New York-based poet and belly dancer Evie Ivy’s Living in 12-Tone and Other Poetic Forms is a dreamy introspective collection on human nature and the uncertainties of life. Her writing swirls through each of the 12-tone poems, which is a form that consists of six couplets with 12 syllables in each. Since the pattern can change, Ivy’s poems are fluid, and if you look closely, you can see the almost-music in her writing flow through the entire collection.
Some pieces, such as “Letters That Flew” and “Tea by the Window,” bring to mind restless nights where you’ve stayed up pondering mistakes from years past or simply can’t sleep because you wonder if your tiny little life has any meaning. Others, such as “Rolling Dreams” and “Rude Lady,” show off Ivy’s acerbic wit. Whether the poem has a funny retort about slapping former President Nixon in a dream or is a snarky examination of a rude woman who has finally shown her true colors to the world in all her stuck-up glory, the variety in the author’s work will leave you riveted.
Living in 12-Tone and Other Poetic Forms is a soulful examination of life’s uncertainties and the joys that can be found in reflecting upon the inner wonders of the human mind.
Top image by Julie Jordan Scott.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, May 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
Ahh, the Swedes. I could go on a long diatribe right now about the musical genius of Swedish pop and how their focus on music education results in some of the best music being cranked out today, but why waste my breath (or, um, keywords) on telling you something you already know? Swedes + Music = Awesomesauce. Yes, we know the formula. And indie rock newbies Pale Honey are the newest ones to join the flock, releasing their self-titled debut album this month. With the exception of standout single “Youth,” their album is a lot quieter than you would expect, tapping into deeper emotions that are raw and self-deprecating but never immature. “Over Your Head” is a good example of the album’s overall sound, showing their strength at constructing careful songs that gradually build. Equal parts introspective and upbeat, it’s perfect for summer. You can stream the whole thing via YouTube.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, May 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows basically defines itself with its title. Simply put, it’s a collection of non-existent words that were created to express feelings of anguish, melancholy, and emotional pain. Yeah, this stuff’s pretty deep.
Words like “occhiolism,” which is defined as “the awareness of the smallness of your perspective” and “exulansis,” which is defined as “the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it” are only two of many words created by this thoughtful web presence.
While their focus is on creating a new language, the accompanying videos that are paired with these new words are just as compelling as the words themselves. Check out this one based on the word “avenoir” (which is “the desire to see memories in advance”), and tell me that you don’t suddenly have tears welling up in your eyes.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, May 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
I’ve mentioned John Green and The Fault in Our Stars before in passing. While I think Green’s YA novels are perhaps overrated, I loved TFiOS and like what it’s done for the YA genre. Hazel Grace Lancaster is no Bella Swan. Cancer isn’t just used as the dramatic backdrop of their teen romance, it was a way to focus on the existentialist dilemma we all face: that we don’t necessarily matter to the rest of the world, but what makes life, however long it is, worth living is at least mattering to each other. And for all the critique the book and movie have gotten regarding the myopia of sick-lit, I think it’s important that there’s a novel out there accessible to teens that confronts the issue that the terminally ill are still complete people rather than broken, false starts of a life.
While I adored Shailene Woodley in the movie adaption, I think Kate Rudd’s reading added a beautiful sensitivity to the already poignant story. She gives Hazel a sly humor, laced with chronic teenaged fragility and gives Augustus the slow drawl of a cocky teen nevertheless choosing his words very carefully to impress his crush.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Wednesday, May 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
Somehow Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” music video has gone living a relatively hidden life in the realm of music videos, which is crazy considering it stars Christopher Walken jamming out throughout the entire three minutes and fifty-two seconds of it. I really have no words for this music video, and I think my feeling of being speechless is exactly how Fatboy Slim wants someone to feel after witnessing this ridiculous video.
If you stick it out to the three minute mark you’ll even catch a few moments of Walken flying around the screen before the video comes to an all-too-soon ending. So obviously, make sure you stick it out. Now sit back, relax, and have yourself a laugh. How often do you catch Walken doing more than walkin’ anyway? Hah, sorry.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, May 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Amalia Carosella’s historical fiction novel Helen of Sparta recounts the tale of the famous Helen of Troy, but unlike other novels or movies based on her life, this one is different. Instead, Carosella’s Helen is a determined young woman who has been haunted by nightmares of a burning city ever since she was a little girl and learns that her dreams foretell an impending war that only she can prevent. In an attempt to keep thousands of people from dying, she flees from her home in the middle of the night and winds up meeting the ancient hero Theseus, who vows to protect her. Fleshed out in all its tragic glory, in this version of Helen’s story you get a chance to see the human underneath the mythological figure.
History and mythology meet in Helen of Sparta, although you don’t need to be a scholar on ancient Greece to enjoy the novel, as Carosella’s compelling heroine will keep you reading from the moment you open the book. Even with the cards stacked against her, Helen refuses to meekly obey her destiny and become a figurehead for a pointless war that she wants nothing to do with. Readers who enjoy well-rounded female characters will definitely be charmed by her willpower and determination to live life on her own terms!
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, May 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Kumi Yamashita makes art from light—or rather, the absence of it. Her innovative and inspiring shadow installations are some of the most impressive sculpture art to grace the 21st century. Often working with a scrambling of letters and numbers, Yamashita creates the profiles of ghost-like figures on solid white walls, making the spectator often feel both haunted and utterly entranced.
Born in Japan, and currently residing in New York City, Yamashita’s work has shown all over the world, and rightfully so. She has mastered the craft of light and dark, and chances are that once you see one of her installations in person, you’ll never forget it. Take a scroll through this gallery to see exactly what kind of spellbinding work she’s capable of—and take your time, because it’s all in the details.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, May 26th, 2015||No Comments »|