Posts Tagged ‘geekery’

Dear Poetry Newbies: 10 Poetry Myths You’ll Probably Have Heard

Monday, January 7th, 2013

An earlier version of this post appeared at One Night Stanzas in September 2008.

When I was a just-starting-out poet, I used to avoid telling anyone what my hobby was. Why? Well, because whenever I told anyone, all I ever seemed to get was negativity and disbelief. (”You write poetry?! Why?!”) Later, I realised that people react this way because over the years, they have come to believe in a whole load of poetic untruths… strange myths that have built up around the craft of creative writing, and poetry in particular. You’ve probably encountered some of the poetry myths below, so read on to see how you can beat them.

1: All poetry is boring.
You hear this all the time, and OK, it’s partly right - yes, some poetry is boring. I mean, I’m of the view that even the most notoriously “dull” poets (even my less-than-favourite, Mr Keats) were and are still capable of producing brilliant work, but that’s beside the point. The point is that most poems - and I mean at least 85% of all published poems - are far from boring. Some poetry is interesting because it addresses an issue, some because it uses language, form, rhythm etc in original and fascinating ways. Some poetry is interesting because it’s funny, some because it’s experimental. Some poetry is interesting because it’s just plain bad (check out William McGonagall’s greatest work, for example - it’s gained a reputation for being a really good bad poem… if that makes sense). But no one will ever know how interesting poetry really is unless they get out there and read it. So here’s a challenge: go forth and read poems, until you find one - any one - that you think is really interesting, for whatever reason. Buy the book, copy the poem out, or print it. Next time someone says to you “why do you like poetry? It’s boring!”, show them your ‘interesting’ poem, and explain why you think it’s awesome. Hopefully, it’ll open their eyes a bit!

2: Poetry is difficult.
When people say this, what they generally mean is that they’ve found a lot of the poetry they’ve encountered hard to understand. This may well relate back to their English class experiences, where pupils are generally taught to break down and analyse a poem, rather than just enjoy it. When people don’t know any better, they assume all poetry has hidden layers which need to be ‘de-coded,’ and that poems are designed to be a challenge. I like to point the ‘poetry is difficult’ crowd in the direction of Philip Larkin’s “This Be The Verse” (warning: strong language!), because it’s one of the most plain-speaking poems I’ve ever come across… I mean, what’s difficult to understand about that?! You might also want to keep a straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get poem to hand, so you can easily bust this myth when you hear it!

3: Poetry is full of “deep meanings” and stuff.
This one is really popular, and can be tricky to bust. Because poems are so strongly associated with this process of studying and analysing, people don’t realise that, when they’re written, they’re supposed to be like any other piece of art - something for the reader to enjoy, essentially. There are a lot of poets around today who deliberately write poems that require no ‘analysis’ whatsoever - ‘accessible’ poems, where you can take just about everything at face-value. (The most high-profile writer and promoter of ‘accessible’ verse is probably Billy Collins, who writes poems about smoking cigarettes, forgetting things and listening to “Three Blind Mice”, among other things!) But you don’t necessarily need to hunt out a simplistic, accessible poem in order to bust this myth - any poem can be interesting and enjoyable, whether you know its deeper meanings or not. T S Eliot’s epic The Waste Land is stuffed with weird references and metaphors. If you don’t know what some of them are, that certainly doesn’t make you stupid… but it also doesn’t make the poem a total dead loss either. It is fine to read poems simply in order to enjoy the weird and wonderful sounds, words and phrases they make (”The corpse you planted last year in your garden, / has it begun to sprout?” or “at the violet hour” or “what the thunder said”, for example), even if you have no idea about the meaning. A poem is supposed to be enjoyed, so don’t sweat it!

4: Poems aren’t relevant these days.
I’ll admit that when people say this, I generally want to stamp my feet and yell ‘no no no no no!’ at them. This is a blinding untruth - there are heaps of poems which are so relevant to today. In fact, there are poems which even transcend time and space (no, really) - they’ll still be relevant in a million years time!
Firstly, there are loads of poets out there who write about our world and its happenings as they are right now - even as they happen. There are hundreds of poems about major recent events, and loads of poets inventing new styles for the 21st century (how about poetry based on Google searches?!). There are also poems out there which have been around for decades or even centuries, and which can still speak for all of us when we need them to. The film Four Weddings and a Funeral used a poem by WH Auden (written in 1938) to express grief at a modern-day funeral, for example (simultaneously making it one of the most popular funeral poems around), and that’s only one example of thousands and thousands of poems that can still communicate with a 21st century audience, regardless of when they were written. And thanks to the internet and other resources, poetry is more accessible, experimental and relevant than ever before… fact!

5: Writing poetry is a waste of time, because you can’t make a career out of it.
Er… what? Yes you can make a career out of it… people do. OK, not millions of people, but still, it’s not impossible. And not many people make a career out of, say, playing hockey, or knitting, or skydiving… but some people do. And we still play hockey, knit, skydive, and do a million other things, even though we know we may not make a career out of any of them. Would you tell a bunch of guys playing football at the park that they should stop doing it because they’ll never make a career out of it? No - so why is poetry different? Why is poetry only worthwhile if it generates income?!
I can’t answer this question - but I can tell you that it is 100% OK to write poetry, regardless of your reasons. Maybe you need a theraputic outlet for your feelings; maybe, like many people, you just can’t not write. Maybe it’s just a hobby you have… or maybe you do eventually want to try and make a career out of writing. As long as you set realistic goals for yourself and don’t allow other people to pressure or distract you, writing poetry is as natural an activity as playing sport or driving a car or being a compulsive shopaholic. It is never a waste of time. Ever.

6: Writing poetry is “emo.”
Personally, I don’t tend to dignify this kind of thing with a response. It comes in two forms from two different types of people. One: those who reckon that anyone (of any age) who writes poetry must also be histrionic and hyper-sensitive, and two: those who think that any young person who writes poetry is a nitwit, because “youth poetry” is for some reason associated with sobbing goths writing in their journals. Both of these standpoints are equally ignorant and ill-informed.
Basically, saying all poetry is “emo” (whether you mean “emotional” or “to do with emo pop-culture”) is a massive generalisation… and it’s a meaningless one, too. It’s like saying writing poetry is “gay” (even more ignorant!) or, I don’t know… “tall.” Does everyone who falls into a certain category write poetry? Nope. Does everyone who writes poetry fall into the same category? Er, nope. Is applying daft made-up categories to poetry something only done by idiots? You decide.

