SYNTHETIC, adjective \sin-'the-tik\
1. made by combining different substances; not natural
2. attributing to a subject something determined by observation rather than analysis of the nature of the subject and not resulting in self-contradiction if negated
3. devised, arranged, or fabricated for special situations to imitate or replace usual realities
4. characterized by frequent and systematic use of inflected forms to express relationships (synthetic languages)
SYNTHETIC LANGUAGE, noun
1. different grammatical aspects are expressed in one word by changing the structure of that word
2. in Czech, one word is often sufficient to express what English can only achieve by using multiple words
I am pleased to announce the upcoming publication of my debut chapbook from Finishing Line Press. Titled Prague in Synthetics, this collection of poems stems from my experiences studying abroad on Western Michigan University's Prague Summer Program. I believe the definitions of the word "synthetic" best indicate the focus of these poems:
Copies will be available for pre-order beginning October 27, and the anticipated publication date is February 6, 2015. More details on how to order your copy coming soon!
I am pleased to be included in the Summer 2014 issue of From the Depths just published today by Haunted Waters Press. The issue is available to view online or download digitally for free, or print copies are available. Either way, you should check out this lovely selection of literature!
View the new issue on MagCloud:
I'm very pleased to announce the publication of Issue 8 of Glassworks Magazine. Working with the student editors on this through Rowan University's Master of Arts in Writing program was a joy, and what a beautiful issue we've put together.
Visit our website here: http://rowanglassworks.org
View the full issue online here: http://issuu.com/glassworksmagazine
Best commercial ever? Definitely one of the best speeches ever. Thank you Dead Poets Society.
"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race and the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, 'O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?' Answer. That you are here, that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
What will your verse be?"
During graduate school, I was fortunate enough to attend the Prague Summer Program run by Western Michigan University. The program offers courses in creative writing, literature, and photography, and also includes several lectures and readings by a remarkable collection of faculty. The theme when I attended was "Faith and Art," and my assumption based on this was that the lectures would all come from a religious angle. Some did, but the brilliant writers and artists I encountered interpreted this theme in a much bigger way.
One panel in particular has stuck with me for years.
Rather than focusing on faith AND art, the panelist explored the idea of faith IN art.
The arts are something I have always believed in. Be it literature, dance, music, visual art, or otherwise, art has the power to affect people in profound ways. I truly believe art has the power to change the world.
To continue my diatribe on why literature matters (and by diatribe, I mean my string of quotes and articles suggesting such) a new study suggests that reading literary fiction as opposed to popular/genre fiction or popular nonfiction leads to greater emotional intelligence.
Somehow, I don't find this shocking at all. Makes perfect sense.
See the full article at the NY Times Blog: "I Know How You're Feeling, I Read Chekov"
“I’ve never comprehended this idea of spoilers, the folks who line up to get the last Harry Potter, and turn right to the last page of the book as soon as it’s in their hands. My favorite time as a kid was not Christmas morning. It was the night before Christmas, and the sense of expectation. Nothing is ever as good as your imagination. That’s how it works."
-Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad-
"I know I am august
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all)
I exist as I am, that is enough."
"Art may not make anything better, but there is some power in recognizing that someone else has felt as you do, that your interiority, which seems especially in grief so unreachable, may in fact share a space with the inner life of another." - Mark Doty
Today, each year, so many of us reflect and think about where we were when we first heard about or saw the unbelievable historical event that has undoubtedly changed our country forever. Ultimately, I think it matters less where we were, what we were doing, how much we remember. What matters more is what followed. How we moved forward. Where we are today.
In that spirit, an article about the place of art in times of tragedy. Poetry matters, people. It does.
Can Poetry Console a Grieving Public? by Mark Doty
Can't quite put my finger on why, but I really enjoyed today's Poem-A-Day in honor of National Poetry Month.
Postcard to I. Kaminsky from a Dream at the Edge of the Sea
by Cecilia Woloch
I was leaving a country of rain for a country of apples. I hadn't much time. I told my beloved to wear his bathrobe, his cowboy boots, a black patch like a pirate might wear over his sharpest eye. My own bags were full of salt, which made them shifty, hard to lift. Houses had fallen, face first, into the mud at the edge of the sea. Hurry, I thought, and my hands were like birds. They could hold nothing. A feathery breeze. Then a white tree blossomed over the bed, all white blossoms, a painted tree. "Oh," I said, or my love said to me. We want to be human, always, again, so we knelt like children at prayer while our lost mothers hushed us. A halo of bees. I was dreaming as hard as I could dream. It was fast—how the apples fattened and fell. The country that rose up to meet me was steep as a mirror; the gold hook gleamed.
Poet. Professor. Percussionist. Philadelphian.