Words

December 2013

The Sunday Poem: Patricia Fargnoli’s Winter

By |12.21.13

Patricia Fargnoli published her first book of poetry at the age of 62.

 
When Pulitzer-Prize-winner Mary Oliver chose Patricia Fargnoli’s first book, Necessary Light, as the winner of The May Swenson Book Award, Fargnoli was 62 years old.

“I began writing poems in high school and had a few (terrible ones) published in the school paper,” Pat explained by email from her home in Walpole, New Hampshire. “And I had taken poetry classes a couple of times in my 20′s at high school Adult Ed programs and the Y, but I didn’t become seriously dedicated to learning the […]

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    Gwarlingo’s 26 Favorite Art, Photography, Film & Design Books of 2013

Gwarlingo’s 26 Favorite Art, Photography, Film & Design Books of 2013

By |12.12.13

 

As an ex-librarian and book collector, one of my favorite things to do is to ferret out new publications and share them with readers. Whenever I’m traveling, I scour local bookstores and museum shops for interesting books. (Carting heavy art tomes home on an airplane is a familiar experience.) I also keep an eye out for new titles online, in magazines, newspapers, and book reviews.

For the first time on Gwarlingo, I’ve assembled a list of 26 of my favorite art, photography, film, and design books published this year.

This list is my gift to you this holiday. These are titles I […]

The Sunday Poem: Sophie Cabot Black’s The Exchange

By |12.07.13

(Attributed to) Caravaggio, Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1598. Oil on canvas 46 in × 68 in. (Photo via Wikimedia courtesy the Piasecka-Johnson Collection, Princeton)

 

Sophie Cabot Black (Photo by Alexander Black)”For me, the act of writing comes out of query,” poet Sophie Cabot Black explains in a recent interview with The New Yorker. “Each image turns to the next with its question and gets answered. Or with its answer it gets questioned. Poetry is my way to understand what is difficult. How one thing can be explained through another—is to get closer, to unhide what feels […]

  • The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)
    Permalink The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)Gallery

    Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

By |12.01.13

The chefs of Sherry’s restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)

 
Wisconsin Death Trip
My first introduction to the work of Michael Lesy was a chance encounter many years ago with his classic photography book Wisconsin Death Trip. Flipping through the images of children in coffins and grim-faced Midwesterners, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was seeing. A straightforward document of madness, crime, disease, and urbanization in Black River Falls, Wisconsin? Or, perhaps, an invented fiction? It seemed too horrific to be real, […]

November 2013

The Sunday Poem: Miriam Sagan’s Seven Places in America

By |11.23.13

Lisa Elmaleh, Paurotis Palms, Everglades, Florida, silver gelatin print, 2010. On view in the Mythology of Florida exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans through January 5th. (Photo © Lisa Elmaleh via lisaelmaleh.com)

 

“Miriam Sagan’s Seven Places is a lovely collection of verbal souvenirs, resonant snapshots plumbing the mists, the touches, the footfalls that evoke place,” writes art critic Lucy Lippard. “Before I started reading I knew some of these places. Now I know them all. I can walk there.”

Art has the ability to make the familiar new again, and this is particularly true of […]

  • Lisa Dahl, Aureolin, 20 x 30 inches, acrylic on color photograph, 2005. (Image Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)
    Permalink Lisa Dahl, Aureolin, 20 x 30 inches, acrylic on color photograph, 2005. (Image Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)	Gallery

    Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

By |11.19.13

Lisa Dahl, Suburban Export, household cardboard, 1.5 x 2 x 2 inches (each), installation variable, 2011-12. View the finished installation Suburban Export here. (In-Progress photo of installation by Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)

 

 
“Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul.” -Samuel Mockbee
 
The Click & Clack of Clutter

I am fascinated by how houses succeed or fail to shelter us, body and soul, ” says writer Howard Mansfield in his new book Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter (Bauhan Publishing, 2013).

“The mystery that holds my attention is that some houses have life—are home, are […]

The Sunday Poem: Alice Fogel on How to Not “Get” Poetry

By |11.16.13

(Carl Sandburg poetry manuscript photo by Ben Woloszyn via news.illinois.edu)

 

Alice B. Fogel is poised to become the next Poet Laureate in New Hampshire, following in the footsteps of Donald Hall, Maxine Kumin, Jane Kenyon, Patricia Fargnoli, and others. Governor Maggie Hassan recently appointed Fogel to the five-year position.

Fogel’s third book, Be That Empty, was a national poetry bestseller in 2008, and in 2009 Strange Terrain (on how to appreciate poetry without “getting” it) came out. Nominated six times for the Pushcart, her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry and Robert Hass’s Poet’s Choice, and she has received a fellowship […]

  • Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery)
    Permalink Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery)Gallery

    A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

By |11.04.13

Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Gallery)

 

How do we cope with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina? Do we learn the necessary lessons and adjust accordingly, or do we simply slip back into a state of denial? How prepared are we for the next major storm?

Questions like these have been on my mind this week during my stay in New Orleans. Today I saw Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, an exhibit at the Presbytere, part of the Louisiana […]

The Sunday Poem: Ed Skoog’s Rough Day

By |11.02.13

Writer Ed Skoog (Photo by Kelly O courtesy the author)

 

We don’t give much thought to the covers of the poetry books we read, but the genre is plagued by amateurish typography and ill-chosen imagery. Copper Canyon Press consistently has some of the strongest, most thoughtful designs, and Ed Skoog’s Rough Day is the perfect marriage of style and substance.

A 1939 photograph of Skoog’s mother, looking rather displeased with a pet crow on her lap, graces the cover of Skoog’s second collection. It’s an intentional choice, and also a memorable one.

“The book is about a lot of things, […]

October 2013

  • Poet Bridget Lowe
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    The Sunday Poem: Bridget Lowe’s At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky

The Sunday Poem: Bridget Lowe’s At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky

By |10.19.13

Poet Bridget Lowe (Photo by Jennifer Wetzel courtesy the author)

 

The publication of Bridget Lowe’s debut collection, At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013), is a bit of a full-circle moment for Gwarlingo.

Bridget Lowe was one of the first Gwarlingo Sunday Poets, back in the early days when the Sunday Poem feature was limited to a single poem. Bridget’s “In My Study of Hysteria,” which is included in her new book, was a runaway success (for both Gwarlingo and poetry) and also my first hint that the audience for quality poetry might be bigger […]