Poetry is the medium of the month: we have received lots of lovely books on this topic this month – books of poetry, books on how to write poetry and on how to read it and appreciate it. The 2013 version of “Poet’s Market” is hot off the press – we hold a reference copy which is always available in the Arts, Music & Literature section (on the first floor at the Central Library) and another which is available for loan.
Prose is also not forgotten. Janeites will be pleased to see a new book written by a leading American academic on the cults and cultures connected with her work. We also feature a book on the writing of creative non-fiction (always a difficult medium to get right!) and another on Verdi’s use of Shakespeare’s plays in many of his operas. Plenty to choose from here – take your pick !!
2013 Poet’s market / Robert Lee Brewer, editor.
“The Most Trusted Guide for Getting Poetry Published. The2013 Poet’s Market includes hundreds of publishing opportunities specifically for poets, including poetry publications, book/chapbook publishers, contests, and more. These listings include contact information, submission preferences, insider tips on what specific editors want, and – when offered – payment information Plus, the editorial content in the front of the book has been revamped to include more articles on the Business of Poetry, Promotion of Poetry, and Craft of Poetry. Learn how to navigate the social media landscape, write various poetic forms, give a perfect reading, and more.” (Summary from Global Books)
Jumping ship : essays, speeches and incidental poems / Glenn Colquhoun.
“A book of essays and poems on the relationship between Pākehā and Māori, and on the practice of medicine…Includes, among other things, a state of the nation speech from Waitangi 2007, organised by the Treaty Resource Centre: He Puna Mātauranga te Tiriti; a keynote address for the English teachers conference, Takapuna Grammar, 2008; the introduction to the New Zealand edition of ‘Suburban Shaman’ by Cecil Helman; and an oration given at the conference of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, Wellington 2009” (Publisher description)
Jane Austen’s cults and cultures / Claudia L. Johnson.
“Claudia L. Johnson shows how Jane Austen became “Jane Austen,” a figure intensely – sometimes even wildly – venerated, and often for markedly different reasons. Johnson begins by exploring the most important monuments and portraits of Austen, considering how these artifacts point to an author who is invisible and yet whose image is inseparable from the characters and fictional worlds she created. She then passes through the four critical phases of Austen’s reception-the Victorian era, the First and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the Austen House and Museum in 1949-and ponders what the adoration of Austen has meant to readers over the past two centuries.” (Summary from Amazon).
“You can’t make this stuff up : the complete guide to writing creative nonfiction–from memoir to literary journalism and everything in between / Lee Gutkind.
“From rags-to-riches-to-rags tell-alls to personal health sagas to literary journalism everyone seems to want to try their hand at creative nonfiction. Now, Lee Gutkind, the go-to expert for all things creative nonfiction, taps into one of the fastest-growing genres with this new writing guide. Frank and to-the-point, with depth and clarity, Gutkind describes and illustrates each and every aspect of the genre, from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. Offering new ways of understanding genre and invaluable tools for writers to learn and experiment with,You Cant Make This Stuff Upallows writers of all skill levels to thoroughly expand and stylize their work” (Summary from Global Books).
The best American poetry, 2012 / Mark Doty, editor ; David Lehman, series editor.
“Mark Doty brings the vitality and imagination that illuminate his own work to his selections for the twenty-fifth volume in theBest American Poetryseries. He has chosen poems of high moral earnestness and poems in a comic register; poems that tell stories and poems that test the boundaries of innovative composition. This landmark edition includes David Lehman&’s keen look at American poetry in his foreword, Mark Doty&’s gorgeous introduction, and notes from the poets revealing the germination of their work. Over the last twenty-five years,The Best American Poetryhas become an annual rite of the poetry world, and this year&’s anthology is a welcome and essential addition to the series.” (Summary from Global Books).
On poetry / Glyn Maxwell.
