Monday, November 29, 2010

tom waits book

Singer Tom Waits is to make his publishing debut next year with a book that combines his poetry with images of the homeless, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Hard Ground is described as a portrait of homelessness, combining Waits's words with images of people who "live on the hard ground."

This is the publishing debut for Waits, the eccentric troubadour who, after 40 years, dozens of film appearances and about 20 albums, has noticeably avoided committing himself to print. He remarked in a 1975 interview that poetry is "a very dangerous word."

"I don't like the stigma that comes with being called a poet," he said. "So I call what I'm doing an improvisational adventure or an inebriational travelogue."

Hard Ground is modelled on the 1941 classic, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which combined James Agee's poetry and Walker Evans's photographs of Depression-era farmers.

Although this is Waits's first collaboration with O'Brien, the photographer has frequently taken pictures of the singer. He also shot the cover of Waits's recent album, Glitter and Doom Live.

Hard Ground is to be published by University of Texas in March 2011.

-Edmonton Journal, November 28, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving everyone! hope you have a good day. here is a good thanksgiving day poem.

Save Room
By Joanna Fuchs

As meals go, Thanksgiving dinner
Is always a feast--a five star winner.
Here comes the salad, dressed just right,
The golden brown turkey--a savory delight;

The stuffing now, and then the gravy,
The jello mold, all wiggly and wavy.
Take some cranberry sauce and candied yams;
Is there room for fresh made rolls and jams?

More dishes tempt me; ah, but I
Must save some room for pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 22, 2010

brave new world banned

Like many great works of literature, Aldous Huxley's classic novel Brave New World has, at various times, been banned, challenged as a fraud, or otherwise pissed upon by the nitpicking masses. In this particular book's case, banning it is more than a little ironic, seeing as the book itself presents a society where almost no one reads books anymore. Regardless, the latest effort at prohibiting Huxley's opus comes from right here in Seattle at Nathan Hale High School.

As KUOW reports today, it seems a Native American student who was required to read the book took issue with the its depiction of native people. The girl's mom, Sarah Sense-Wilson, agreed and wrote the school to have it removed from the curriculum, writing: "(The book has a) high volume of racially offensive derogatory language and misinformation on Native Americans. In addition to the inaccurate imagery, and stereotype views, the text lacks literary value which is relevant to today's contemporary multicultural society."

The school eventually agreed, promising to remove the book from students' required reading list and releasing a statement apologizing that the "cultural insensitivity embedded in this book makes it an inappropriate choice as a central text in our 10th grade curriculum."

In the book, Huxley tosses around the word "savage" frequently. His portrait of a mainstream society where babies are not born, but created in factories and bred into specific roles, is offset by a frontier-like outlying culture in which babies are still "born naturally." It's this culture which is owned by the "savages."

What Sense-Wilson and her daughter seem to be having trouble grasping is that the "savages" in the book are only called "savages" because the mainstream society which they aren't a part of is so perverted. In reality, Huxley's savages are indeed the heroes and the normal ones, while the drugged-out, apathetic test-tube people that populate the fictional mainstream culture are the oddballs.

Regardless, the parent and daughter seem content to cherry-pick various excerpts from the book as proof of its offensive nature, like: "'Remember that in the Reservation, children are born. Yes, actually born, revolting as that may seem. Those, I repeat, who are born on the Reservation are destined to die there.'"

Not only is Sense-Wilson offended by the language, she appears to think Brave New World is not at all well-written, either. She tells KUOW that it should be taken out of all Seattle schools and banished to the public library, but that even there, no one will want to read it. "Most of the kids I've talked to don't even like the book so I doubt it would even get an audience in the library."

Tell that the Modern Library who rated the book as No. 18 in its list of the "100 Best Novels" of all time, or to the tens of millions of readers who have thumbed through it since it was published in 1932.
-reported by curtis cartier for the seattle weekly blog 11/17/10

Saturday, November 20, 2010

another the great gatsby movie

so it turns out there is another adaptation of the great gatsby being made. the director will be Baz Luhrmann who did moulin rouge. leonardo dicaprio will be jay gatsby, tobey maguire will be nick carraway and amanda seyfried will be daisy buchanan.

the only thing i don't like about the line up is tobey maguire. i used to not like leonardo dicaprio, but he has grown on me and now i am a fan. and amanda seyfried i have no problems with. and i like the director. moulin rouge and romeo and juliet were great movies. visually beautiful. so hopefully the roaring 20s will be just as beautiful in the great gatsby movie. so other than that, i will keep my judgement about the movie to myself. i'm sick of the book (i had to read it way too many times in school) but always like a good movie. so hopefully the movie will be good.

