Richard Jeffrey Newman's Miscellany


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And because I am almost always reading more than one book at a time, I’m also currently reading: Death Fugue by Sheng Keyi 📚, a dystopian satire banned in China for alluding to Tiananmen Square. Translated by Shelly Bryant.

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Currently reading: The Moral Judgement of Butterflies by K. Eltinaé 📚. A lovely, powerful meditation on exile, loss, love, and the self. I’m about halfway through. I highly recommend this book of poems. @keltinae

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Monday Morning Music

Woody Guthrie - Union Burying Ground

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“Love connects us to what is larger than us and to what is larger within us than we thought we could hold.”

First sentence of a blurb I wrote earlier today for a book of poems that I hope will get a substantial readership.

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More from the arboretum.

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At The Planting Fields Arboretum in Nassau County yesterday.

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The same squirrel, ready to go dancing!

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Just playing with portrait mode and photo editing on my iPhone.

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This guy came to say hello while was sitting in the garden. I’ll take it as a sign of something. The poem I’m working on is about squirrels.

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The cynicism in the right’s use of the concept of “grooming” to defend Don’t Say Gay laws should be seen as a slap in the face, if not a call to action, by every sexual assault survivor, particularly survivors of childhood sexual violence, in the United States.

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The click, click, click of an essay’s logic falling into place; the ticking of the clock as the time you’ve set aside for making those revisions today gets ever shorter.

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The way your ear has to shift when you move from revising poetry to revising prose.

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Digging today–to prepare for submission–into an essay that unpacks the first time I spoke out publicly as a survivor of childhood sexual violence. Sends me back to the 1990s, when my agent–who eventually had no choice but to drop me–pitched the book I was writing for a year, alway with the same response: “Great writer, but men’s books don’t sell.”

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I just love it when a poet–and one about whom I have, ahem, serious questions–gets in touch after years of silence in a tone that implies they deserve a featured spot in my reading series. #poetrycommunity

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Monday Morning Music

Children of Sanchez

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I wonder how it can be that global knowledge of these anticipated crimes—against international law, human rights, and the environment—does not help to stop them but instead becomes a pretext for new warnings.

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Took me almost an hour to find a parking space and now I need to unwind a bit before I go to bed…at 1:30 AM.

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Flower Friday

with butterfly

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Writing a poem can be therapeutic, but it is not therapy.

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First poem in Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. I remember reading it as a boy and the pleasure it gave me, especially how the illustrations matched the poems. I think I’d forgotten this book as an early influence in my becoming a poet.

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Saw Bullet Train last night. It’s a stupid movie. It’s supposed to be a kind of satire, I guess, and I know it’s based on a book, but it felt like a really bad ripoff of Kill Bill.

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Monday Morning Music

War Pigs

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Finished reading: It’s about Time by Barry Wallenstein 📚

Reading this book is like having an extended conversation with a good and wise friend, someone you can talk to about just about anything, who says what he has to say straightforwardly, without unnecessary adornment, and leaves you always with truly satisfying food for thought.

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Starting to put the publicity together for the First Tuesdays 2022-2023 season, the tenth since I took it over in 2012, and I am excited for this lineup:

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The clouds look like a mountain range behind Manhattan’s skyline.