Nouns of the Week X

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I. The hand sculpted porcelain pieces of Kate MacDowell are so good I included one above and below.  Check out her sculptures that explore the natural world’s collision with our contemporary impact on the environment.

II. And as for incredible art, check out this hyper-realistic portrait drawn by a sixteen-year-old. Teens can be incredible.

III. Teachers should produce literature lovers as well as keen critics, striking a balance between teaching writing, grammar, and analytical strategies and then also helping students to see that literature should be mystifying.” Andrew Simmons at The Atlantic on Why Teaching Poetry is So Important.

IV. “Black-winged bird,/ you’ve become/ lyrics layering air:” Two Poems by Yona Harvey over at Four Way Review that should be shared and taught.

V. This incredible set of infographics exploring the chemistry of food!!

VI. Speaking of food, popcorn builds empires.  That’s why it’s my favorite food, I’m trying to build an empire.

VII. People blending into book covers! (Thanks, Michael for sharing.)

VIII. Read Hounor by Elif Shafak.  Seriously. 

IX. Pair it with this TED talk she gave on the politics of fiction.  Really good stuff.

X. Nine things writers can learn from science from Ploughshares.

XI. Beautiful images from electron microscope photography.  Never have viruses looked so good.

XII. “Don’t listen to me; my heart’s been broken./ I don’t see anything objectively.” “The Untrustworthy Speaker” by Louise Gluck. (Follow it up with this short video of Louise Gluck.)

XIII. “Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this, because it is the key to making art and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper (which, let’s face it, was once a towering tree crowned with leaves and a home to birds), I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe that, more than anything else, this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.” -Ann Patchett

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