Monday, October 4, 2010

Ooh! We Like This!

Beginning today, each Monday of The Chronicle's Arts & Academe page will feature a poem chosen by Lisa Russ Spaar. Remember her? She's the one I was just telling you about in last week's newsy happenings post. She'll be reading on campus on Thursday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Reading Room. In the meantime, check out this week's poem, by David Baker, and what Lisa has to say about Whitman and Dickinson and how their writing practices are perhaps both strange to us now and strangely familiar:

Whitman and Dickinson both composed much of their work on scraps of paper and in small notebooks or hand-stitched booklets. Dickinson wrote at a table the size of a child’s desk. How did the exigencies of 19th-century life and the technologies of writing culture inform the poems they made—Whitman, the printer, with his choice of an oversized folio for his quicksilver tonal shifts, his relentless lists and cataloging? Or Dickinson’s wildly compressed, volatile, arguably Twitterable and hypertextual scribal explosions that often flooded and confounded the page at hand?

And of course plan to hear Lisa read her own amazing work in just a few weeks.

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