November 26, 2015
November 25, 2015
There’s nothing particularly new about predictive text poetry. People have been talking about it for a while. But when your head is empty, or too full of chatter, a little predictive text session might turn up a phrase to launch a poem (or at least make you laugh).
The idea is simple: your smart phone uses common syntax to guess what you’re thinking. As you key in a text message, your phone continually prompts you with suggestions for the next word in your text. Since the phone’s syntax is only two words long — the last word and the next — things can get pretty nonsensical when you select a prompted word and your word string lengthens to three or more words.
Try it. Keep pen and paper handy in case you come up with a poem-worthy combination.
P.S. You don’t have to hit Send.
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November 24, 2015
The Hugo House Winter catalog is out and there’s a terrific lineup of classes and instructors. Subjects include many writing genres (and multigenre) and classes last from one day to 16 weeks. This is a great time to browse for classes that start in the New Year, so view the catalog online or download it on the Hugo House website.
November 23, 2015
Located at the Royal Festival Hall in London, The Poetry Library collects British poetry from 1912 on, including books, magazines and other media. In addition to lending services, classes, exhibits, reading and writing groups and other activities, The Poetry Library maintains a list of frequently-requested poems and a Lost Quotations page, where the answers to queries regarding poems are crowd-sourced. Have a look at Lost Quotations…maybe you can help.
November 22, 2015
Tired of the same-old, same-old venues? Check out Bellingham’s hot new spot: Café Bouzingo. Opened in September in the transformed space of the much-loved Amadeus Project and styled after 19th-century Bohemian Paris, Café Bouzingo is a culture hub and hookah lounge serving up coffee, tea and shisha along with poetry, music, dance and art.
Get Lit! is Café Bouzingo’s weekly (Sundays) poetry open mic and feature show. Tonight (Sunday, November 22, 2015), the featured poet is Shannon P. Laws. She will be followed by live music and an open mic featuring your poems, short stories and spoken word (sign-ups start at 6:30pm, Shannon at 7:00pm). See you at Café Bouzingo: 1209 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, Washington, USA.
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photo: Aaron Brick Artography
November 21, 2015
A sure sign of the approaching year-end is the launch of “Best-of” season. Whether you’re gift shopping or simply trying to figure out what to read next, lists of best poetry books can be helpful. More lists will be published in the coming weeks. Here’s Elizabeth Lund’s “Best poetry collections of 2015” from The Washington Post.
November 20, 2015
The sculptor Siah Armajani creates architectural works that often incorporate poetry and other language. His public art projects include many shared spaces such as gardens, reading rooms and parks. Armajani explains, “I am interested in the nobility of usefulness. My intention is to build open, available, useful, common, public gathering places. Gathering places that are neighborly.”
In Minneapolis, where the artist is based, the Armajani-designed Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge is a 379-foot pedestrian walkway that connects the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Loring Park. Passing over 16 lanes of roadway and traffic, the bridge displays, on its upper rail, a poem by John Ashbery commissioned for the project.
You can read the text of the untitled poem and see additional photos on the John Ashbery Poetry Tumblr. You can also hear the poet introducing and reading the poem, which begins, “And now I cannot remember how I would have had it,” at the 92nd Street Y on November 11, 1989, on PennSound.
Note: although the Sculpture Garden is undergoing a massive renovation and many of its landmark artworks are temporarily stored or moved to other locations, the Bridge and the Walker Art Center will remain open during construction. The Garden’s re-opening is expected in summer 2017.
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photo by Jen-Kuang Chang