Creativity

Advice from Walt Whitman & W. B. Yeats Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of excerpts from the correspondence, notebooks, and interviews, with Walt Whitman; and a handful of excerpts from letters and memoirs of W. B. Yeats. For being such different poets, there's an awful lot of overlap, and it seems significant to include them in the same episode. The passage from Whitman can be found in the appendices of Gary Schmidgall's edition of Whitman's poems; the quotations from Yeats can be found in the first volume of R. F. Foster's biography of Yeats.  Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

John Keats: "The poet has no identity" Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of part of John Keats's letter of October 27, 1818, where he talks about the poet and the poetic character. The full text of the letter is here, and the actual letter can be viewed here.  Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

The Voice of Toni Morrison Human Voices Wake Us

I’ve gone through my favorite interviews with the novelist Toni Morrison and put together my favorite bits. I’ve gathered them into these segments: (:35) On love (parental, romantic, religious) (8:25) On childhood, family history, and being a parent and a writer (43:32) On race, writing in difficult political and social moments, and being more interested in good than evil (1:11:48) On writing in general, and specifically the writing of Beloved The interviews I’ve drawn from are these: Toni Morrison In Depth, on C-SPAN Toni Morrison on Charlie Rose in 1993, 1998, and 2015 Toni Morrison, interviewed by Junot Diaz Toni Morrison interview by Farah Jasmine Griffin at the 92nd Street Y Toni Morrison on NPR’s Fresh Air: in 2015, and a Retrospective Toni Morrison on BBC’s World Book Club Consider supporting Human Voices Wake us by clicking here: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Ezra Pound’s Advice to a Young Poet Human Voices Wake Us

A reading from the poet W. S. Merwin’s memoir, “The Mays of Ventadorn,” where he recalls meeting Ezra Pound in 1949, back when Pound was already legendary and infamous, and Merwin was just starting out.  Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0792265386/  Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Tonight I talk about the nature of horror/true crime books and movies to ask: what makes a story truly frightening, instead of just entertaining? What kinds of movies or books, or ways of storytelling, take us beyond entertainment to true horror, to actual fear? How does the disturbing story of Ed Gein end up, filtered through convention and expectation, as “standard” (even if classic) movies like Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs? Discussed along the way: Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, the new Netflix series on Jeffrey Dahmer, the movie The Exorcist, Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, the use of crime scene photos for advertising TV shows, and the unavoidable re-traumatization of victims and their families with each new show, book, movie (or, indeed, podcast). Please consider supporting Human Voices Wake us by clicking here. You can also support this podcast by going to wordandsilence.com and checking out any of my books. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Stephen King's Great Novel of Parenthood & Grief Human Voices Wake Us

Tonight I spent an hour talking about Stephen King’s 1983 novel, Pet Sematary, which seems to me one of the great expressions of the anxieties of being a parent. Please consider supporting Human Voices Wake us by clicking here. You can also support this podcast by going to wordandsilence.com and checking out any of my books. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Van Gogh: Starry Nights & Sunflowers Human Voices Wake Us

Tonight I read from Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith’s Van Gogh: The Life, from 2012, sharing the sections covering Van Gogh’s two Starry Night paintings, and his many paintings of sunflowers. Please consider supporting Human Voices Wake us by clicking here: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Emily Dickinson Human Voices Wake Us

Tonight I read from Brenda Wineapple’s wonderful book, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. If any listeners can recommend other books about Dickinson they have enjoyed, email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. Consider supporting Human Voices Wake us by clicking here: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Advice from Seamus Heaney // James Joyce's "Araby" Human Voices Wake Us

In tonight's episode, we hear from Seamus Heaney and James Joyce. In the first part, I read Heaney’s responses to general questions about writing poetry: his methods, his inspiration, his favorite time of day to write. These come from Dennis O’Driscoll’s Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney. In the second part (beginning at 35:15) I read James Joyce’s short story, “Araby.” The reading is prefaced by a few personal thoughts on Joyce, and includes an excerpt from Gabriel’s Yared’s score for the film The English Patient. I previously discussed Michael Ondaatje’s novel, Anthony Minghella’s movie, and Yared’s music for the film, in an early episode, Rereading the English Patient. Consider supporting Human Voices Wake us by clicking here. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Advice from Beethoven, Joseph Campbell, W. S. Merwin, W. D. Snodgrass Human Voices Wake Us

