February 15, 2014 |
The small group of reporters covering the president at particular events to report them back to the larger group of White House reporters is called the pool. The Times' Diana Marcum was in the pool covering part of President Obama's drought-related visit to California. Great liberties have been taken by me to edit a number of pool reports into … a Beat poem. "POTUS - THE O-MAN, MAN" 25 miles west of Firebaugh, Marine One lands in a huge cloud of dust. Costa, POTUS, Feinstein, Boxer, walking -- a posse from a cowboy movie.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 |
Decades before she won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Maxine Kumin was a student at Radcliffe College who had summoned the courage to show a handful of her poems to an instructor. His comment couldn't have been more withering. "Say it with flowers," he wrote, "but for God's sake don't try to write poems. " Kumin heeded his advice. Seven years passed before she tried again, but this time her efforts brought far more encouraging results. With a clear-eyed vision of the natural world, relationships, mortality and the inner lives of women, Kumin became one of the country's most honored poets, whose fourth book of poetry, "Up Country," brought her the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.
December 10, 2013 |
This review has been updated. Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony No. 3 "Poems and Prayers" is long, brash, overwrought, beatific - and huge. For its West Coast premiere Sunday night by UCLA's Philharmonia, University Chorus and Chorale, along with two vocal soloists and a solo clarinet, more than 300 performers crowded the stage at Royce Hall. Written in 2010 when the impressively prolific American composer of Palestinian descent was 25, the symphony is a young man's extraordinary effort to say what needs to be said, feel what needs to be felt and demonstrate what needs to be demonstrated about the Israeli and Palestinian morass in the Middle East.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2013 |
Wanda Coleman, a provocative Los Angeles poet who wrote lyrically and often angrily about the trials of life in her native metropolis, commenting on poverty, sexuality, racial politics, crime and other urban tensions, died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness. She was 67. Her death was confirmed by her husband, poet Austin Straus. A native of Watts, Coleman was long regarded as the city's unofficial poet laureate, who during a four-decade career wrote 22 books, including novels and collections of short stories and essays.
November 21, 2013 |
In 2012, a daguerreotype surfaced that was thought to be of a midlife Emily Dickinson, causing an Internet frenzy. As far as we (the frenzied) knew, there was only one known photographic image of the poet. That 1847 picture, taken when she was 16, is enigmatic, extraordinary and a little unsatisfying. Her single expression is dual: both deep and blank, both innocent and knowing. Dickinson readers recognize this intoxicating, paradoxical doubleness well: It is so very Emily. What wouldn't we give for more of her?
November 11, 2013 |
It sounds like an art project that could swiftly go awry: A dozen writer-directors -- NYU students -- collaborate to turn a book of poems into a feature film. What could make it be a success? James Franco, of course. Franco is the tireless movie star slash literary figure, a writer and director in his own right, who is ready to throw his megawatt smile behind the most improbable of projects. To which now can be added "Tar. " The independently produced "Tar" is based on the 1983 book of the same name by poet C.K. Williams.