One of my favorite writers, activists and speakers.
John Trudell: It has been, literally, the most blood thirsty, brutalizing system ever imposed on this planet. That is not civilization. That’s the great lie – is that it represents civilization. That’s the great lie. Or if it does represent civilization, and that’s truly what civilization is, then the great lie is that civilization is good for us.
This film is from 2009 and from director Bobcat Goldthwait. I missed it because of a limited release. I most admired Robin Williams playing a frustrated writer and teacher in this dark comedy. Love the scenes in poetry class.
“I used to think the worst thing in life was ending up alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.”
I was interested to find this update on the Neruda exumation. Seems that he was not poisoned but family not satisfied or convinced according to a few articles.
In the next couple of days I want to post more of my notes from the Yale Writers’ Conference. Today though Sergio Troncoso sent his workshop students this great link to Jorge Luis Borges’ lectures on poetry and philosophy:
Jorge Luis Borges’ 1967-8 Norton Lectures On Poetry (And Everything Else Literary)
Reading about Pablo Neruda’s remains that are to be exhumed. It is alleged Pinochet’s regime poisoned the poet.
On Tuesday I had the fortune of attending a private screening of the inspirational documentary film I am a Visitor in Your World . The film was about Rebecca Babcock, a young writer and blogger diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 25. The film was a poignant account of her life and struggles and Rebecca’s story was so affecting. I liked the idea that her poetry from her blog was used as voiceover.
After the film there was a Q and A regarding the editing, cinematography and the music used in the film as well as commentary from Rebecca’s mother, Mary. The DVD is currently available at the filmmaker’s website.
I should be grading –writing workshop letters for my Lit 150 students–but I have to stop and listen to a new video of Tom O’Bedlam reading Charles Bukowski. Love his voice.
D and I attended a poetry reading last night by Natasha Trethewey at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential library and Museum in downtown Springfield. I had first heard a few interviews of her on NPR and also first heard of her from D. She read from her books Native Guard and Thrall. I was most struck by her confident voice and her thoughts on race and being seen as “illegitimate” as a person of mixed-racial background. She emphasized the idea of mixing the personal and the historical in her poetry.
This morning I’ve been reading her work at her poets.org page.
Poet Lisa Higgs, interviewed by her University of Illinois Springfield colleague Ted Morrissey, discusses her chapbook of sonnets, Lodestar (2011); the collection she’s currently writing; poetic craft; and the Vachel Lindsay Association, for which she serves as president. The interview took place in the historic Vachel Lindsay Home, originally built in the 1840s.