Check out this new video for Maya Angelou’s track “Pickin’ ‘Em Up,” off the recently released album, Caged Bird Songs. Named after her 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the album combines Angelou’s vocal performances with rad hip-hop and funk beats. Angelou’s grandson, Colin Johnson, told NPR that he hopes this blend will appeal to younger generations. "One of the things that she speaks to, for me at ... Read More
There is still no word about the fate of the Nina Simone biopic that premiered at Cannes this year despite controversy and criticism. But don’t stop feelin’ good, because there is another way to bask in the legacy of the fine, honest, powerful singer and activist. Verve Records will release a tribute album November 10 that features ten contemporary artists conjuring Simone’s ghost through her music.
One of those artists is the lovely Lianne La ... Read More
BY Samantha Albala
on Sep 25, 2014
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann was just published this week so now I can hold it in my arms and sing and dance out of joy! Heppermann is no stranger to the book world, she is a long time reviewer and this is her second book, first of poetry. Although this YA poetry book is listed for ages 14 and up, it appeals to a greater mass of readers because it retells some of our favorite sexist and poorly cast fairytales, but also ... Read More
BY Samantha Albala
on Sep 11, 2014
Breaking Poems is a blog created by a former journalist Sara Cress from Houston, who creates poems that are "Ripped From The Headlines." Fusing together two of the coolest sources for knowledge, poetry and breaking news. Sara started the project this year and is only just starting to gain momentum on her headline-inspired works. Scroll through and see some poignant and beautiful story-poem hybrids that you may remember from the papers this past year. Her pieces ... Read More
BY Emma Tilden
on Jul 17, 2014
At just before 7 PM on Saturday evening, a friend and I arrived at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café. We were left in no doubt that we’d reached the right place: a huge mural of a man’s face before a microphone stretches across the façade. We bought tickets at the door and hurried into the café, wanting to get seats before the lights dimmed and “Call Me Crazy: Diary of a Mad Social Worker,” the one woman play ... Read More
BY Amy Carlberg
on Jun 25, 2014
Moments after Jillian Weise left the stage of a poetry festival for which I volunteered, she pressed a copy of her recent poetry collection, The Book of Goodbyes, into my hands without payment. It's inscribed with one simple instruction: "Set the world on fire." It's a brilliant manifesto for a young woman of any discipline, and one that punches through every line of Weise's poetry. I asked her a few questions about new words, cyborgs, and burning the patriarchy ... Read More
Patty Griffin’s latest album American Kid was released a year ago. Since then she’s been touring to promote. Patty and her kick ass band came around again to NYC for 2 shows and I was lucky enough to go to her Music Hall of Williamsburg gig this past Friday night.
Ms. Griffin and company held the audience captive for 90 minutes with selections from Patty’s catalogue as well as a few surprise numbers. If I had to use one word to describe Ms. ... Read More
BY Oriana Asano
on May 22, 2014
Writing good poetry requires talent, but being able to deliver at Poetry Slams and bring people to tears is another thing entirely. A performance done by a woman named Samantha Peterson called “Dead Men Can’t Catcall” is floating around the web right now among my friends. After hearing the title, I knew I had to watch and share it. She performed this piece at CUPSI (College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational) this year at Finals. During her ... Read More
BY Andrea Stopa
on Apr 28, 2014
Spoken word is an incredible art, combining poetic verse and performance in a gutsy display of intelligence and emotion. It takes a true artist to stand behind a microphone and move an entire room with imaginative word choice and a punch-you-in-the-gut-powerful delivery.
From the article "Spoken Word Poetry: Hold Onto that History" from the Black Youth Project website:
"Visceral, in your face, in your ears, in your snapping fingers, and tapping feet, ... Read More
BY Andrea Stopa
on Apr 15, 2014
When we talk about Harry Potter and JK Rowling, it is largely with high praise. Rowling is a powerful female author and creator of an entire fantasy world that has inspired countless people of all ages across the globe.
That's all fine and dandy, but Rachel Rostad wants to cut the shit and be the one to say what others won't, and highlight the series' lack of dynamic characters of color. Just listen to what she has to say:
Omg she is such a ... Read More