Here, with the help of a few quotations, I ask: should poets and writers be able to cook themselves a decent meal, or is a life of the mind (with a side of fast food) the best we can expect? Is it a relief to hear Beethoven admit that everything he did, outside of music, was wrong and stupid? And is it useful to tell younger poets that they should find anything to do other than poetry, since it will never be as fulfilling as they want it to be. Sometimes these are the best episodes, where quotations on creativity from a handful of people can be tossed around and thought about in real time. The main quotations discussed here come from Joseph Campbell (interviewed by Michael Toms), Beethoven (from Jan Swafford's biography), and the Paris Review interviews with W. S. Merwin and W. D. Snodgrass. You can join Human Voices Wake Us on Patreon, or sign up for our newsletter, by clicking here. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Loneliness, pt2 // Shakespeare, Sex & Sonnets Human Voices Wake Us

Another two part episode: The first is a brief sequel to an episode from last September, called Loneliness. (You can listen to that episode here) The second part (beginning at 19:19) is a reading from Peter Ackroyd’s biography of William Shakespeare—buy the book here. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

The Earliest Bookstores I Remember // Picasso's "Guernica" Human Voices Wake Us

Tonight’s episode is split into two parts: In the first, I take up a listener’s request to talk about my memories of bookstores; In the second, I read from two recent books about Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. The books I read from are Simon Schama's The Power of Art and John Richardson's Life of Picasso, Volume 4: The Minotaur Years. The second part of the episode begins at 45:08. Depending on the response, this might become a regular format for episodes going forward, putting two different episodes into one, simply for ease of listening. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Advice from Joan Didion, Stanley Kunitz, Billy Collins & Alice Munro Human Voices Wake Us

A return to a series of podcasts that I haven't done since last year, where I take a quotation from another writer/artist/etc. on creativity, and just talk about it. Today's quotes come from essayist/novelist, Joan Didion, the poets Stanley Kunitz and Billy Collins, and the short story writer, Alice Munro. Preceding this is a few minutes of talking about how important it seems to be for an artist to be associated with a certain place–Dickens with London, Robert Frost with New England, etc. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Seamus Heaney's Origin Story Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of interviews with Seamus Heaney, on his discovery and growth into poetry from boyhood through university. As usual, these remarks come from Dennis O’Driscoll’s book-length collection of interviews with Heaney, Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

How Did Picasso Do It? Human Voices Wake Us

Readings from a few books about Pablo Picasso, where he talks about how the power behind his own paintings, and his huge output, remained a mystery for him as much as anyone else. The first few quotations come from the huge Taschen book about Picasso that covers his entire life; the rest come from the multi-volume biography of Picasso by John Richardson: A Life of Picasso 1: The Prodigy: 1881-1906 A Life of Picasso 2: The Cubist Rebel: 1907-1916 A Life of Picasso 3: The Triumphant Years: 1917-1932 You can join Human Voices Wake Us on Patreon, or sign up for our newsletter, by clicking here Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Ted Hughes Responds to Fame Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of a letter written by the poet Ted Hughes, to friend and critic Al Alvarez, in November of 1971. At this time, Alvarez was publishing an intimate (and to Hughes's mind, exploitative) account of the 1963 suicide of the poet Sylvia Plath. The letter can be found in The Letters of Ted Hughes, pages 321-326.  I use this letter as a starting point to wonder why we treat the famous, or just the infamous, the way we do. The anecdotal knowledge of Ted Hughes's and Sylvia Plath's marriage and private life either turns the two of them into entertainment and anecdote, or it places the two of them onto the exaggerated plinths of Monster and Victim. This intrusion into private lives and private griefs, and the ease with which we, fifty years later, continue to lap up the gossip surrounding well-known people, and our own desire to turn people into symbols, should be an obvious parallel to Twitter and cable news. What if all of it just isn't any of our business? Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Ted Hughes's Origin Story Human Voices Wake Us

