Has poetry changed the world? Has increasing literacy been at all responsible for decreasing brutality—and, if so, “what attributes of literature can explain this? Three come immediately to mind: its invitation to empathy, its reliance on deliberative thought, and its beauty.”
It was once possible to medal in poetry! Over at NPR, the history of poetry and the Olympics…and at the LA Review of Books, an exploration of poetry at the 2012 Summer Games.
Lev Grossman talks about hating a book you’re supposed to love. “I cannot stand this book I’m reading right now. It’s a novel. It’s by a writer who is generally described as Great, but who I’ve always personally felt is Pretty Good When He’s Really On His Game, Which Was Like For One Book, But Generally Speaking He’s Really Not That Good At All. Like For Example Right Now.”
Over at The New Inquiry, Rob Horning explores his discomfort with the word literary. “The literary is what literary people say it is, which is what makes them literary people.”
Some general public reading etiquette. Like, don’t invite your children on stage. Don’t tell stories about the poems that are longer than the poems themselves. And the list goes on…
It’s a simple fact that there are more MFA graduates than tenure-track positions in creative writing. Nick Ripatrazone suggests an alternative to the adjunct life: teach high school.