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13 Apr 2011

1. W.H. Auden’s 1956 New York Times review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King. "It’s a fantastic review that defends Tolkien’s literary authenticity against his many haters, using Erich Auerbach’s groundbreaking work Mimesis as a central arguing point."

2. Letter from David Lehman: The New School Establishes the Paul Violi Poetry Prize. "Robert Polito (who directs the New School's Writing Program) and I are happy to make it official: We're establishing the Paul Violi Poetry Prize at the New School. We will give out an award annually to the most deserving poetry student in the New School Writing Program, where Paul was a much loved presence."

3. Found in Translation [by Stephanie Paterik]. "“To write in Slovenian is to write in fragility,” poet Aleš Šteger said at a New School poetry forum on March 29. He was speaking of his fractured native language...Šteger is something of a poetry rock star in Central Europe – he has the awards and the haircut to prove it. He published his first book at age 22 in 1995, and Slovenia promptly heralded him as one of its most promising writers. Since then, he has written four books of poems, a fictional travelogue, and a collection of lyric essays."

4. The Wing on a Flea. "The Wing on a Flea: A Book about Shapes. Ed Emberley ~ Little Brown, 1961. Ed Emberley has taught thousands of children how to draw over the years, including my high school boyfriend who painted this dragon on a rock for me on my 16th birthday. (Romantic, no?) And let's not the Drummer Hoff who fired it off. But in this, his first book, he takes kids on the journey of shapes, finding them in all sorts of random places, that in sum make up the whole, wide world."

5. Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird. "For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on Earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfold world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and how to die."


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