Slam Poet Performs at Cornell

Award-winning spoken word poet Porsha “O” Olayiwola was invited Thursday to speak at a “Freedom Interrupted” lecture.

MEISEL | Addressing a Canonical Conspiracy

And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead is a documentary about the American Beat poet Bob Kaufman, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Billy Woodberry. It was first released in Portugal last fall, but it will start showing at the MoMA this Friday. Although I haven’t seen it, what I can glean from reviews is that it is an honest attempt to make a substantial, non-fictional account of Kaufman’s life — which was a tough one in many ways. This profound aspect of the film is enough to merit approval, or at the very least, foster significant interest. Bob Kaufman’s poems are unique.

Understanding Celebrity News with Robert Frost

“…I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again…”

“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost

What does Robert Frost have to do with Joaquin Phoenix? Precious little at first glance. And yet he may have everything to do with explaining, in part, our obsession with celebrities.

Why do so many of us Americans find celebrities fascinating enough to read and talk about? I believe that when future anthropologists study today’s popular culture, they will find the obsession with the lives of actors, musicians, politicians, and other famous figures to be a complex phenomenon.