on FaceBook

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Omer Fast

In Continuity, commissioned for dOCUMENTA (13), the Berlin-based contemporary filmmaker Omer Fast created a short that disrupts linear storytelling by interjecting what Fast calls "the stuff that gets in the way". The longer we watch, the more contradictory and complicated the story seems to become, leaving it open to widely varying interpretations and unresolved questions of how co-existing truth and fantasy can be manipulated over time.

In an interview with Art21, intercut with scenes from the dramatic short, Fast, who works with film, video, and television footage, discusses his aims for the commission:

My thanks to Art21 for the interview with Fast.

See Continuity (2012), in German with English subtitles, in its entirety (40:34 minutes).

See other online previews, including Fast's 56-minute Everything That Rises Must Converge, a four-channel digital film in English and Spanish. Fast's first feature-length film is Remainder (2015), which premiered last fall at Tate Modern in London.

Omer Fast at James Cohan Gallery ~ The solo exhibition "Omer Fast" at James Cohan in New York City is scheduled for March 25 through April 23.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Taking Your Leave (Poem)

Taking Your Leave

      Words have a longevity I do not.
         ~ Paul Kalanithi

Your scans map enough
to tell you you will not
walk the distance
from earth to sun.

We want to ask how
long you've got, as if
any answer but this
minute matters.

Already you've looked
down your path to
see no end we know
is near, circling

what yet remains.

© 2016 Maureen E. Doallas

The late Paul Kalanithi is the author of When Breath Becomes Air (Random House, January 2016). A neurosurgeon, he died of cancer in March 2015, aged 37. Several of his essays are at his Website.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Muse: New York's New Poet Laureate

. . . I shall endeavor to cultivate this atmosphere where
poetry and the lives of working people intersect.*
~ Yusef Komunyakaa

Yusef Komunyakaa is New York State's recently named 11th Poet Laureate (the post is known as the New York State Walt Whitman Citation of Merit State Poet Award). His appointment was announced January 8 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who also named Joseph Tusiani New York's State Poet Laureate Emeritus.

Information about the laureateship is included in my March 22, 2010, Monday Muse post about Jean Valentine, who was in the position from 2008 through 2010. Also see my post on the former state laureate Marie Howe (2012-2014).

* * * * *
I love the idea of the pencil or pen pressed
against the paper. The evolution of the brain
has everything to do with the hand. I like the feel,
the hand making, creating the letters.**

New York City resident Yusef Komunyakaa has published more than a dozen collections of poetry, most recently, The Emperor of Water Clocks (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2015), Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), and The Chameleon Couch (FSG, 2011; paper, 2012). The latter was a finalist for a 2011 National Book Award and for a 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award; it was also on the short list for the 2012 International Griffin Poetry Prize. The Boston Globe named the collection a 2011 Best Poetry Book.

Among Komunyakaa's other collections are Warhorses: Poems (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2009), Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems (Wesleyan, 2004), Talking Dirty to the Gods (FSG, 2000, 2001) and Thieves of Paradise (Wesleyan, 1998), which were finalists, respectively, for the 2000 and 1998 NBC Circle Award (see Past Awards page). Some other works are Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan, 1993), awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize and 1994 Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Award (Claremont Graduate University); Dien Cai Dau ("Crazy") (Wesleyan, 1988), winner of The Dark Room Poetry Prize (Dark Room Collective); and Lost in the Bonewheel Factory (Lynx House Press, 1979). His debut collection, published in 1977, was Dedications & Other Darkhorses (RMCAJ). Komunyakaa also is an essayist and librettist. He's written a verse play, as well: Gilgamesh (Wesleyan, 2006).

Running through Komunyakaa's narrative poetry are deep influences of jazz and blues, colloquial speech, poetry in The Bible; experiences of violence, both within and without, and of war (in Komunyakaa's case, Vietnam); experiences of being black in America, especially as a child and young man in the South, under Jim Crow laws and during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Themes of suffering, loss, and grief; of hardship and brokenness, of sinning and forgiveness, and of memory are pervasive.