7: All poems are about love or death.
Or nature. Or war. Or space travel. Or animals. Or ghosts. Or crazy made-up creatures in their own fantastical world. Busted? I think so!

8: Poetry is for old people.
I’ve had cheeky students say this to me a time or two, and, although it’s not quite what they meant, they are sort of right. Sadly, there are people out there in the poetry community who don’t see younger poets as ‘real’ poets… TS Eliot once said that you can’t be a serious writer until you are at least 25, and lot of people believed him.
Viewing age as a deciding factor in how good someone’s poems are is prejudice, plain and simple… it is NOT something you should pay attention to. Poetry is an artform that’s open to everyone - regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality or anything else. You do NOT need to be on the planet a quarter of a century before you can write a poem (or understand one). Anyone can write poetry and anyone can read it, and I’m convinced that there’s a poem out there to suit everyone… not just old people!

9: All poetry has to rhyme.
I think this myth is less common than it used to be, but you do still encounter people who genuinely believe that if it don’t rhyme, it aint poetry. People who say this are similar to those who say things like “poetry is just prose with line breaks” (though a bit less annoying), and, as with the “poetry is difficult” myth, the best way to bust this one is just to produce some examples. Find a poem you love that does not rhyme. Tell the myth-confused person in question why it’s a great piece of literature. If you have to, find a dictionary definition of ‘poetry‘ for them to go with it!

10: No one reads poetry anymore.
OK, I saved the best til last. People LOVE to do this whole “poetry is dead” speech. Martin Amis even went so far as to say that poetry had died, been buried and had its obituary written. It’s probably the most common myth you’ll encounter on your poetic travels - it’s all over the press, and spun out by just about every miserable, procrastinating writer under the sun at some point. But guess what… it’s not true!
Heaps of people still read poetry. People still buy it, listen to it, go and see it live. And I mean thousands of people. Problem is, a lot of them are all the same kind of people…
Poetry has not died, but it has become a bit enclosed. The people who still take an interest in it tend to be poets, editors or publishers themselves, or people involved with academia - students, tutors and other scholars. Your average bricklayer or bank manager or nurse doesn’t tend to read poetry too often… and why? Because of the other nine myths, of course! People really do believe them!
But it is possible to get more people reading poetry. One: read poetry yourself. Buy poetry books, go to poetry readings. It helps the poets, the publishers, and your own writing, so what’s to lose? Two: keep writing. The more poetry there is, the more choice there is; the more evidence to contradict the myths that poetry is difficult, limited, boring, etc. And three: introduce people you know to poetry. Got a friend who’s fed up at work? Find a short, funny poem and text it to them with a quick ’saw this and thought of you.’ Email your partner a daft love poem. Make up a print-out of a load of your favourite poems as a present for someone you know. Write a poem to scribble in your granny’s birthday card. Hold a poetry reading in your living room and get all your friends to bring a poem each - be it one they wrote, or just one they like. Test people - ask them if they think these myths are true, and be prepared to bust any they say ‘yes’ to. You have the power to poem-ify people’s lives… just squash the myths!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Procrastination Station #118

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Untitled

Lovely lovely links to keep you stimulated and inspired this chilly Friday!

Stephen Nelson is just on a roll with his new vispo at the moment! I love these two, and this Zen garden inspired piece!

I CANNOT WAIT to read the debut novel from Sarah McCarry (aka The Rejectionist!). CANNOT. WAIT.

I also really want to read Dora: A Headcase, which may well be in the same vein…

The moral cores of the series are Vimes and the witch Granny Weatherwax, characters to whom Pratchett has returned again and again. Both are feared –Weatherwax’s nickname from the trolls is “She Who Must Be Avoided” and to the dwarves she is “Go Around the Other Side of the Mountain.”

Terry Prachett is a total badass, basically.

In my post the other day I mentioned the GiftED book sculptureshere are some more fabby paper sculptures for your eyeballs to ogle!

Books just never stop being useful. They make excellent insect-homes!

Fan of The Feminist Press? Here’s a cool interview with its lovely founder, over at the City Lights Bookstore blog.

You never know what you might learn about your nearest and dearest if you convince them to be your poetry groupies. I once brought a reluctant friend to an open mic, promising her I’d buy her a pint afterwards. She was so taken by the atmosphere of come-and-have-a-go creativity that she penned her first ever poem during the interval and read it on stage in the second half.

I can’t remember if I posted about this before or not, but hey… along with Harry Giles of Inky Fingers, I helped the great Charlotte Runcie of Toad & Feather to draw up some open mic tips for noobs. Hope it’s helpful!

Can I just say: minature fairy book scrolls.

DO NOT HAVE SEX IN THE LIBRARY, PLEASE.

Have you guys seen these portraits of famous writers “in their own words”? SO COOL!

Walden, or Life in the Woods: UPDATED!

Make a notebook… out of your old coffee cup.

“I wonder what real life wizards think of Harry Potter?” …and other stupid things commercial artists hear from clients!

And speaking of artists… the wonderful Mandy Fleetwood now has a shop! And I particularly love this print, which combines two of my favourite things: tattoos and Joni!

I just jettisoned about 70% of my Facebook friends because of stuff like this!

What if your friends acted like your pets? So funny, so true.

I totally love small builds, tree houses and all other innovative living spaces. So of course, I couldn’t resist including this!

The January issue of Cosmocking is out! Kinda more depressing than funny, though… sadface.

This is one smart seventeen year old.

The evolution of mobile phones (in pictures!) is pretty fascinating.

I am so not a habitual napkin-using kinda gal. But OMG, these!

I plan to look like this when I am 60.


I’m not 100% sure what’s going on, but I really enjoyed this wee stop-motion. Thanks Mandy!


Not as good as the Tumblr, but I still love Texts from Dog.


