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ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2012
In recent years, poet Stanley Plumly gave readers "Posthumous Keats," a gorgeous, award-winning prose meditation on the great English Romantic poet's life and death. With "Orphan Hours: Poems" (W.W. Norton: $25.95), the Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, ruminates again on the topic of mortality, though this time the subject is much closer to home. Surely there's a struggle ahead for anyone with a serious illness, but in the poem "Cancer," he offers a respite from the horror by addressing the disease from a startling, cosmic perspective.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2014 | By Richard Blanco
What does it take to be a writer: A room of one's own? A weakness for words? To celebrate the Festival of Books , we asked some celebrated authors to recall a turning point in their evolution as writers. How did I decide to become a poet? Well, that's like asking how I decided to fall in love with Mark, my partner of 14 years. I don't think anyone really makes conscious decisions when it comes to matters of love or vocation. Still, I understand the spirit of such a question, which is really asking: How did I meet and fall in love with poetry?
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NEWS
August 20, 2012 | By Liesl Bradner
Activist, poet and painter Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, has written a new book of poems, his first since 2007's “Poetry as Insurgent Art.” Titled “Time of Useful Consciousness,” an aeronautical term for the period between the moment you run out of oxygen and the time you cease to be able to function, the new book has been described by the author  as "a fragmented recording of...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Boy meets Samuel L. Jackson! "The Avengers" star, who appears in Friday's "Avengers" flick "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," recited a slam poem Monday on "The Tonight Show" about the '90s sitcom "Boy Meets World," recapping the show's seven seasons in the beatnik style of poetry. Jackson's three-minute oratory, performed with all the gravitas of "Pulp Fiction's" Jules Winnfield, introduced the show's star, a teenage boy named Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), and his friends, family and love interest.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2012 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Leave it to Wislawa Szymborska, the 1996 Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet who died this month at 88, to write a poem celebrating tragedy's nonexistent sixth act. This is when, as she described it in "Theatre Impressions," the offstage dead return for their bows, actors straighten their wigs and fancy gowns and, as the curtain falls, it's possible to see a hand as it "quickly reaches for a flower" or "picks up a fallen sword. " Only after the stage has gone dark does the poet feel the hand of tragedy grabbing her by the throat.
BOOKS
December 25, 1988
I was one of many who wrote to you to protest the change in the Book Review's policy on poetry reviews. But I owe you this letter of appreciation. I think that the new format and policy serve poetry well, albeit differently. I have enjoyed the poems and the vignettes about the poets immensely, and look forward to them each week. I want dialogue about poetry, but I think that in this poetry-starved media universe we inhabit the presentation of poetry itself is more important.
MAGAZINE
June 7, 1987
In "My Nephew Tony" (May 17, in some editions), Jessica Reynolds Shaver quotes some letters she said Anthony Reynolds had sent her from prison, adding, "I didn't know he wrote poetry." In reality, Tony does not write poetry. He copies poetry, and it appears that he has conned his aunt into believing that she sees "a Tony in them that I have never seen before, the Tony I knew must be there." The poems in the article were written by James Kavanaugh, published in a book titled "There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves" (Dutton, 1970)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Ruth "Uncle Ruthie" Buell, who lives in L.A.'s Pico-Robertson neighborhood, had a thought one day. Actually, the thoughts are always bubbling over with her, but this one was particularly inspired. Why not replace the rotting tree stumps in her frontyard with benches as a way of inviting neighbors to take a breather, talk and get to know one another? That was Part One of the idea, which took shape about two months ago. Part Two was a note to visitors from Uncle Ruthie - who has graced the planet for 82 years - encouraging them to take pen and paper from pouches pinned to the tree and share their thoughts.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 10, 2011 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
For the reader boiling in triple-digit SoCal heat at the end of the summer, Donald Hall's "The Back Chamber: Poems" arrives like a sudden cloudburst and shower of cooling rain. Again Hall takes readers into his New Hampshire, a realm of "fiddleheaded ferns, lilacs purpling / trilliums, apparition of daffodils" and soft breezes where "my grandfather and I," he recalls in "Maples," "with Riley the horse, / took four days to clear the acres of hay / from the fields on both sides of the house.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 1991 | LESLIE HERZOG
"Am I glad to be a woman?" begins a poem written by Gailellen Conyers. "Am I glad to be a black woman in the 20th Century?" Several times a month, Conyers reads this and other poetry at small Orange County coffee shops and community theaters. The poems express the joy and anger that span her 40 years. "Poetry is my heart, my soul," said Conyers, sitting in her elegant, contemporary house in Orange, a place far removed from the foster homes and abuse of her childhood.
NEWS
February 15, 2014 | By Patt Morrison
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 | By Elaine Woo
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
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 | By Elaine Woo
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2013 | By Brenda Shaughnessy
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?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
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.
BOOKS
September 29, 1991
As one dedicated to poetry composition, and recently inducted into the International Society of Poets at their convention and symposium, I found a faulty assumption in the Book Review section most repugnant and misleading ("Anne Sexton: A Biography," Aug. 25). Reviewer Nancy Mairs noted "the roster of modern poets dead by their own hands--among them Delmore Schwartz, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, John Berryman--who communicated to the following generation the belief that, in writing poetry, they courted death."
NEWS
September 28, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Not only did Sen. Ted Cruz's “filibuster” against Obamacare fail, but his choice of reading material during the 21-hour talkathon -- or as my colleague Paul Whitefield called it, “ the first [speech] of his 2016 presidential bid ” -- didn't exactly sync with Cruz's worldview. The tea party firebrand read the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham,” to which Op-Ed contributor Peter Dreier says: “He clearly missed its message.” In our Opinion pages, Dreier writes: In the Seuss tale, Sam-I-Am, a lover of green eggs and ham, tries to persuade a friend to try them.
WORLD
September 22, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, one of Africa's most distinguished literary figures, was among the scores of people killed by Al Qaeda-aligned terrorists who attacked a busy shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, over the weekend. Awoonor, 78, was killed Saturday when members of Al Shabab, a Somali-based militia, seized the Westgate Shopping Mall in a hail of bullets in Kenya's worst terrorist attack in years. "I am shocked to hear the death of professor Kofi Awoonor in the Nairobi mall terrorist attack.
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