[. . .] poems are still teaching me what it is to be human, 
because perhaps poems are born from a needful singing
alongside pathos and even grief, so there is a becoming. [. . .]***

Typically short in line length, allusive, erudite at times, autobiographical at times, marked by sharp, swiftly changing, sometimes surrealistic imagery, Komunyaaa's poems demonstrate careful attention to and mastery of structure, cadence, metaphor, and other poetic techniques.

Select any of his poems. . . the language is gorgeous, attuned to what Yomunyakaa describes as "visual attitude" and "dips and turns" of "tonal register", even as the words move us through harsh memories or toward some unexpected or unresolved emotional moment:

✦ I know a prison of sunlight on the skin. [. . .] ~ from "Envoy to Palestine"

✦ [. . .] From a lotus raised out of a half sleep, / A shiver goes through hand-painted silk. [. . .]  ~ from "Bonsai, Golden Lotus"

✦ To step from the naked / Fray, to be as tender / As meat imagined off // The bluegill's pearlish / Bones."  ~ from "Lust

✦ [. . .] He shivered, but not / The way women shook  their heads / Before mirrors at the five / & dime [. . . .] ~ from "Yellowjackets"

✦ [. . .] When I got to him, / a blue halo / of flies had already claimed him. / I pulled the crumpled photograph / from his fingers. / There's no other way / to say this: I fell in love. [. . .] ~ from "We Never Know".

Here, too, is an example of sensual language used to great effect:

Because I mistrust my head & hands, because I know salt 

    tinctures my songs, I tried hard not to touch you
even as I pulled you into my arms. Seasons sprouted

    went to seed as we circled the dance with silver cat bells
tied to our feet. Now, kissing you, I am the archheir of second
       chances.[. . .]
 ~ from "Canticle" in The Chameleon Couch

Komunyakaa has published poems in AGNIAmerican Life in Poetry, American Poetry ReviewThe Atlantic, The Beloit Poetry JournalCallaloo, The Cortland ReviewThe New Yorker, The Paris ReviewPlumePoetrySlateT Magazine (The New York Times), and many other literary periodicals. (A selection of poems found online is below.)

Some anthologies that include Komunyakaa's poems are The Second Set: The Jazz Poetry Anthology (Vol. 2) (Indiana University Press, 1996), of which Komunyakaa also is co-editor (he also co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology [Indiana University Press, 1991]); The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2005); The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney (University of Georgia Press/Cave Canem, 2007); I Go the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights (Lost Horse Press, 2009); and The New Anthology of American Poetry, Vol. III: Postmodernisms 1950-Present (Rutgers University Press, 2012). Some of his prose has been collected in Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews, and Commentaries (University of Michigan Press, 2000).

Internationally renowned, Komunyakaa is the recipient of the Sidney Lanier Prize (Mercer University Center for Southern Studies, 2015), the Corrington Award (Centenary College, which also awarded Komunyakaa an honorary doctorate in 2014); the Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (2001), for "extraordinary lifetime accomplishments"; the Wallace Stevens Award of the Academy of American Poets (2011), Hanes Poetry Prize (Southern Literary Association), William Faulkner Prize (University of Rennes 2), Louisiana Writer Award (Louisiana Book Festival, 2007), and Shelley Memorial Award (Poetry Society of America, 2004), among numerous other honors. A two-year fellowship in poetry at Indiana University is named after the poet.

Distinguished Senior Poet, New York University Creative Writing Program, Komunyakaa is a former chancellor of The Academy of American Poets; he was elected to the post in 1999 and a decade later, in 2009, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 


Photo Credit: Tom Wallace via Academy of American Poets

All Poetry Excerpts © Yusef Komunyakaa

* Quoted from News Release, Office of the Governor (See link below.)

** Quoted from BOMB Magazine Interview (See link below.)

*** Quoted from Farrar, Strauss & Giroux Interview (See link below.)

Komunyakaa was born in Louisiana in 1947. His original name was James William Brown Jr.; he changed it in honor of his West Indies grandfather.

"Governor Cuomo Announces New York's Biennial State Author & Poet | Cuomo Appoints Edmund White 11th State Author; Yusef Komunyakaa 11th State Poet", Office of the Governor, January 8, 2016 (Profiles about all the appointees are included in the news release.)