A reading from the letters of Ted Hughes, on how he came to discover a love for poetry, the natural world, as well as folklore and mythology, and how all three became intertwined and essential to his life. The poet in question, whose name I don't reveal until the end, is Ted Hughes. The letters I read from here can be found in Letters of Ted Hughes. If you can recommend a similar story about how anyone discovered their passion, and would like me to read from, email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Beethoven on His Deathbed Human Voices Wake Us

A reading from Jan Swafford's Beethoven: Anguish & Triumph, narrating the last months of Beethoven's life. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Poetry & Education in Eighth Century England Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of two chapters from Peter Ackroyd's book, Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination.  Chapter 5, "A Rare & Singular Bede," covers the life of the Venerable Bede, as well as education and culture in England in the eighth century. Chapter 14, "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes," is a brief look into Anglo-Saxon (aka Old English) poetry, and its continued life and reverberations in English poetry, through the present day. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Artlessness is a thing.  Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com.  I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Advice from Beethoven, Joseph Campbell, W. S. Merwin, W. D. Snodgrass Human Voices Wake Us

Here, with the help of a few quotations, I ask: should poets and writers be able to cook themselves a decent meal, or is a life of the mind (with a side of fast food) the best we can expect? Is it a relief to hear Beethoven admit that everything he did, outside of music, was wrong and stupid? And is it useful to tell younger poets that they should find anything to do other than poetry, since it will never be as fulfilling as they want it to be. Sometimes these are the best episodes, where quotations on creativity from a handful of people can be tossed around and thought about in real time. The main quotations discussed here come from Joseph Campbell (interviewed by Michael Toms), Beethoven (from Jan Swafford's biography), and the Paris Review interviews with W. S. Merwin and W. D. Snodgrass. You can join Human Voices Wake Us on Patreon, or sign up for our newsletter, by clicking here. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

The Poet Speaks: Flannery O'Connor, Jacques Barzun, Jean Guéhenno Human Voices Wake Us

The Poet Speaks will be a series of episodes where I share my favorite comments on creativity from other artists, poets, and writers.  The quotations from this episode come from: Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life Jean Guéhenno, The Diary of the Dark Years: 1940-1944 Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Hart Crane to His Father Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of a letter Hart Crane sent to his father in January of 1924. I don't know of a better attempt by a poet to explain his vocation to someone who will never understand it, than this.  The letter is found on O My Land, My Friends: The Selected Letters of Hart Crane, edited by Langdon Hammer & Brom Weber. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

The Poet Speaks: Da Vinci, Aiken, Meredith Human Voices Wake Us

The Poet Speaks will be a series of episodes where I share my favorite comments on creativity from other artists, poets, and writers. The quotations from this episode come from Serge Bramly's Leonardo: The Artist & the Man, and the Paris Review interviews with Conrad Aiken and William Meredith. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

The Poet Speaks: Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Lowell, Larkin, Paz Human Voices Wake Us

The Poet Speaks will be a series of episodes where I share my favorite comments on writing and creativity from other artists, poets, and writers. The quotations from this episode come from James Shapiro's 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear, and the Paris Review interviews with Robert Fitzgerald, Philip Larkin, Octavio Paz, and Robert Lowell. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Vermeer in Bosnia Human Voices Wake Us

A reading from Lawrence Weschler’s collection of essays, “Vermeer in Bosnia,” where a war-crimes trial judge finds some solace from his daily work by visiting Vermeer’s paintings at the Mauritshuis museum. Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0679777407 Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Poems for the Lonely & Creative Night Human Voices Wake Us

A reading of five poems from my (as yet unpublished) book, "School of Night." Each circle around the strange feeling of being awake and alone at night, and the creativity and paranoia that can result. Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support

Jung’s Great Dream Human Voices Wake Us

Jung’s Great Dream – A reading from Jung’s memoir of his famous house dream, that gave him his first inkling of what he would later call the “collective unconscious.”  Buy the books from this episode: Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” by C. G. Jung: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0679723951/  “A Life of Jung,” by Ronald Hayman: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FKTE24A/ Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com.  I assume that the small amount of work presented in each episode constitutes fair use. Publishers, authors, or other copyright holders who would prefer to not have their work presented here can also email me at humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com, and I will remove the episode immediately. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/humanvoiceswakeus/support