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The new U.S. poet laureate will make your brain work. Plus 4 other great things to know about him.

As a child, Herrera lived a nomadic life out of tents and trailers on farm roads throughout California. His folks, both migrant farmworkers from Mexico, moved with the seasons of agriculture for the often hazardous and thankless work in the fields.

Source: The new U.S. poet laureate will make your brain work. Plus 4 other great things to know about him.

 

I wish only the best for you.
Peace,
love,
joy.
When we have it all,
We turn over the next morning
To face the new day.
We put on our best clothes to impress someone,
We think we can feel a change,
We think that what we could not hold onto yesterday
We now have in our hands,
Then a bird lands on the window sill,
And stands alone
And makes us realize
What we grasped so tightly yesterday,
Is exactly what we are holding today.

Christopher Zurcher May 2015

Crow at sunset

I saw the orange sunset

reflected on the glossy underside

of the crow’s wing as he flew overhead

Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Cat’s Cradle’ getting TV treatment

Hipsters rejoice! IM Global Television will be adapting Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical sci-fi novel Cat’s Cradle for the small screen, the studio announced Thursday.

The studio is looking for a “high-level writer/showrunner,” to develop the project alongside executive producer Brad Yonover and co-executive producer Sandi Love.

Published in 1963, Cat’s Cradle was Vonnegut’s fourth novel and focuses mainly on the topics of science, technology, and religion, satirizing in particular the nuclear arms race through the story of one family’s involvement with the atomic bomb.

Source: Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Cat’s Cradle’ getting TV treatment

Download 55 Free Online Literature Courses: From Dante and Milton to Kerouac and Tolkien | Open Culture

Here at Open Culture, we don’t just feature education in your recommended daily servings of culturally wide-ranging video, audio, text, and image — we also feature it in a form that goes deep: whole courses you can download to your computer or mobile device of choice and experience at your own pace. If you never quite studied all the literature you wanted to — or if you simply can’t get enough study of the stuff — pay a visit to our collection of over 50 free literature courses online.

Source: Download 55 Free Online Literature Courses: From Dante and Milton to Kerouac and Tolkien | Open Culture

Goya guitar manual up for dibs

I bought a beautiful Goya G335S guitar from a small string shop in Tampa, Fla., around 1985. I forget the bearded owner’s name but I spent hours in there playing this instrument and talked him down to $275 and I had him install a Martin acoustic pickup in it. I sold it to Guitar Center for about $400 in the last year or two and I came across the owner’s manual recently in a pile of papers. So, if there’s anyone out there in the market for this manual, please let me know. It’s not just for this guitar, but describes a bunch of instruments in the Goya line, including the G335S, which was discontinued I think around the time when I bought this one, which was a model he had used to give lessons.

Goya G335S headstock

Goya G335S headstock

Photographer Brittany Wright Captures Foods in Colorful Gradients | Colossal

Photographer and food enthusiast Brittany Wright sets up intricate culinary still lifes that focus primarily on the differentiation of fruits’ and vegetables’ coloration. Wright captures a rainbow of colors in foods ranging from heaps of apples to carrots plucked freshly from the earth. Each photograph focuses on the produce against a stark white background, a way to display the food’s vibrant shades without distraction.

Source: Photographer Brittany Wright Captures Foods in Colorful Gradients | Colossal

Politician Tasked With Oil Industry Oversight Gets a Paycheck From Big Oil | Mother Jones

Kurt would love irony. I love the irony. This is why my writing is sometimes sardonic.

The BP oil spill turned five years old on Monday, and as my colleague Tim McDonnell reported, we’re still paying the price: There’s as much as 26 million gallons of crude oil still on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. But the story of the Deepwater Horizon wasn’t just about environmental devastation—it was also a story about regulation.

via Politician Tasked With Oil Industry Oversight Gets a Paycheck From Big Oil | Mother Jones.

Spalding Gray’s Catastrophe | Oliver Sachs, The New Yorker

Spalding had spent more than thirty years on “the slippery slope,” as he called it, as a high-wire performer, a funambulist, and had never fallen off. He doubted if he could continue. While I expressed hope and optimism outwardly, I now shared his doubt.

On January 10, 2004, Spalding took his children to a movie. It was Tim Burton’s “Big Fish,” in which a dying father passes his fantastical stories on to his son before returning to the river, where he dies—and perhaps is reincarnated as his true self, a fish, making one of his tall tales come true.

That evening, Spalding left home, saying he was going to meet a friend. He did not leave a suicide note, as he had so often before. When inquiries were made, one man said he had seen him board the Staten Island Ferry.Two months later, Spalding’s body was washed up by the East River. He had always wanted his suicide to be high drama, but in the end he said nothing to anyone; he simply disappeared from sight and silently returned to the sea, his mother.

via Spalding Gray’s Catastrophe – The New Yorker.

Maya Angelou Stamp Quote Actually Came From Connecticut Children’s Book Author Joan Walsh Anglund

A picture of part of one of the new Maya Angelou stamp sheets that were issues Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (photo: cjzurcher)

A picture of part of one of the new Maya Angelou stamp sheets that were issues Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (photo: cjzurcher)

The news that the U.S. Postal Service was honoring Maya Angelou, poet, author and civil rights advocate, with her own forever stamp was welcomed by her fans. Angelou, who died last year, was a cultural icon and mother figure to a generation of writers.

Jabari Asim, associate professor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College in Boston, was excited. Until he read the quote on the Angelou stamp:

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

Funny thing, he had always thought the quote came from Joan Walsh Anglund, the prolific children’s book author from Connecticut.

via Maya Angelou Stamp Quote Actually Came From Connecticut Children’s Book Author – Hartford Courant.