“A collection of small essays and chapters each tackling a different element of this enchanting art form, all written by prolific & acclaimed British poet Glyn Maxwell. Each essay illustrates Maxwells take on poetry, his inspirations, his favorite writers, and indeed his thoughts on what makes a good poem.” (Summary from Global Books).
Master class / by Terrence McNally.
“Master Class is a pyrotechnical theater–fireworks in a contained space where Maria Callas is brought back to life in Sturm und Drang. Inspired by a series of master classes the great diva conducted at Juilliard toward the end of her career, this drama puts Maria Callas at center stage again as she coaxes, prods, and inspires students–“victims” as she calls them–into giving the performances of their lives while revealing her own. As she slips off into memories, we experience her days at La Scala, her marriage to Meneghini, and her great doomed love for Aristotle Onassis. But the dazzling theatricality comes from Callas’s emotional explosions, her cutting wit, and the soaring music as each student sings an aria that exposes the Divina’s vulnerabilities … and her genius.’ (Summary from Amazon).
In praise of messy lives : essays / Katie Roiphe.
‘This powerful collection of essays ranges from pop culture to politics, from Hillary Clinton to Susan Sontag, from Facebook toMad Men,from Joan Didion to David Foster Wallace to—most strikingly—the author’s own life. For fans of the essays of John Jeremiah Sullivan and Jonathan Lethem. Katie Roiphe’s writing—whether in the form of personal essays, literary criticism, or cultural reporting—is bracing, wickedly entertaining, and deeply engaged with our mores and manners. In these pages, she turns her exacting gaze on the surprisingly narrow-minded conventions governing the way we live now.” (Summary from Global Books).
Verdi’s Shakespeare : men of the theater / Garry Wills.
“*Starred Review* Italy’s greatest operatic composer based his tenth, twenty-sixth, and final (twenty-seventh) operas on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Othello, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, respectively. Wills strives to show how alike Shakespeare and Verdi were as creative artists and how, despite jettisoning more than half of Shakespeare’s words, the operas remain Shakespearean in significance. The Italian and Englishman each produced as well as composed his stage works, crafting them for the available talent ; Shakespeare, his acting company,Verdi, the available voices.”
(Summary from Global Books).
Why lyrics last : evolution, cognition, and Shakespeare’s sonnets / Brian Boyd.
“In Why Lyrics Last, the internationally acclaimed critic Brian Boyd turns an evolutionary lens on the subject of lyric verse. He finds that lyric making, though it presents no advantages for the species in terms of survival and reproduction, is “universal across cultures because it fits constraints of the human mind.” An evolutionary perspective- especially when coupled with insights from aesthetics and literary history-has much to tell us about both verse and the lyrical impulse.”(Summary from globalbooksinprint.com).
Here / Wisława Szymborska ; translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak.Here
“No reader, not even poetry-phobes, should miss the bright revelations of Nobel laureate Szymborska. A Polish poet influenced by Czeslaw Milosz and annealed in her country’s suffering during WWII and Stalinsim, Szymborska writes pithy, mischievous, and wise poems that disarm, delight, and enlighten in a flash even as they illuminate hidden dimensions of existence. The poet marvels over the intricacy, immensity, secrecy, and vigor of life. In Microcosmos, she considers the miniscule entities a microscope reveals and wonders if they even know they are–or aren’t. In Thoughts That Visit Me on Busy Streets, Szymborska ponders nature’s recycling of faces, so that a passerby might be . . . some pharaoh with briefcase and glasses. She writes of her teenage self, the earth’s astounding bounty, accidents, nature’s innocence, and time.”(Summary from www.globalbooksinprint.com).
Literature-lovers might also like :
Reading on the farm : Victorian fiction and the colonial world / Lydia Wevers.
“In Reading on the Farm, Lydia Wevers uses the library on Brancepeth Station in the Wairarapa, its staff and users as the ground for an extended reflection on the meaning of books, reading and intellectual life in colonial New Zealand.” (Syndetics summary)