BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
"Still, a number of friends—friends I trust, friends who generally seem to have their lives a little more figured out than I do—swear by camping. The balance aspect of it was appealing to me, as was the perennial question that hangs over all attempts to try out things unattempted in adult life: can I actually do this? There are certain experiences that, if gone untried, will not leave me feeling bereft when I’m on my deathbed—skydiving, for one. But I see pictures of friends’ trips into the woods, vistas and parts of the world not easily accessible by public transit, and I start to understand the appeal. A short trip into the woods, then—an attempt to see what camping was all about. It was a day without rain just before the start of fall. It seemed like a good time to head into nature."
#Coping with Sean H. Doyle at CCM:
"My own apocalypse is my inability to get shit right the first four or fives times I try. I imagine the actual apocalypse is what we’re living right fucking now. Climate change and war and violence in every city pushed by the people in power who don’t want to lose their power and no money going toward education and hate and racism getting louder and hunger and prisons for profit and the drug wars and cellphones and anger anger anger. Don’t worry, though. The oceans will clean this all up and the salamanders will take over the earth soon enough. I’ve dealt with more than my fair share of trauma in this life, so I would like to die in my sleep."
Sarah Weinman on Leonard Cohen at the New Republic:
"For most of my life I viewed Leonard Cohen with suspicion. The wariness ran so deep, it wasn’t until earlier this year that I gave his work a proper fair shake. I knew, rationally, that Cohen’s literary and musical output meant a great deal to a great many people and deserved the acclaim. I liked what I heard but didn’t go out of my way to listen. I wasn’t ready, until recently, to put away childish skepticism and open my heart to his work."
Trump Watch is a new site at Entropy, and it's a resource over at Entropy, which will be continually updated by volunteers started by Janice Lee.
Lauren Levin's poem "Braid" at The Poetry Project:
"I can never talk about the Danziger Bridge, not really, how NOPD shot
6 unarmed people trying to leave the flooded city, shot one in the back, killed 2
The cops were convicted then their convictions overturned for them time became light and magical, transformed
But murdered 17-year-old James Brissette and murdered 40-year-old Ronald Madison
will always be 17 and 40
I always learned that everything is complicated
but some things don’t seem complicated"
The Trump syllabus explains how he came to power at Public Books by N.D.B Connolly and Keisha N. Blain.
Why poetry is more important than ever at The Atlantic by Megan Garber:
"Poetry’s succinct form often means that it lends itself especially well to being screen-shot and retyped and then shared on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. But there are deeper reasons, too, why poetry is having, as it were, A Moment. I spoke with Don Share, the editor of Poetry magazine, about the role poems have been playing for people across the political spectrum as they’ve wrestled with the results of the 2016 election—and of the role poems might continue to play for us as we move forward. This interview has been edited for clarity and length."
Danez Smith with a new poem at Buzzfeed called "You're Dead, America":
"tomorrow, i’ll have hope.
tomorrow i can shift the wreckage
& find a seed.
i don’t know what will grow
i’ve lost my faith in this garden
the bees are dying
the water poisons whole cities"
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (2016, ELJ Publications), & Xenos (2016, Agape Editions). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM. Some of her writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Feminist Wire, BUST, Pouch, and elsewhere. She also teaches workshops at Brooklyn Poets.