Odyssey Online

Poems Work

April 21, 2014 · Comments Off

In honor of national poetry month (and because it is a peaceful slowly unwinding Monday morning) I typed Poems Work into our SLU Libraries Encore search, and, my goodness, did I get back an interesting list of books.  So interesting I did indeed feel motivated to blog out what poems work.  Here is a baker’s dozen from this serendipitous phrase:

 

Comments OffCategories: Books · Recommended Book

George Herbert

April 16, 2014 · Comments Off

Writing in The Guardian Nicholas Lezard writes glowingly of John Drury’s new biography of George Herbert, Music at Midnight, the Life and Poetry of George Herbert. This is a book I’m sure we’ll have in the collection soon, and it is a nice opportunity to pause over George Herbert, who is, for many readers, a life-long reading excursion:

Some of the more recent book length critical commentaries on Herbert in ODY include Heart-work : George Herbert and the Protestant Ethic by Cristina Malcolmson, Invisible Listeners: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashbery by  Helen Vendler, and The Pulse of Praise: Form as a Second Self in the Poetry of George Herbert by Julia Carolyn Guernsey.

 

Comments OffCategories: Books · Recommended Book

Jim Harrison

April 14, 2014 · Comments Off

Full disclosure, Jim Harrison is one of this bloggers favorite authors.  Along with his many novels, he is the author of a number of poetry volumes, his voice and narrative touch very much “front and center” in his poems.  Among the titles we have here in ODY are:

All of these are published by the wonderful Copper Canyon press (they’re very attractive books) and the volume with Ted Kooser is an exchange in haiku. That book is a great example of haiku as an enduring (flourishing) form of American poetry…

Comments OffCategories: Books · Recommended Book

Gerald Stern

April 9, 2014 · Comments Off

This years recipient of the Poetry Society of America‘s Frost Medal is Gerald Stern.  We have a number of volumes by Mr. Stern, including:

We also have one book length critical study on Gerald Stern, Making the Light Come: The Poetry of Gerald Stern by Jane Somerville.

 

Comments OffCategories: Books · Recommended Book

New Poetry

April 8, 2014 · Comments Off

An annual April “National Poetry Month” post…a baker’s dozen of new collections of poems at the SLU Libraries:

May of these are found in the Browsing Collection on the shelves near our Paul and Anne Piskor Special Collections Reading Room…

Comments OffCategories: Books · Recommended Book

National Poetry Month

April 4, 2014 · Comments Off

April is National Poetry Month…reading the April 2014 edition of Poetry Magazine I learned that Maxine Kumin had died in February at her home in Warner New Hampshire.  So while not a glad note to sound early in National Poetry Month, it is one that nonetheless gives us pause to celebrate her wonderful poetry and prose, a brief overview of books by and about her:

Comments OffCategories: Books

Baseball Books

April 1, 2014 · Comments Off

Baseball season begins, a new season and all the new hope that goes with a new season. Of course, as pleasant as idling a summer afternoon away with a baseball game on the lawn or t.v., is reading about baseball! (…in the shade from a tree or cool corner of a porch…) Several summers ago blogging here we cataloged part of the collection of baseball books, which has grown since (not only was 2013 a good year for the Red Sox it was a good year for ODY buying baseball books). These new titles are given here as a “starting line-up”:

The last title is a Library of America edition edited by Ian Frazier–Lardner is the author of the short story “You Know Me Al,” and one of the great baseball writers of the early twentieth century.  If you don’t know Ring Lardner’s work there is an imperative read for at least one summer inning.

Comments OffCategories: Books · Recommended Book

Who Uses Libraries

March 14, 2014 · Comments Off

PI-library-typology-03-13-2014-00-01Our friends at the Pew Research Internet Life Project, in their ongoing attempt to create a mosaic of what the Internet is and who specifically is Internet-borne, have released a new study on who is using libraries in the United States, From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and Beyond. The study identifies and connects the who and why of people who frequent libraries–and comes up with some quite amusing categories for those who do (and do not) come through the front door.  Foremost amongst library users:

Information Omnivores are more likely to seek and use information than other groups, are more likely to have and use technology; at the same time, they are strong users of public libraries, and think libraries have a vital role in their communities. However, they are not quite as active in their library use as Library Lovers, or nearly as likely to say the loss of the local library would have a major impact on them and their family.

One of the “surprise findings” of the study is that only a small portion of library users report suffering from “information overload,” and that many folks (such as the information omnivores) move back and forth between digital and print information sources “seamlessly” (to invoke that ugly word).  Print and digital sources do not seem to preclude one another–this a point made by JCR Licklider back in the 1960′s when he was thinking about something that works very much like the Internet now (see “Man-Computer Symbiosis“), and is beautifully explicated by Eric Ormsby in his essay “The Battle of the Book” which was published in New Criterion back in 2001 (and, for members of the SLU Community, easily accessible through a quick search in Academic Search Complete).  Ormbsy’s essay is a marvelous contemplation of readers and libraries, and as I mentioned the way in which the print and digital happily coexist, facilitate different work.  Facilitate the work of poems, and with National Poetry Month at hand, work that needs to be done…

Comments OffCategories: Essay on Bibliography · Essay on Technology

Reading the Winter Away

February 17, 2014 · Comments Off

Reading has been in the news in the new  year.  Given the winter that has leviathan like levitated over much of the country, it has been a good winter to read–to stay indoors with a book in hand an a large warm ironstone mug of tea at the ready.  About a month ago the Pew Research Internet Project published a report on reading enthusiastically titled E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps (the good folks at the Pew Research Internet Project have been chronicling all the doings the young and old have with all things digital for quite some time), and while they are indeed much preoccupied with E-Reading they include a glimpse of the sum total of the American reading public (click the table to enlarge):

e-readers7The narrative that accompanies tabulated is here, while E-Reading is expanding, there is a fairly healthy numbers in the Print category…turning reading into a matter of quantitative dissection is, well, worth a retort something like Groucho Marx’s “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read” (which happily returns us to our reading inside in cold weather metaphor). The inspired madness of Marx’s quip speaking to the essential aspect of reading, that we can no more do without our dogs than our books, why do you ask?  This gets to the question of the reader’s lifetime, recently Amazon.com published it’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime and while Amazon.com is no public library, it’s a good list.  It’s a list that was constructed with a life in mind, with remembering reading as Sven Birkerts did in his book Reading Life: Books for the Ages “I miss those days, the excitement of wandering, that sense of the book as an entity that could hold just about anything between its covers.” Remember that kind of reading?  Look at the list from Amazon and the last book on the grid lower right, Where the Wild Things Are…

Comments OffCategories: Books · Essay on Bibliography

ASCII Art

February 5, 2014 · Comments Off

…while not exactly a topic of burning interest to libraries, Atlantic Online ran a well written essay that harkens back to the time when the Internet was made entirely of words, the character based Internet.  The time of gophers, usenet groups, telnet and FTP, the days of the blue “throbber” Netscape N:

netscape_1994

A long time ago, remembered vividly in The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art by Alexis C. Madrigal where he documents how people drew with keyboards, what people drew with keyboards, and how people will, as Madrigal puts it, “make art with anything.”  For those of us who can remember this green-or-orange-letters-on-a-black background Internet, the piece is evocative of the ‘Net that used to be–a Internet you might get a sense of by reading The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier by Howard Rheingold, or Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte, or The Road Ahead by Bill Gates, or Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet by Sherry Turkle…

…or by watching the Telnet Star Wars, captured now, appropriately enough, as a youtube video…

Comments OffCategories: Essay on Technology · Licklider's Legacy