| Jan 9, 2014
| 9:34 AM
Almost exactly halfway through Randall Mann’s third collection of poetry, “Straight Razor” (Persea: 68 pp., $25.95 paper), there’s a poem that stirred an inadvertent smile. Not because it’s funny but because it almost...
| Jan 8, 2014
| 7:00 AM
If you listen closely to her, she still speaks like a poet — just not the poet she was before.
She sounds more like, say, Gertrude Stein, a free-associating poet who juggles and feints, making verbs serve as nouns and treating syntax like a...
| Jan 1, 2014
| 3:00 AM
Valeriano Gomez was standing on a festival stage cradling his black guitar as fans spread out before him, waiting for the count-off, the downstroke, the next electric blast.
Gomez and his group wore matching woolen ponchos, dyed jet black, that made...
| Dec 29, 2013
For the last couple of years I have been writing a love letter to the love letter, a pleasurably nostalgic if doomed task. I've been pondering what we stand to lose if we abandon pen and stamps forever and just stick to email and social media. How much...
| Dec 28, 2013
| 7:00 AM
One of the most beguiling folk records of the year has the bonus of ferrying along a Joel and Ethan Coen plot line. The songs within the brothers' new "Inside Llewyn Davis" move from balladry to blues to ancient British folk, adding an extra layer of...
| Dec 27, 2013
| 10:00 AM
Baghdad is a city that looms large in the American imagination. In 2003, at the start of the last Iraq war, it was occupied by U.S. troops. In the years that followed, thousands of U.S. citizens (soldiers, contractors, officials and journalists) passed...
| Dec 26, 2013
| 8:32 AM
Google has removed Rap Genius from the top of its search results after it was discovered that the popular music lyrics website was trying to trick the tech giant into giving it better search rankings.
Now, when users search for "Rap Genius" on Google...
| Dec 8, 2013
| 8:00 AM
When Richard Blanco became the inaugural poet this year, he was the first Latino, the first immigrant, the first openly gay person and the first engineer to serve in that role. Blanco describes the life-changing experience in his new book, "For All of Us,...
| Dec 20, 2013
| 10:37 PM
The winter solstice may mark the longest night of the year, but for Iranians, it's also known as Shab-e Yalda, a celebration with ancient ties that commemorates the triumph of Mithra, the Sun God, over darkness.
Feasting on fresh fruits from the...
| Dec 21, 2013
"There's a rhythm to it, the way she works the masa," Cynthia Gonzalez says quietly. Her mother, Dora, carefully stirs a large pot of masa for tamales over the stove. It's smooth as custard and lightly fragrant as it begins to bubble.
| Dec 14, 2013
| 11:00 AM
NEW YORK — Anyone who has ever puzzled over the age-old question why do the Brits seem to do Shakespeare so much better than the Yanks? should hot-foot it to Broadway, where an answer can be found in a pair of performances by the English virtuoso...