Yusef Komunyakka Poems Online: "After Summer Fell Apart", "Avarice", "Blues Chant Hoodoo Revival", and 39 Other Poems, All at Poetry Foundation; 24 Poems at Internet Poetry Archive; 4 Poems at Poetry Archive (Audio Available); "Camouflaging the Chimera", "Kindness", and "Pride", All at Poetry Out Loud; "Elegy for Thelonious", "A Break from the Bush", "Facing It", and "Woebegone", All at Modern American Poetry; "When Eyes Are On Me" (Excerpt) at National Book Foundation Page (Audio Clip Available); "Memory of the Murdered Professors at the Jagiellonian" at Griffin Poetry Prize Page (Video Available); 13 Poems at PoemHunter; "Requiem", "Anodyne", "Little Man Around the House", All at Poetry Society of America; "Fortress" at The New Yorker; "Facing It" at YouTube (Text at Poetry Foundation); 10 Poems at afropoets; "Yellowjackets" at American Life in Poetry; "Toxic Waste" and "Potions", Both at BOMB Magazine; "We Never Know", "Please", "Praising Dark Places", and "Unnatural State of the Unicorn", All at UniVerse (United Nations of Poetry); "Ghazal, After Ferguson" at Plume; "Longitudes" at T Magazine, The New York Times; "The Chameleon Couch | Canticle" at Poets & Writers; "Safe Subjects" at The Atlantic; "Latitudes", "The Crying Hill", "Autobiography of My Alter Ego" (Excerpt), "The Whispering Gallery", and "Bonsai, Golden Lotus", All at Slate (Audio Available for Some Poems); "Night of the Armadillo" (Excerpt) at The Paris Review; "In Love with the Nightstalker" and "The White Hat", Both at AGNI Online; "My wide hips raised two warriors", "Daybreak", and "Testimony", All at The Poetry Center at Smith College; "Believing in Iron" and "Slamdunk", Both at Poem of the Week; "Requiem" at Mass Poetry's Poem of the Moment; "Captain Nobones' Threnody", "False Leads", and "Family Tree" (Excerpt), All at Beloit Poetry Journal (pp 36-39)

Also see the audio recordings at PennSound and interview and reading of 18 poems at The Cortland Review.

Elizabeth Hoover, "Songs of Rage and Tenderness: The Poetry of Yusef Komunyakaa", Sampsonia Way, August 31, 2010

Dana Isoawa, "An Interview with Yusef Komunyakaa", Washington Square Review, Issue 33

Erika Lutzner, "A Review of Yusef Komunyakaa's 'Magic City'", Web del Sol Review of Books

Philip Metres, "Poet Yusef Komunyakaa Brings His Keen Eye and Sense of Craft to a Reading Tuesday at John Carroll", The Plain Dealer, October 20, 2014

Alan Fox, "A Conversation with Yusef Komunyakaa", Rattle, Reposting of August 19, 2014 (Summer, 1998)

NPR, "On Newtown: Poet Yusef Komunyakaa", December 14, 2013 (Audio Available) (Included is a reading of "Rock Me Mercy".)

Suzan Sherman, "Yusef Komunyakaa and Paul Muldoon", BOMB - Artists in Conversation (This is an excellent piece.)

Benjamin Secher, "Hay Nairobi: Yusef Komunyakaa 'You have to embrace mystery'", The Telegraph, September 15, 2011

The Best Words in their Best Order, "An Interview with Yusef Komunyakaa, author of 'The Chamelon Couch'", FSG Poetry Blog, April 19, 2011

Brett Strickland, "Love in a Time of War", Review of Warhorses, Jacket 2, 2009

Dien Cai Dau, Magic CityNeon Vernacular, Pleasure Dome, Thieves of Paradise, All on GoogleBooks

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thought for the Day

Putting the story on the page is a product of doubt,
not a product of certainty. . . .
~ Phil Klay

Quoted from Nick Ripatrazone, "A Conversation with Phil Klay", Image Journal, Winter 2015, No. 87

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short is The Saint of Dry Creek, a wonderful StoryCorps animation that received its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. The short's director is Julie Zammarchi. Listen to the StoryCorps interview that was the inspiration for the film.

StoryCorps on FaceBook