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I Leave the Country for a Month and Drake Writes a Book of Poetry. Damn!
It's good to be back with a sneak preview of next week's post on the poetry of one Aubrey Drake Graham as well as a round-up of poetry and pop culture happenings to catch us up.
It’s good to be home!
For the last month or so I’ve been traveling in Europe for work and you’ve been enjoying unlocked posts from the PopPoetry archive in my absence. A real person writes this newsletter: Thank you for your grace and readership as I continue this passion project alongside my full-time work and parenthood. I’m very, very grateful to have you all as readers.
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Time to get down to business!
Next week I’ll be back with a post on Drake’s new book of poetry (what?!) which is still in transit to my home. Remember when I said I wasn’t a fancy influencer or media type who gets things early? This is one of those times I remember it, too. Thank you for your patience while I await and then grapple with this behemoth of poetry and pop culture!
For now, some bits and bobs to tide you over. Think of this as an XXL PopPoetry Postscript.
Poetry & Pop Culture Happenings
First and foremost, yeah: Drake (co-)wrote a book of poetry. The title! The subtitle! Everything about this is poised for a deep dive. We’re going to talk about first thought best thought. We’re going to talk about brevity. We’re going to talk about collaborations. It’s going to be awesome.
Trenchant cultural critic DJ Khaled has weighed in on Drake’s book: “The minute you think you figured out the boy, the man writes a book.”
Nick Cave is back with another musical work based on a poem, but this time it’s based on a poem he wrote himself.
Jazz icon Sun Ra’s poetry is recited by the likes of Tunde Adebimpe and Saul Williams on a new album titled My Words Are Music.
Dear god. Can you even imagine?!
PJ Harvey wrote an epic narrative poem. Then she turned it into an album. You can hear her discuss the process on All Things Considered.
Jericho Brown appears in a new PBS documentary series, Southern Storytellers, alongside other writers, actors, and luminaries.
Things I Read and Enjoyed This Week
I was late to the party on this one, but Blake Gopnik’s “The Supreme Court May Force Us to Rethink 500 Years of Art” was a great read. Unfortunately, the court later sided against the Warhol Foundation. I hate it here.
An oldie but goodie. It cropped up on Insta the other day but I can’t get that post to share.
Dorsey Craft, “Essay Against Metaphor” (Blackbird)
I know that Substack and Twitter are fighting (and I should probably log off that hellsite forever) but this.
After many years and many bouts of rejection, I’m finally transcending from the role of professional poetry book appreciator to book author. Pre-orders for my first book, Happy Everything, will be available later this year. From time to time, you’ll hear more about my work and the interviews, podcast, essays, and readings that I’ll do in order to support the book and my upcoming book tour.
Happy Everything contains tons of pop culture in its own right, and I hope you won’t mind hearing about my book’s publication later this year, and into the new year. Happy Everything will be published by Cornerstone Press in February 2024.
You can watch my author website for more details.