Bill Keller discusses John Borling’s Taps On The Walls, a collection of poems “tapped out in code, letter by letter, on the walls of a wretched cell in Hanoi during his 6 1/2 years as a prisoner of war.”
“Mr. Walt Whitman has imagined that a certain amount of violent sympathy with the great deeds and sufferings of our soldiers, and of admiration for our national energy, together with a ready command of picturesque language, are sufficient inspiration for a poet. If this were the case, we had been a nation of poets.” A young Henry James reviews Whitman’s Drum Taps.
The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is offering two seven-week online seminars free of charge this summer: Advanced Poetry and Poetry Masterclass. The seminars are intended for emerging and published poets, respectively, and they will be taught by Micah Bateman and Nick Twemlow. Anybody with an internet connection is allowed to apply, and applications are due May 8th.
New releases this week include the much-hyped The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume I. Also out in nonfiction is President Obama’s picture book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit), as reviewed by the New York Times, Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, and, for hip-hop fans, Jay-Z’s memoir Decoded.
“There is also a particularly awkward and dispiriting form of loneliness that settles in the shoulders when faced with a room filled with social media connections, those digital acquaintances who remain strangers in the flesh.” Life amongst the introverts, and other dispatches from AWP 2013.