The Hobbit… BUT WITH CATS!!!


I finally watched Anita Sarkeesian’s TED talk. SHE IS AN INSPIRATION, PEOPLE.


And if you click nothing else in this post, click this. Hilarious, political and important. THIS is how you tell rape jokes, assholes!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Things I Love Thursday #70

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

 Bookcase 3 -in Carlisle
(Photo credit)

Bookcase
This past weekend I spent a lovely weekend in Wetheral, visiting my mad-but-wonderful family. I had a great time popping tags with my sister in Carlisle’s excellent charity shops, saw lots of cute animals (Wetheral Animal Refuge is always on my must-visit list whenever I’m down there), visited my lovely Gampy (grandpa), enjoyed a family wine-drinking and pizza-scoffing get-together, and drank gallons of tea. However, one of the biggest highlights of my trip was mooching — and spending more money than I really actually have — in Bookcase, Carlisle’s biggest and best book shop.

the bookcase carlisle
(Photo credit)

According to the website, Bookcase has over 250,000 books in stock, spread through thirty — yes, thirty — rooms. Occupying two fancy townhouses, the bookstore is like a massive — and very elegant — labyrinth, with room after room lined from floor to ceiling with books. It doesn’t matter how obscure your particular subject is — I’m convinced you could find a book on it somewhere in here. Their feminist section holds more volumes than an entire feminist bookstore! This was my second visit to this place, and although I found rooms I hadn’t realised were there the first time, when I finally found the rest of my party again they spoke of rooms I still hadn’t found. You could literally spend days in this place. I could quite happily live there (they have tea, too). If you’re ever in the Lake District/Cumbria area and you’re even vaguely interested in books or bookstore-mooching, this place needs to go on your bucket list! Oh yes — they’re also on Twitter!

gwatskylove

George Watsky
As you all know, I need no more reasons to love George Watsky, yet he just keeps getting more and more excellent. He posted the lovely status above a couple of weeks ago, and I screencapped it. I read it again this week and it made me grin.

Ooh, new tattoo?

Daydreaming tattoos
I know what you’re thinking — it really hasn’t been that long since my last tattoo was inked. And yet, I get lovesick for something new quicker and quicker with each new piece. I have a big sketchbook in my house full of half-sketches, doodles, ideas, and some final drawings which now live permanently in my epidermis! This is one of the more-finished designs that I’m really thinking seriously about for The Next Big Thing. I’m not happy with the lettering on the paper scroll (it’s a quote from Ginsberg’s Kaddish), but otherwise it’s basically good to go under the needle. What do you think? Comments box!

Honourable mentions:
People who stick up for you when they don’t have to // my best friend getting a fabulous new job — and the celebratory drinks and chat that followed! // these crisps OH MY GOD // Kat Dennings. She is the coolest and the beautifullest and I love her // my totally weird and eccentric immediate family and all their weirdnesses and eccentricities. Did you know my sister has her own pet t-rex and he has his own Facebook page? // New series of the Big Bang Theory — I love this show in spite of myself // this coffee pot, which I am absolutely keeping as a present to myself if no one buys it by Christmas // Lovely Boyfriend, always // The Forest’s vegan chocolate and beetroot cake

What are YOU loving this week?

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You can also visit Read This Press for poetry and typewriter paraphernalia! Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

How well would Edinburgh survive a zombie apocalypse?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

zombie attack

PROS

Edinburgh might well prove tricky for zombies to navigate — especially the Old Town. The many hills, narrow closes and staircases might not stop them, but they’ll surely slow them down.

Edinburgh is coastal. Travelling by water is a good way to move fast, avoid gridlock on the roads, and lower your risk of attack. Leithers should get themselves to the Shore and find a boat.

Edinburgh has no underground system, which means no chance of getting trapped underground with the ravenous hoardes (unless you’re unlucky enough to work in the Vaults), and no chance of zombies popping up out of subway grilles.

Edinburgh has a lot of high ground. Is there a better urban vantage point than Arthur’s Seat? Not to mention Salisbury Crag, Calton Hill, Blackford Hill and Castle Rock.

Edinburgh is home to a ridiculous number of students, hippies and geeks. Every one of these people has, at some point in their lives, formulated a What I’d Do If Zombies Attacked plan. A large percentage of the city’s population is zombie-ready.

Edinburgh is damned cold in the wintertime. Some zombie experts reckon zombies would probably freeze in cold weather. If they decided to attack in February, they might well struggle, therefore.

Edinburgh’s city centre graveyards are all very, very old. If these are claw-their-way-out-of-the-ground type zombies, then it’s likely there’d be little-to-no action in Greyfriars or Canongate Kirkyards… there’s no one in them fresh enough.

CONS

Edinburgh is a small city. If a human can walk its length in a couple of hours, it won’t take too much longer for a zombie. And if these zombies are the result of an airborne virus, well… basically we’re all screwed.

Edinburgh’s a tricky city to get out of. Even more so at the moment thanks to — cue groan — the tram works. Unlike Glasgow, you can’t just get on a motorway and speed on out. Unless you start from an outermost area, you need to drive through a ton of city before you can get into open country.

Edinburgh’s the capital of Scotland. As a nation, we’re generally unfit and have pretty poor health. We’ve never been known for our military prestige. It’s likely that many of our number will simply crack open the best whisky and try to die of alcohol poisoning before the undead arrive.

Edinburgh’s roads are narrow. When the fleeing begins, the traffic’s going to get pretty crazy pretty fast.

Edinburgh is an unusual city, in that its city centre is as much residential as it is commercial. It’s not like Newcastle, where the looters could just be walled up inside the Metro Centre if needs be: almost every shop is in the same building as people’s houses. And looters be crazy.

Edinburgh doesn’t have much of a military presence, unless the Tattoo’s on. Clydebank’s got warships. We’ve got the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Edinburgh’s two big hospitals are a pain in the ass to get to from just about anywhere.

BEST PLACES TO BE

The Castle: a big-ass castle on top of a big-ass slippery rock with only one road entrance. I’m pretty sure there are at least a few soldiers in there at any one time, and there’s at least one huge field gun that works. Get yourself inside that thing and you’re probably dandy.

