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Friday, June 27, 2014

Contained Chaos: 3 Podcast Recommendations

I've recently listened to episodes on ***three different podcasts*** I'd like to recommend to you.

1) New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam recently interviewed poet Rick Barot. Among the interesting things Barot said was that poets need to balance the principle of order with the principle of disorder in a contained chaos that makes a poem interesting and effective.

He stressed the importance of remembering that ordering some element or elements of a poem can kill the emotional vigor of the piece if not counterweighted with disorder, which can be achieved in an unexplained leaping between ideas, for example. On the flipside, all chaos without any ordering principle makes a piece disparate and risks excessive interiority or obscurity. It's the tension between the two that Rick Barot counsels poets to strive to find in every poem, not neglecting one principle in favor of the other.

Good advice, no matter which principle you naturally lean toward. Enjoy the whole episode.

2) Skylight Books Reading Series recently featured visual artist Danielle Krysa (the popular blogger of The Jealous Curator) talking about her new book Creative Block: Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists. Krysa discusses her own creative block and how she attempted to solve it by beginning her blog, thus discovering that studying others' art simultaneously inspired and discouraged her. So she contacted artists and asked them about their experiences with creative block, and it turns out at just about all of them have had periods of self-doubt and inability to work. So she put together this book, which is instructive for any creative type, visual or otherwise.

Krysa is charming; enjoy both the podcast episode and her blog, a place where I have lost countless hours.

3) NPR's Ask Me Another quiz show this week featured erudite musical group They Might Be Giants, singing (Don't Hate the Villain) Hate the Villanelle. The whole quiz show is, as usual, highly amusing and worth listening to, but if you just want the song, you can watch it on YouTube or on Vimeo. (The Vimeo sound is a bit better. Or listen on iTunes to the entire episode, for the best recording.) Enjoy!

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