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Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Menashe’

The Dead Preside

August 29, 2012 | by

A few months ago, the first poetry reading I ever attended in New York came back to haunt me, almost literally. I was folding laundry on a Sunday night, listening to iTunes on shuffle, when a ghostly, familiar voice issued out of my speakers, interrupting the music. Soft, deeply resonant, and a little like Boris Karloff—or more precisely, Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s impersonation of Boris Karloff on “The Monster Mash”:

Samuel Menashe here. On June 19, in the year two thousand and one. In the city of New York, where I was born on September 16, in the year nineteen hundred and twenty-five. I am reading a selection of my poems from a book called The Niche Narrows.”

This time capsule–like announcement introduced a series of poems recorded by Menashe in some hermetic sound booth for the CD New and Selected Poems, released by Rattapallax Press in 2000. And listening to them gave me the most wonderfully uncomfortable feeling I’ve had since—well the last time I’d heard Samuel Menashe read. Which was more than five years ago. Read More »

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On the Shelf

August 24, 2011 | by

James Joyce by Alex Ehrenzweig, 1915.

A cultural news roundup.

  • New York poet Samuel Menashe has died at 85.
  • James Salter wins the Rea Award for short fiction.
  • Would Joyce have tweeted? One biographer thinks so.
  • BookLamp: it’s like Pandora, for books.
  • “Writing about sports the way that smart people talk about sports is a simple idea, and a good one.”
  • E-books, now with sound tracks.
  • “Now the fact that the president of the United States apparently doesn’t read women writers is not the greatest crisis facing the arts, much less the nation—but it’s upsetting nevertheless. As I suspect Obama would agree, matters of prejudice are never entirely minor, even when their manifestations may seem relatively benign.”
  • Publishing is experiencing an upswing. But are there too many books being published already?
  • The Berlin library will return books confiscated  during the Third Reichincluding a Communist Manifesto that may have belonged to Friedrich Engels.
  • Google celebrates Borges.
  • Being immortalized by Julia Roberts isn’t enough to save one London bookshop.
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