Saturday, March 8, 2008

Curling Up ... 3/8/08

It's the end of Spring Break and I've been curling up on the couch with a number of different books and journals. A little while ago, I began rereading Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross. I've been doing an exercise in my class where I ask my students to think about "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in light of its cultural context in order to understand the song. Ever since, I've been on a big Nirvana kick. This culminated in a recent visit to the library where I found a copy of Kurt Cobain's Journals. I have to admit that I feel a little weird reading Cobain's journals. The book is a compilation of photographs of his actually journal pages. I feel like I'm prying into something very, very personal. And I imagine if someone were reading my journal like this. A very strange experience. And yet, I can't put either book down.

At the same time, I got a nice surprise this week. I thought my subscription of Poetry Magazine had ended. Apparently, it hasn't because I received another issue in the mail this week and I've been reading through it. The editors have added a new twist to the journal: they've included a short Q & A for every poet published in the issue.

And to complete my week, my new subscription to Black Warrior Review started yesterday. I haven't had a lot of time to read through either journal but I have managed a quick glance at some of the poems. And it amazes me how completely different they are. Poetry is very traditional: full of rhyme and meter and form. BWR seems much more avante-guarde, more postmodern, more diverse. It is fascinating to put these two journals, which are two of the most prominent American poetry journals, next to each other and to see their wild differences. From what I've read so far, I have to admit that I like BWR more than Poetry. I don't know. BWR seems to be more of my scene than Poetry.

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