Friday 19 October 2007

Star Wars and poetry, two great tastes that taste great togeth.... excuse me, what?

Thanks to LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment, there's a virtual Star Wars universe online where people spend time living out their Skywalker-inspired fantasies.

I sense a disturbance in the Force. This really can't be very healthy for some people.

Well, now there's a new fake attraction in this fake universe. The House of Poetry! That's right. It's a virtual coffee house where players are invited to post their poems and chat with their poetry-loving peers in an online, droid-infested forum. Here's more:
The House of Poetry is open 24 hours a day and is a great place to meet new people (or aliens depending on your taste). Every first Friday of the month, the regulars of the location meet to talk about writing and poetry. If you're interested in gaining access to this place, you'll be pleased to know that admission is free.

If you're passionate about writing and play LucasArts' Star Wars Galaxies, you might want to drop by The House of Poetry to chat with some of the people there. Heck, you probably won't find any other place in the whole galaxy where you can openly post your thoughts without getting shot, cut, or trampled by a Bantha.

From MMORPG blog.
It's like the Art Bar open mic set for the weird and socially inept, just like the actual Art Bar open mic set, where I once had the misfortune of seeing two people dressed as Klingons (different brand of geekdom, I know) reciting something (verse?) in the make-believe Klingon language. It was both ridiculous and disturbing. It was disticulous.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Lucia Perilllo's book of essays: a smart, entertaining, and exhilarating read

Ron Slate has started up a new book reviewing blog, and he's chosen to review one of my very favourite books of the year, Lucia Perillo's collection of essays I've Heard the Vultures Singing.

Blunt, mordant, impatient, attentive: This is the tone throughout I Heard the Vultures Singing, a book of 16 essays shuttling between two main reference points – the non-human world of the Pacific Northwest, and the debilitation of the body. In “Knowledge Game” she says, “It takes courage to spend time considering nature when your life is circumscribed, because this means considering what you have lost.” She isn’t making a case for her bravery, but rather pointing out something she knows and we don’t, namely that gazing at the beauty of nature may be trying. This book is largely intent on wrecking given standards for the appreciation of life, and replacing them with the chance to look intently at life itself. Perillo is greatly talented in situating us -- in a place where we may experience an impingement, life intruding on us. The function of the chastened view from her wheelchair is to disrupt our expectations while depriving us of opportunities to feel virtuous about it. The physically stricken person tells us that nature abhors a plenitude and achieves some of its greatest accomplishments while scrounging through the ruin and decay.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Brian Turner on his book Here, Bullet in the NY Times

Last month I asked where all the present day war poets were and came up with Brian Turner.

Brian Turner discusses the origin of the poems in his book Here, Bullet today in the New York Times.

For anyone out there who might hear the word “poetry” and cringe, or having just read the word here, immediately look to click to some other article, silently cursing this guy Turner for not sticking with the Home Fires mission — don’t worry: I am going to be writing about my time in Iraq, where I served as an infantry team leader. But Iraq is also the place where I wrote my first book of poetry — “Here, Bullet” — during my unit’s deployment there. (It was published by Alice James Books.) So today I want to look back and talk about some of the things that went on in my head then, not only fighting, but observing, witnessing and writing. Poetry.
I believe in the saying, Poetry finishes in the reader. I can (and will) tell you about some of the things I wrote in-country, there in the sand, or what was going on in my head at the time (I use my journals from back then to help refresh my memory). But in the end, I truly believe you’ll take it with a grain of salt and decide for yourself what the poem itself is all about.
Read the rest of Turner's piece here.