Dickinson, sung

May 30, 2018

A Certain Slant of Light, a new recording by soprano Lisa Delan, features musical settings of Emily Dickinson poems by four American composers: Aaron Copland, Gordon Getty, Jake Heggie and Michael Tilson Thomas. Delan says:

Emily Dickinson has been a presence in my life from the age of 11, when my Uncle Dan gave me the Johnson edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, newly reprinted that year (1976). Without being aware of her poetry’s innate connection to music, I began setting Emily’s verses, creating simple tunes I sang while accompanying myself on guitar. Emily invited me into the world of poetry and inspired my enduring passion for singing the words of the great poets.

Delan also worked with composer Gordon Getty and pianist Fritz Steinegger on The White Election: A Cycle of 32 Songs for Soprano and Piano, On Poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).

Learn more on Lisa Delan’s website and listen to samples of A Certain Slant of Light on iTunes or Pentatone.

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on poetry

May 29, 2018


“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”
G.K. Chesterton
(May 29, 1874 – June 14, 1936)

. . . . .
photo by Ernest Herbert Mills, 1909
quote

Mark your calendar for the first Sunday of the month at 5:00pm, as a series of summer sidewalk readings present the voices of Bellingham poets. If you show up at 1507 Larrabee, in Fairhaven, look for the book box and that’s where the the readings will be held.

June 3 ~ Shannon P. Laws
July 1 ~ Donna Rushing
August 5 ~ Jim Bertolino & Anita K. Boyle
September 2 ~ Nancy Canyon

See you there!

poetry on film

May 24, 2018

Congratulations to Spokane filmmaker Kendra Ann Sherrill, whose short film, The Pink Tablet, will screen at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on Monday, May 28, 2018, at 3:30pm at the SIFF Cinema Uptown and again on June 6. One of six Washington filmmakers participating in the Fly Filmmaking Challenge, Sherrill was tasked with making a 5-7 minute documentary on a budget of $500 in 10 weeks.

Sherrill selected Spokane poet Ellen Welcker as her subject and The Pink Tablet is a 7-minute film based on Welcker’s poem of the same name.

For a suggestion of the film’s material, you can watch Welcker’s “feral opera,” also called The Pink Tablet — part play, part dance, and five original choral compositions — on YouTube.

swell swag

May 23, 2018

The Poetry Society of America is holding its annual Spring Benefit on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. The evening will honor Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Tickets and tables are still available.

If you won’t be able to make it to the benefit (or even if you will), PSA is offering an array of swell poetry swag in their silent auction, including appealing adventures, dazzling art, a poetry consultation with Billy Collins, a stay at the Ace Hotel in New York, books, classes, tickets, broadsides, posters, and subscriptions. Visit the auction page online.

Unlikely as it is, this is our second post in a week on gaming. The first talked about Haiku Adventure. This post introduces (or, if you’re an early adapter, re-introduces) Walden, a Game.

Walden, a game is an exploratory narrative and open world simulation of the life of American philosopher Henry David Thoreau during his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. The game begins in the summer of 1845 when Thoreau moved to the Pond and built his cabin there.

Players follow in his footsteps, surviving in the woods by finding food and fuel and maintaining their shelter and clothing. At the same time, players are surrounded by the beauty of the woods and the Pond, which hold a promise of a sublime life beyond these basic needs. The game follows the loose narrative of Thoreau’s first year in the woods, with each season holding its own challenges for survival and possibilities for inspiration.

Though a computer version of Walden has been available for a year, it recently launched on PlayStation 4. According to an Associated Press article by Dylan McGuinness, the game, including visuals and sounds, is modeled closely on Thoreau’s world.

Whether the game inspires readers to seek out the book or relieves them of the need to read it, the developers hope it will expand awareness of Thoreau’s experiment in nature and have made it available free to educators.

join the celebration

May 21, 2018

As we mentioned back in November, Seattle has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature. Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 7:00pm, you can join in the official celebration at the Seattle Public Library, 10th floor. The event is free, but advance registration is requested.

Read more about the City of Literature program, Seattle-specific and otherwise, in today’s issue of Crosscut.

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