Sighthill / Wester Hailes: the outlying area that’s closest to the Edinburgh Bypass and the M8. If you can get out of your front door sharpish, you can beat the gridlock and be in open country pretty quickly. However, this area also has high rises, so if you’re more of a stay-put-and-keep-quiet-somewhere-high-up kinda person, there are also suitable buildings to accomodate you.

The Shore / Leith Docks: see the point under ‘pros’ about travelling by water. Even better if you have your own boat and don’t need to shoot anyone in the head to get one.

Comely Bank: don’t panic, just get to the Police HQ building. They have riot vans there. They probably also have a buttload of guns. And their yard backs onto a Waitrose, so posh food supplies for everyone!

The Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street: it’s a bar with only one entrance that’s mostly underground and is basically windowless. It’s also staffed/kept in business by the kind of folks who’ve definitely spent a lot of time thinking about zombie attacks. It’s also full of booze.

WORST PLACES TO BE

Any ground floor or basement flat pretty much anywhere. Get up, or get out.

Morningside: I’ve long held the view that it’s not so much the zombies you have to worry about in a zombie attack, but the other people. Morningside has rich people, which means hunting-shooting-fishing type stores and antique shotguns mounted above pub mantlepieces. Don’t think this is a good thing: everyone is looking for a shotgun and not everyone is going to be nice about sharing. Also, if there is such a thing as a smart looter (I’m not sure), then they’re going to head for where the fanciest goods are.

Princes Street: you’re in the open, on the flat, vulnerable from attack from all angles, and in smack-bang in the middle of the city. It’s going to take you longer to get out than anyone else, and everyone around you is going to go crazy looting or panicking. Dude, you’re so stuffed.

The Quartermile: every building in your immediate vicinity is 90% glass, and the artisan bread you might be able to loot from Peter’s Yard aint going to last very long. Hope the overpriced fancy-schmancy flat was worth it!

Happy Halloween!

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You can also visit Read This Press for poetry and typewriter paraphernalia! Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Procrastination Station #114

Friday, October 26th, 2012

pumpkin macaron

Procrastination Station has been on hiatus while ONS had a bit of an October midterm slow-down. Here’s a bumper edition to make up for it. Enjoy!

THIS IS GREAT: 10 words you LITERALLY (nooo!) didn’t know you were getting wrong. I want to Pritt-Stick this to all my students’ foreheads.

Received a snotty rejection letter for your work? Rest assured, it really does happen to the best writers!

Check out this cool, illustrated step-by-step guide to Japanese book sewing complete with gif!

Thanks very much to the lovely Swiss for this wee mention of ONS on his blog!

This is deviation:

I had no designs on altitude, knees
flush to the acrylic; all that yellow

was more light than I can speak against.

I utterly love this poem by the lovely Chris Emslie in the current [queer] issue of PANK.

I’m a massive, massive fan of the wonderful Diane di Prima, and she’s sick. She needs help to pay her healthcare bills. Can you help?

Herman Melville says PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS.

I’m super-extra-mega excited to have FOUR poems in this beautiful forthcoming book, now available for pre-order. Sci fi poetry, OMG!

Kinda spooky, Halloween-y…. mildly morbid. Epitaphs of famous authors.

Point A) “Censuring” is not the same as “censoring.” They look and sound similar, but nope.
Point B) Freedom of speech is not the same as freedom from repercussions. [...]
Point C) Internet anonymity, which, yes, is often a condition of people feeling that they can speak freely, is not a right. And it’s definitely not some kind of Fortress of Solitude…
Point D) People who equate “free speech” with “my God-given right to perpetual access to women’s bodies, no matter how ill-gotten or exploitative” can eat a big plate of Cry Me A River, and then fuck right off.

This article at Bitch is a damn fine response to the whine of “but I’m allowed to be an asshole because FREE SPEECH!” that echoes endlessly off the grimy walls of the internets.

I HAVE A FAVOUR TO ASK YOU GUYS! As one of their community champions, I would love for you to click here and take two minutes to vote for Scottish Women’s Aid to win the Weatherseal Charity Weekend Prize for 2012. They deserve it, they’ll appreciate it, and they’re awesome.

I’m sure you’ve heard tell of the hilarious prank Tube signs that are doing the rounds. Here are some of the best!

6. Challenge homophobia. As a role model for your students, respond to homophobia immediately and sincerely. Encourage in-service trainings for staff and students on homophobia and its impact on gay and lesbian youth.

7. Combat heterosexism in your classroom. Include visibly gay and lesbian role models in your classroom.

Ten simple ways to make your classroom (or hey, any workplace) a safe space for LGBTQ* folks.

This is such a sweet idea… compliment matchboxes full of exquisite art!

A few folk have asked if the Claire of this company is me. It isn’t… but I may soon become a customer!

What not to wear on Halloween.

It is ridiculous — RIDICULOUS — that we live in a society where it’s a good guess that a shooting in a place often frequented by women is going to be an extension of a “domestic dispute.” Anastasia Shields pointed out to me that just two days ago in Casselberry, Florida, a man killed three women at a beauty salon in what the police are calling “part of a domestic dispute.” A few years ago, about a mile from my home, a man walked up to his ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of her office as she was walking into work and shot her point blank, killing her immediately. I think about her every time I drive past there, which is almost daily.

A great, rage-making piece at Shakesville about our society’s problem with domestic violence.

Have you heard about Edinburgh’s cringe-worthy new name?

Oh my goodnessss check out this amazing London loft. Bright red kitchen HELLO!

I defy you not to go “aaaaaaaaaaw!”

Definatalie’s Fancy Lady Industries is having a giveaway. I SO WANT THAT STUFF!

The past (almost) four years of my life haven’t been exactly fun, but the thought of still having that $40,000 of debt, of being so financially desperate that I have to pay an overdraft fee for a pack of cigarettes, is much, much worse than anything I went through to pay it off. It’s hard to explain -– in a good way -– but I feel like I can breathe now.

Paying off all your debts on a teachers salary? IT CAN BE DONE.

CAT BOUNCE!!! (Seriously, click this.) (via)

I so wish I had been at this party.

