It’s a Big Weekend for Book Festivals!

This weekend, you could go to the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., or the nearby Baltimore Book Festival, or, if you’re on the West Coast, the West Hollywood Book Fair. If you tally all the special guests up, provided the overlap between D.C. and Baltimore’s lineup isn’t too significant, the three events should bring readers in touch with more than 500 authors, which is pretty awesome.

Me, I’m going to see Sir Ian McKellen play Lear. Woo hoo!

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27 September 2007 | events |

What’s More Painful Than Alice Walker’s Poetry?

Alice Walker’s poetry, illustrated.

alice-walker-war-bad.jpg

Actually, in all fairness, this is one of the better examples of Stefano Vitale’s artwork for Why War Is Never a Good Idea, which is about as good as it can be considering what he’s being asked to work with. Because Walker’s poetry really is as bad as all that, a classic example of what Thomas Disch dismissed as “snapped prose in slim volumes.” And, sure, I feel a teensy bit guilty ragging on a kid’s book meant to honor the United Nations International Day of Peace, but let’s face it, sucky literature will not bring about world peace. Here’s the “best” part, which I’m going to render as the prose it is, to save space:

Picture a donkey peacefully sniffing a pile of straw A small boy holds the end of its frayed rope bridle. They do not see it They are both thinking of dinner The boy is hoping for polenta & eggs maybe a carrot or apple for dessert. Just above them something dark big as a car is dropping.

Bleargh.

22 September 2007 | poetry |

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