Nouns of the Week XV


I. On November 6th the world lost a rare & precious woman, Judith Kitchen.  She was the rare person who’s heart & brain were equally large.  She was generous, kind, and critical in the best way.  She thought more & more quickly than anyone else I’ve yet to encounter.  I recommend reading all of her books.  Poems, novels, & nonfiction alike.  But if you are only going to choose one book, make it The Circus Train.  And while you wait for your copy to arrive, read her essay “Uncertainty”.  It was the first thing I heard her read aloud and the room stopped breathing while she read.  Read more about Judith here, here, & here.

II. And in the spirit of Judith, get back to work with this essay & prompt all in one by Craig Reinbold over at Bending Genre.

III. Claudia Rankine’s whole book Citizen is worth reading (at least 10 times), but get a taste over at Poetry.  It will challenge & change you.

IV. Get your heart broken & glued back together with Matthew Olzmann’s poem “Creation Myths” over at The Ampersand Review.

V. Beth Gilstrap addresses depression, vulnerability, risk & writing on Superstition Review’s blog.  “No one had to tell me we told ourselves stories in order to live. We all made something. Grandpa with his carvings. Grandma with her sewing…”

VI. That reminds me,  Joan Didion.  My love.  Pardon this binge of links about her.  Start here,  Joan reading from Blue Nights.

VII. Now check out this intro to the documentary, We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live, Didion’s nephew is making.  (Support it here.)

VIII. And finally, take a peek inside her mind with this list.

IX.  Learn to be a better writer at the base level with Benjamin Dreyer is the VP Executive Managing Editor & Copy Chief of Random House Publishing Group. (This was really helpful.) 

X.  Keats: “It is easier to think what Poetry should be than to write it.”
Plath: “Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”  Who do you think says it better?  See more here.

XI.  Slow down in a museum, they are “restorative environments.”  Be you in the museum to see it best.  Stephanie Rosenbloom’s look at The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum at the NYT is worth reading before your next trip to the museum or gallery.

XII.  And if you need some new art to look at, check out Lily Stockman’s paintings which are ethereally earthy & revolutionarily repetitious (featured above).  I so wish I could get to Los Angeles to see her exhibition Women (read more about it here).

XIII. I will end with this beautiful passage from Judith Kitchen’s The Circus Train:  “There were two, as in any good story where people revolve around each other.  Two cups and two plates.  Two differing dreams.  Two ways of measuring the future.  Every sentence reminded her of the lack of the verb to be.  Every sentence she spoke cut off at the point of projection.”

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