HEY EVERYONE LOOKIE OVER HERE! If you click nothing else from this post, CLICK THIS! My lovely sister Helen has started her own Etsy store, selling her artwork and crafts. It’s brand new and yet it already contains DINOSAURS AND OCTOPI. Why haven’t you clicked yet?! It’s called Rock Paper Lizard, go give it some love!


This — the new anthem of Edinburgh Vintage, by the way — has been stuck in my head FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS, so I am passing it on. You’re welcome.


Badass performance poet, activist and all-round awesome lady Cat Brogan has her own TV channel! Legend!


Watch. Be inspired. Act.

Aaaand I can’t decide which of these is my favourite mick-take of all the recent US election shenanigans. Both hilarious, anyway!

Have a great weekend!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Procrastination Station #112

Friday, September 28th, 2012

2012-09-21 Kürbisse I

Is anyone planning on getting me a Christmas present? In case you’re stuck for ideas… this this this! (Thanks, Priscilla!)

Aaaand a Christmas present for the OBSESSIVE TYPEWRITER LOVER in your life? (Know anyone in these parts who matches that description…?)

If you want to look thoughtful and melancholy: Wear lots of black. Black pants with a black shirt would be a good idea. Something fun to wear to a poetry reading or cafe is a beret. For shoes, boots or ballet flats would be nice. Don’t go overboard on makeup and jewelry.

I’VE BEEN DOING IT ALL WRONG FOR YEARS! Learn how to dress like a poet in five easy steps! (Or yaknow, you could justbuy this.)

I love this short ‘n’ sweet concrete poem from Stephen Nelson.

And speaking of short ‘n’ sweet — what would YOUR one-line obituary be? (answers in the comments, please!)

Regina has a poem up at Golden Horses!

Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

THIS! Thank you, Zadie Smith! And your other writing rules are also pretty darned excellent!

A lovely new poem from Mr McGuire!

OK, one more novelty typewriter product which I am coveting, and then I’ll stop, OK? But just LOOK AT THIS FROCK! (Thanks, Ruth!)

Dad, I love your fatness, because your fatness is part of you. Your fat body changed my and my sister’s diapers. Your fat body sat next to me on the couch when I was just a tiny child and watched Star Trek, both the original AND The Next Generation with me, making me the geek I am today. Your fat lap was the one that, when I was a child and computer games were still pretty damn young, would let me sit upon it as you played (for both of us, me shouting directions gleefully), Designasaurus, and, I admit, often I’d laugh so hard that I would pee my pants with excitement, WHILE IN YOUR LAP. And your fat self was ok with it (not thrilled, but it never stopped us from playing again). Your fat body was the body of the man who let me and my sister put scrunchies, elastics, bows, ribbons, and sparkly hair gel in his hair. Who let us give him terrible comb-overs and pig tails, because you loved us. Your fat self taught me subtraction better than I was learning it in class.

This letter to a fat father from his fat trans son is beautiful, sad and brave. Please read.

Gorgeous rainy autumn photos from Katja! (Have you noticed I am totally crushing on her blog?)

I just discovered The Improvised Life blog and now I am in love…

I know I post these all the time here but this might be THE BEST Passive-Aggressive Note ever!

I want to start a clicktivism type campaign called Fire Christina Hendricks’ Obviously-Cruel Stylist And Let’s All Club Together To Buy Her A Cardi.

OMFG it’s a PONYBIKE! (although, did they miss a trick or what by not making it a unicorn?) Thanks Ellie!


This badass 87 year old is kicking Republican butt in the cutest way!


It’s not perfect, but this new M&S ad is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of diversity. (Also, love the fact that one of the top-rated Youtube comments is: “Anyone else reckon the silver haired woman is fit as f**k?”)


I TOTALLY LOVE THIS SONG!

Have a great weekend!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Things I Love Thursday #63

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

It’s been several months since I did my last TiLT, and I’ve had quite a summer! Here are just a few of the things I’ve been loving loads since I last expressed my gratitude here!

Rainbows everywhere!
Long, summery days in my sunshine-filled living room, crystals in the window throwing tiny rainbows everywhere, drinking tea, reading books, writing poems, not having to go to work.
(Like my mug? I got it from Rust Belt Threads, perhaps my favourite Etsy vintage store after Edinburgh Vintage!)

View from our living room window, Hydra.
Hydra, Greece — Lovely Boyfriend and I stayed there for a week, holed up in a tiny whitewashed-stone cottage, writing, reading, occasionally going out to swim in the sea or scratch the noses of the town donkeys. This^ was the view from our living room window!

My SUISS class of 2012
My SUISS class of 2012 — Jill, Joanna, Linda, Dan, Daniel and Sarah, thank you so much for all your hard work and inspiration!

Watsky x2 performers
I MET GEORGE WATSKY, and it was amazing! Thank you a million billion to McGuire, Ryan, Jenny, George and Paul for making One Night Stanzas presents Watsky x2 such an amazing success.

Sneak peek
A great summer for Edinburgh Vintage with tons of lovely new stuff being added to the store all the time, nearly 200 sales and some really lovely customer encounters! Thank you everyone who’s browsed, bought, clicked, liked, re-tweeted and given feedback!

Vegan pumpkin pancakes.
Yet more delicious vegan food — since my last TiLT, Lovely Boyfriend has also gone vegan! This means even more delicious vegan meals for my very happy belly. ^These are sweet potato pancakes with maple syrup, and they were UTTERLY LUSH.

Rainbows over Tollcross
Autumn arriving — my favourite time of year. I have already started taking autumnal walks, foraging for early brambles, sitting in the blustery Meadows with my boy watching cute dogs chase leaves, drinking amazing Chocolate Tree vegan hot chocolate, and planning my Halloween antics.

What are YOU loving right now?

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

In search of the perfect coffeeshop.