2010 national book award winners

the fiction winner is: lord of misrule by jaimy gordon.
the non fiction winner is: just kids by patti smith
the poetry winner is: lighthead by terrance hayes
the young peoples literature winner is: mockingbird by kathryn erskine

congrats to all the winners!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

celebrate censorship

Join the National Coalition Against Censorship on Monday, November 29, 2010 at 6:00PM for NCAC's Annual Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders at City Winery in Tribeca, in NYC. Rub shoulders with publishers, authors, entertainers and other movers and shakers in the world of arts and letters. This year's program focuses on book censorship in schools and honors courageous people who fight against it.

Lauren Myracle - Most Censored Author in 2009
Dee An Venuto - Media Center Coordinator, Rancocas Valley High School, Mt. Holly, NJ
Jordan Allen - First Place Winner, 2009 Youth Free Expression Project film contest

Michael Jacobs - Chairman & CEO, ABRAMS

Judy Blume - Award Winning Author
Jane Friedman - CEO & Co-Founder, Open Road Integrated Media
Chip Gibson - President & Publisher, Random House Children's Books
Michael Pietsch - Executive Vice President, Hachette Book Group & Publisher, Little, Brown and Company
Peter Workman - President & CEO, Workman Publishing Company

Saturday, November 6, 2010


here's another installment of quotes. hope they inspire.

-"the length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder." - alfred hitchcock
-"i am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. i am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. anything i can not transform into something marvelous, i let go. reality doesn't impress me. i only believe in intoxication, in ectasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, i escape, one way or another. no more walls." - anais nin
-"and i'll hold on to the dream of this beggar's plea and optimistic fantasy; just hold the hand and drop the knee." - cartel
-"we need to feel breathless with love and not collapse under its weight." - snow patrol
-"i may not have gone where i intended to go but i think i endend up where i intended to be." - douglas adams
-"the truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." - bob marley
-"life is the curse. sleep is the remission. death is the cure." - ?
-"it's funny, the one's you don't expect to love, are the ones you never forget." - ?
-"friends are like bras: close to the heart and there for support." - ?
-"sometimes its the smallest decisions that can change your life forever." - keri russell
-"there is never a right time to do a difficult thing" - joan porter
-"a poet can survive everything but a misprint." - oscar wilde
-"never discourage anyone... who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." - plato
-"i wish this house felt like a home." - the white stripes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

alan rickman reads!

alan rickman in his read poster for the american library association.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

good news for print books

E-books and e-readers may be making headlines off campus, but a new study by OnCampus Research, a division of the National Association of College Stores, reaffirmed last fall’s OnCampus Student Watch study that 74% of college students prefer print. According to the study taken by 627 college students earlier this month, only 13% purchased an e-book within the past three months. And just over half, or 56%, did so because it was required for class.

“It seems like the death of the printed book, at least on campus, has been greatly exaggerated, and that dedicated e-readers have a way to go before they catch on with this demographic,” says Elizabeth Riddle, manager of OnCampus Research. “The college-age market is definitely a growth opportunity for companies providing digital education products.”

Nor did dedicated e-readers fare significantly better on campus. Only 8% of college students own a dedicated e-reading device, and 59% of students who don't own a device have no plans to purchase one anytime soon, i.e. within the next three months. Of those who did buy an e-book, the overwhelming majority, approximately 77%, read it on a laptop or Netbook. Currently the iPhone is the e-reader of choice with 23.9%, followed by the Nook at 21.6%. Nearly 15.7% read on the Kindle DX and the same number use the Kindle 3. Although 26% expressed interest in purchasing an iPad, only 13.7% own one, roughly the same percentage as the Sony Pocket reader.

article by: Judith Rosen for publishers weekly, Oct 28, 2010