Sunday, May 13, 2012

Relentlessly Showcased

Headed to New York this week to visit old friends, and to read some poems at the Cornelia Street Cafe. Will be the first time in the city in over 10 years. Can't wait.
-via Slate

At some point I decide to do something with this love—I trust it. I wholeheartedly believe that poetry can teach me how to live my life. I see that godawful earnestness in me and am embarrassed. I want so desperately to mean. When I make that choice, I accept that I will pass from the permitted to the forbidden. I’m not sure love is a descent, but I hope it is a move towards something deeper, something unknown. It not only asks for change, but for a willingness to accept whatever lies on the other side of the threshold. What can a poem teach you? A poem is not a poet, who is flawed and weak and sometimes cruel. But I trust the idea of poetry—that there is a way of living that keeps you wholly awake to the world. There is a power I can learn from, a consciousness I can inhabit that teaches me to face my life bravely. I want to deserve the life I’ve been given.

-Traci Brimhall in the new issue of Waccamaw


-Steve Almond is writing beautiful and true things again at The Rumpus


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wasteland of Opportunity

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

-Washington Post


Hall remembers the president talking about Robert Frost’s trip to Russia when Obama gave Hall the National Medal of Arts back in 2010. But he didn’t realize how deep the president’s interest in poetry ran: When Obama whispered a few sentences into his left ear — in which, Hall said with a laugh, he’s stone deaf — he didn’t think too much about what he was missing.




More than half of America's recent college graduates are either unemployed or working in a job that doesn't require a bachelor's degree, the Associated Press reported this weekend. The story would seem to be more evidence that, regardless of your education, the wake of the Great Recession has been a terrible time to be young and hunting for work. 

But are we really becoming another Greece or Spain, a wasteland of opportunity for anybody under the age of 25? Not quite. What the new statistics really tell us about is the changing nature, and value, of higher education.

-The Atlantic