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Café

Over the summer I was teaching creative writing at the Scottish Universities International Summer School. All our lovely students were from overseas and most of them had never been to Edinburgh before. The festival was in full swing, they were all finding the course extremely intensive (’cause it really, really is — but in a fun way!), and scrabbling around for a free hour or two each day to write. And they were all asking me the same question: which Edinburgh coffee shops are the best for writing in?
Weirdly, this all coincided with my procurement of a copy of David Mamet’s Make-Believe Town — a collection of essays on everything from what David Mamet thinks of screenwriting to what David Mamet did during the 1995 deer hunting season. Now, (< — classic Mamet start to a sentence right there) I love David Mamet a whole load. Although I have yet to see or even read one of his plays, his non-fiction is just so up my street. And there is one essay in this particular collection that not only spookily amplified my students’ questions… it also made me snort-laugh, and in places, nod furiously.

The essay is called “The Diner”, and in it, Mamet asserts:

“Writing, in my experience, consists of long periods of hanging out, punctuated by the fugue of remorse at the loss of one’s powers and wonder at occasional output in spite of that loss.”

This is my personal writing process in a nutshell, and so I was extremely excited when Mamet not only endorsed the behaviour I shall henceforth refer to as “hanging out” (rather than “dicking around” or “procrastinating”, which were the terms I used to use) — he actually suggests that it is a necessary and perhaps even vital part of being a writer. “We’ve got to write, and to read, and to do so, we get out of the house and get into the coffeeshop. [...] We, readers and writers, must hang out.”

And it has to be the coffeeshop. After all,

“Where else would one go? The Lounge seems to have degenerated into the Sports Bar, that is, a spot one can go to watch television. That is not hanging out; no: we cannot say it. [...] That frantic and forced consumerism of the Sports Bar will not do; neither what has become the muddled and tense obsequiousness of that proclaiming itself the Restaurant. No.”

It has to be the coffeeshop. The coffeeshop, as Mamet points out (and this is one of the parts where I furiously nodded), is more than just an establishment that sells hot, usually-brown-coloured beverages. It is a refuge for those of us who are stupid enough to have decided to dedicate our lives to the creative arts, and who therefore have little money and not much of a plan and who need a safe place to go, where we won’t be judged by normal people or told to get a real job.

“In larger towns we’ve seen the budding writer at his or her table, frowning into a notebook; and in the cities themselves, the actor and actress with their flimsy scripts — outsiders all, at home in the diner, coffeeshop, cafe.”

Having read this essay (three times, enthralled, as I almost always am by Mamet’s ramblings), I started trying to think about coffeeshops of my acquaintance that particularly lend themselves to hanging out, especially writing. I was spectacularly failing to help my students with their questions, telling them that during the Festival most of the city centre coffeeshops are out — too busy and noisy — and that they should wander Stockbridge, Bruntsfield, Morningside, Leith, and find their own preferred spots. I realised that Mamet gives numerous examples of coffeeshops across America that he thinks make perfect “hang outs” (in fact, one very sweet and only-ever-so-slightly creepy blogger made a pilgrimage to one of them)… but he gives very little information on what, exactly, might make a certain coffeeshop more conducive to hanging out than others in the same town. He mentions only that they are places “of reading, writing, gossip, mutual observation”, and that ideally, there should be a “beautiful plastic covered menu,” made all the more beautiful if it includes “that most liberal phrase, ‘Breakfast Served All Day’.” To be honest, that doesn’t give me much to go on. But I think, from the general gist of the essay, that the ideal writing coffeeshop hang-out should provide the following things:

– an atmosphere that somehow wordlessly conveys to you that once you have bought your one cup of coffee, you can sit and read/write there for as long as you like without disturbance/expectation of further purchases
– music that is not going to bug you… but probably not no music at all, as that’s a bit weird
– an unspoken hostility towards yummy mummies and their unsupervised buggy-mewling brats (so pretty much any Costa is immediately ruled out)
– long-serving staff who know your “usual”, and who aren’t hipsters
– a conspicuous absence of wifi or wall-sockets (Mamet does assert, “can we take our computers there? Thankfully not.”)
– a total ban on TV of any kind
– people-watching opportunities

(Personally I’d also add: tables that are the correct darned height for a seated human adult; soya milk at no extra charge; juice, not smoothies; properly late opening hours; dim lighting, and booths. Oh my goodness, booths. But yaknow, that’s just me.)

Based on these criteria, I had a sudden, terrible realisation. There are so few proper, decent hang-out spots in Edinburgh that I am actually a bit embarrassed on Edinburgh’s behalf.

There are a few contenders. Word of Mouth, just off Leith Walk, is pretty fabulous, though small. They’d make my list. The Cameo Bar might, too, but it depends on the time, the day and whether or not a big movie is opening. The new Forest Cafe on Tollcross Junction ticks the box for their one-cup-of-tea-and-you-can-stay-all-day vibe… that’s rare these days, so props, Forest. Unfortunately, they do lose out on the music front. Sometimes it’s super-chilled, one-man-and-his-uke stuff, which is perfect… then other times it’s an actual member of staff actually banging his actual fists on an actual piano two feet from your actual head while you’re trying to write. Just no.
Then there’s Black Medicine. There are three in Edinburgh. The biggest, on Nicolson Street, instantly loses out because of its pot-luck weird-ass music, and its UBERHIPSTER counter staff (anyone else remember the days of Kyle and Kyle? I had such a crush on the dreadlocked Kyle. It was WAY more of a hang-out in those days). The Marchmont one has been found by the yummy mummies and the laptop wankers. The newest one, Tollcross, is definitely the most promising (one of the veteran BM staff still works there! Hello, twin mohawk guy!) and may actually make my hang-out list. Soya milk’s extra, though. Boo!
Where else? City Cafe on Blair Street is technically a bar, but they have booths and dim lighting and candles and some of the staff are hot, friendly chubby tattooed girls. Unfortunately, there are TVs. Schoolboy error, City Cafe. Remember before you decided to go for a revamp and become a pseudo fifties diner? YOU WERE WAY MORE AWESOME THEN. (Also, since when did fifties diners have huge-ass TVs almost always showing the BBC News 24 channel? Illogical, Captain.)
And then I kind of run out of options. Cafe Class, also on Tollcross Junction, is cool, but you feel like you have to order more stuff if you sit there a long time. At Kilimanjaro on South Clerk Street once, one of the waiters actually demanded that my friend and I order more drinks after less than an hour, so screw you, Kilimanjaro. Favorit used to be freaking amazing (open til 3am on weekends!), but then it changed hands and now seems to be trying to imitate a Caffe Nero. And the Filmhouse Cafe-Bar is cool, but EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK there are TV screens showing mesmerising trailers for artsy movies, meaning concentration on what you’re doing (reading, writing, conversing, eating their delicious chickpea curry) is pretty darned tricky. And… that’s it. Only two (maybe three. Maybe) real proper definite hang-outs in the whole of Edinburgh.

Given that David Mamet has informed me that hanging out is, in fact, a legitimate — nay, important — activity for the budding writer, it is now really rather important that I find suitable venues in which to partake of it. Therefore, I want to hear about your hang-out spot. I don’t mind where you live — I might be coming to your town someday, and this is vital information I will need to know. I already know of one or two good international hang-out spots… the Bean Around The World in Victoria, BC, for example, might well be the best hang-out in all of Canada. But I am hungry for more! Particularly if you know of hang-outs in Glasgow, London, Portland OR, Barcelona, Krakow, San Francisco, Oslo or Vancouver (these are all places I either really love and want to go back to or am visiting sometime soon). You can also totally please yes do tell me what characteristics your ultimate writing hang-out needs to have. As Edinburgh is so surprisingly poor on the hang-out front, I may need to start my own coffeeshop just to meet demand…

Get thee to the comments box!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Procrastination Station #108

Friday, May 18th, 2012

{13/365} Tea, book & bed

STUFF that the INTERWEBNETS hath fruitfully provided this week…

“[N]othing changes here except in memory. I loved the way chimneys cast shadows on sunny afternoons, the way buildings were made to precede you and outlive you while housing you, as if you too will live forever. The haar that crept in from the sea. The cemeteries bumpy with centuries of flesh. The way locals asked ‘Where do you stay?’ and my neighbours invited me for a ‘fish supper’. The way nobody is too interested in you – a great British quality, this live-and-let-live discretion – and yet you end up talking with strangers in shops, because Edinburgh people have time. The worn stone steps that lead to unexpected passages of time. The palatial smugness of Morningside and the smashed-up people of Leith.”

I’m becoming increasingly sick and bloody tired of Scotland thanks to the perpetual winter that seems to be happening (worse than usual) this year. Thanks to Kapka Kassabova for reminding me why it’s actually a magic place.

The image, from this brilliant slideshow, of Hunter S Thompson out partying with Johnny Depp and John Cusack (OMG, dreamteam!) made me extremely happy.

An extra-super-useful list of (mostly North American) print journals that accept electronic submissions (and therefore deserve a cookie. Postal-only submissions are so not cool).

Decide it is time to go on a juice fast, yes definitely, you will get SO MUCH WORK done on a juice fast, but WHICH juice fast, haste thee to the internet, it is certainly not a good idea to go on a juice fast without EXTENSIVE RESEARCH, oh look here is an entire website devoted to funny videos of kittens.

The always-golden Rejectionist: when procrastination strikes!

I really enjoyed reading this interview with fellow typewriter enthusiast Rob of Rob Around Books!

I love this illustrated guide to the favourite snacks of great writers. (Thanks Camilla!)

“I remember after a reading somebody came up to me and said, I love that political poem of yours, and my husband, who was standing next to me, said, ‘Which one? They’re all political,’ and I was pleased by that. I would feel the same if she had said, ‘I love that feminist poem of yours.’ It’s a point of view, it’s a stance, it’s an attitude towards life that affects, and afflicts, everything I do.”

This article is great, but it should maybe be called ‘ten feminist poets you should know before you start reading the squillions of others.’

The Southbank Centre are seeking poets to help them build an arts village!

Dear movie of On The Road: please don’t suck as much as you look like you’re going to. Thanks, love C.

Although I am not a parent — and possibly never will be — I really love Dorkymum’s blog. And I particularly loved her take on Twitter… it is so utterly right-on.

“Somehow I understood it in my bones, as deeply and simply as know I have hazel eyes and cannot sing: I was never going to carry a child inside my body, and I was completely at peace with that. The need, want and drive are simply not there. Nearly three decades later, that hasn’t wavered, though it has hardly gone unassailed by others who have felt compelled to critique or to pry.”

And speaking of possibly-never-having-children and things that are totally right-on — I nodded furiously all the way through reading this article.

Aaaand from calm-and-collected protest to righteously angry diatribe: I love Margaret Cho.

I have greatly enjoyed reading and watching and seeing the various tales of first love over at Something Fine. Friend of ONS Rachel McCrum has a piece up there!

“I like my fat friends. I like my fat family members. I like my fat colleagues. I like my fat acquaintances. I like my fat neighbors. I like the fat members of this community. I like your fat partners and your fat kids and your fat friends, too. I like the fat people I see walking their dogs. I like the fat people I see at the grocery store. I like the fat people I see at the movies. I like the fat people I see at restaurants, on the local trails, at the vet, at the corner store picking up milk. I like the fat lady who told me, when I went out shopping in a sleeveless shirt on a hot day for the first time in my life at 38 years old, “I like your shirt!” And I love my fat self.”

Amen, amen, amen, amen, Melissa! Yet another diamond from Shakesville.

And in case that Shakesville post didn’t warm the cockles of your heart quite enough — here are some hedgehogs taking a bath. You’re welcome. (Thanks again to Camilla!)

Do you have a friend who is like me, and loves vinyl records almost as much as they love books? Yes? Here is an excellent gift idea for you!

Oh my goodness. You’ve got to love Edinburgh!


I just discovered the brilliant poet, activist and scholar Minnie Bruce Pratt. I could listen to her talk about this stuff for hours.


Have I posted this before? This man is my ultimate hoopspiration. Breathtaking. And a GREAT track.


This is actually pretty well done and a must for Disney fanfolk!

Have a great weekend!

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)

Procrastination Station #106

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Frank

Link love!

“Your cousin/friend of a friend/former classmate will get a major role. Write/direct/manage/create/invent a Hollywood Internet Silicone Valley thing. They will instant message all available social satellites: Never stop chasing your dreams. Hard work will pay off in the end. You have to fall before you phoenix. They will be 23.”

If you read nothing else this week, read Fielden Nelson’s Failure Map over at McSweeney’s. You will relate.

Chris Scott, one of my all-time favourite photographers, took a photo of Colin McGuire, former ONS Featured Poet and one of my all-time favourite poets. Dream team!

Rachel McKibbens has done something not unlike I just did recently and put some of her online poems together in the same place. GO READ HER GENIUS WORDS, FOR SHE IS AWESOME.

“Do you know what that is, sweet pea? To be humble? The word comes from the Latin words humilis and humus. To be down low. To be of the earth. To be on the ground. That’s where I went when I wrote the last word of my first book. Straight onto the cool tile floor to weep. I sobbed and I wailed and I laughed through my tears. I didn’t get up for half an hour. I was too happy and grateful to stand. I had turned 35 a few weeks before. I was two months pregnant with my first child. I didn’t know if people would think my book was good or bad or horrible or beautiful and I didn’t care. I only knew I no longer had two hearts beating in my chest. I’d pulled one out with my own bare hands. I’d suffered. I’d given it everything I had.”

A beautiful and heartbreaking call-and-response between two female writers over at the Rumpus. Bravo.

Also at the Rumpus: the Beat Generation and their outrageous heckling. (who sent me this? Mr Derry? I think so. Thanks, anyway!)

21 women write love poems to Adrienne Rich, over at VIDA. So brilliant. Watch this space for Read This Press’ own take.

“Who decides if your work is good? When you are at your best, you do. If the work doesn’t deliver on its purpose, if the pot you made leaks or the hammer you forged breaks, then you should learn to make a better one. But we don’t blame the nail for breaking the hammer or the water for leaking from the pot. They are part of the system, just as the market embracing your product is part of marketing.”

A bit corporate-y, but potentially useful for writers: Don’t Expect Applause, by blog guru Seth Godin.

Sixty poets celebrate each year of the Dear Old Queen’s reign. Yay? (I love Liz Lochhead’s one.)

OH NO HE DIDN’T — Roddy Shippin being a total punner over at a handful of stones.

This is a really cool interview with Rattle editor Tim Green, in which he talks online vs. print poets and all sorts of other interesting stuff. (Thanks, Heather!)

“Sometimes when a person sells a book, once the elation and sheer joy has settled a bit, and the person receives that person’s editorial letter, and sets cheerily to revising, that person might realize suddenly that the book that person wrote is in fact THE STUPIDEST BOOK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, LIKE FOR REAL, and must be REWRITTEN ENTIRELY, preferably by SOMEONE ELSE, since clearly that person is TOTALLY INCAPABLE OF WRITING A BOOK THAT IS NOT STUPID, and maybe other well-meaning people are all like “Obviously your book is not stupid since it is being published and anyway didn’t you say your editor was really smart and awesome so why would she buy a book that wasn’t good” and the person is all like HAVE YOU BEEN IN A BOOKSTORE LATELY OR EVER IN YOUR LIFE DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT “PUBLISHED” HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RELATIONSHIP TO “NOT STUPID” AND POSSIBLY THE EDITOR WAS DRUNK WHEN SHE BOUGHT MY BOOK THESE THINGS DO HAPPEN and that person may become inordinately stressed for a time re: the stupidness of the person’s book.”

I so freaking love the artist formerly known as The Rejectionist, aka Sarah McCarry, so much.

I was really interested to hear Tracey S Rosenberg’s thoughts on the comparisons to be made (or not) between US and Scottish slams.

The Joy of Reading. < -- Click this. Seriously. (Thanks, Camilla!)

Larkin hoarded like the miser he was, collected mild bondage magazines, and occasionally used the “n” word — hardly laudable traits, but not exactly war crimes either. Persona or no persona, didn’t he make it clear in [his poems] that he was no model of mental health? The argument seemed to be that if someone used the word “n—-r” in his correspondence (which he did — half mocking his own bigotry, but only half), the poetry he wrote must reflect the same racist, rancid prejudices. But it doesn’t. Larkin, who was very far from confusing art with life, knew that his prejudices and pettinesses were inassimilable to his poetry.

This article is the best thing I have ever read about the great, flawed genius that is Philip Larkin. Read it, read it all. (Thanks, Mark!)

I was really interested in these professional photographers discussing the worst shot they’ve ever taken.

Need a present for a book geek? This is pretty damn sweet!

“Through the Wire”… told the true-life story of how the aspiring star fell asleep at the wheel of his Lexus and woke up in Cedars Sinai hospital with half his jaw lodged in the back of his throat. He rapped the story three weeks after the accident, in highly original rhymes delivered with his jaw wired shut. The accident occupies the triumph-over-adversity space in Kanye’s biography that being a former crack dealer occupies in Jay-Z’s. Kanye embodied a more emotionally blown-open mode of existence, and relished playing the role of Jay’s wide-eyed little brother and boundary-pusher—“The Lyor Cohen of Dior Homme,” as he billed himself on the single “Devil in a New Dress,” adding, “That’s Dior Homme, not Dior, homie.”

Kanye West is one of my all-time favourite recording artists ever, so I loved this article so, so, so much. I plan to now direct EVERYONE who says “ugh, you like KANYE WEST?!” to me RIGHT THERE.

Last week the HuffPo reprinted the pretty depressing cult “30 before 30″ article from Glamour. I’ve been watching the online responses with interest. This one is best read with the often pretty right-on comments, but my favourite was Hugo Schwyzer’s male equivalent.

Did you guys hear about the roof dog? TOO CUTE.

This is really good advice – and so pretty! Want!

Life getting you down? Feel like there’s something you’ll just never be able to master? Watch this video. Then shut up.

The Book Of The Future is amazing!


You guys know Taylor Mali’s ‘What Teachers Make’? This is a great adaptation of it for the classroom.


I love Kevin Cadwallender’s take on the writing process!


Remember this? Still a whole load of love for this poem/video!

Have a great weekend!

What are you loving this week?

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You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at]onenightstanzas.com. I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)