The 24th March 2011 was author, artist and Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 92nd birthday. He’s long been one of my favourite poets. I’ve picked up collections of poetry from around the world as I’ve travelled.
This poetry reading is from April 2007, when he previewed selections from Poetry as Insurgent Art. The duration is 42 minutes, and we also get a brief excerpt from a conversation with author Kurt Vonnegut.
You’ll find the downloadable podcast here.
Also an Youtube interview with him.
“…We all have, tucked away
deep within us, an assortment of “quieter” thoughts and feelings: old memories,
half-forgotten dreams, disappointments and wounds that never fully healed —
such whispering strands of our hidden selves were tucked away in the “shadow”
or the basement the mind. That stuff normally eludes our awareness, so focused
we are on the immediate pressing matters of the moment, even if such “pressing
matters” are no more momentous than deciding whether to eat lunch at home or at
Chipotle. So one of the gifts of a disciplined prayer practice of intentional
silence, offered to God as a form of wordless praise, is that it gives us the
opportunity to listen deeply to those whispery thoughts and feelings deep
within. Why? To acknowledge them, to heal them when necessary, or even to
revive those half-forgotten dreams if the present is a more auspicious time for
pursuing them. But in all cases, deep listening is a means whereby we can offer
the fullness of our being to God — from the rush of conscious feelings and
ideas, to those barely audible echoes of the past — so that we may be healed,
loved, and transformed by the grace of the Spirit…
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian Novelist. In 2009 she gave a TED talk which I recently stumbled across. Here’s the promo for it:
“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
Inspired by Nigerian history and tragedies, all but forgotten by recent generations of westerners, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels and stories are jewels in the crown of diasporan literature.
“In 1996, following the
success of his band's ninth studio album, Murder Ballads, word reached Nick
Cave that he had been nominated for an MTV Award, as Best Male Artist.
That nomination was soon withdrawn, however, as a result of the following rejection
letter from Mr. Cave to the event's organisers.” ~ Shaun Usher.
like to start by thanking you all for the support you have given me over recent
years and I am both grateful and flattered by the nominations that I have
received for Best Male Artist. The air play given to both the Kylie Minogue and
P. J. Harvey duets from my latest album Murder Ballads has not gone unnoticed
and has been greatly appreciated. So again my sincere thanks.
that, I feel that it's necessary for me to request that my nomination for best
male artist be withdrawn and furthermore any awards or nominations for such
awards that may arise in later years be presented to those who feel more
comfortable with the competitive nature of these award ceremonies. I myself, do
not. I have always been of the opinion that my music is unique and individual
and exists beyond the realms inhabited by those who would reduce things to mere
measuring. I am in competition with no-one.
relationship with my muse is a delicate one at the best of times and I feel
that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile
to me with the gift of song and in return I treat her with the respect I feel
she deserves — in this case this means not subjecting her to the indignities of
judgement and competition. My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and
if indeed she was, still I would not harness her to this tumbrel — this bloody
cart of severed heads and glittering prizes. My muse may spook! May bolt! May
abandon me completely!
again, to the people at MTV, I appreciate the zeal and energy that was put
behind my last record, I truly do and say thank you and again I say thank you
but no...no thank you.
Thanks to Barry Taylor for bringing the book and Nick Cave letter to my
Today an interesting conversation with Chris Clay on science education. I was particularly struck by the approach; the underlying philosophy of education. I can think of a couple of people who bring significant creativity and imagination into formal theological education, but I wonder would it take to do something similar with theological education, helping our congregations bring theology into their everyday lives…the challenges and opportunities of their everyday lives…?
Also, an interesting NZ story about brain injuries and those in our prisons. “…Ministry of Health figures show 64 per cent of prisoners have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), compared with just 2 per cent of the general population…” This takes me back to a conversation I had a month ago with a psychologist colleague about how we change and grow as adults, brain plasticity, behaviour and about prisoner rehabilitation
Today a written interview with Jamie Smith under the evocative (or some
might say “provocative”) title: You
Can’t Think Your Way to God. Here’s an excerpt:
worry about "the chronological snobbery that disdains the old as so five
minutes ago" and constantly pursues "fresh expressions."
I'm worried that we absorb a
sensibility from secular liturgies that makes us buy the story that our
salvation is in novelty. It's not the sensibility we need to revitalize North
American Christianity. The postmodern future of the church is in remembering
things that we've forgotten. I am entirely indebted to the late Robert Webber's
vision of "ancient future faith." I'm just trying to dig down into
the philosophical and theological roots of his intuition.
You describe Christian
belief as the way we navigate the world—not what we confess. How do those two
I wrote that in a context
where I engage social theorist Pierre Bourdieu. He had an expansive notion of
belief. He thinks your body believes things that your mouth could never
articulate. The orthodox Christian tradition was launched with the Incarnation
of God in Christ, the apostolic witness, and the Scriptures. But we inherit
that rule of faith in two ways: first, in the creeds and confessions of the
church (the articulated, explicit aspects of the faith), and second, in the
liturgical heritage that hands down the know-how of the faith—our practices,
our disciplines, our liturgical forms. Ideally, there's a feedback loop between
those two things. If you had just the creeds and confessions without the
practices of Christian worship, you would never get the full inheritance of
what the Spirit has passed on to us. That inheritance is not owned by
Constantinople or Rome or Canterbury. Rather, it is a common universal heritage
of the body of Christ that can be renewed for any who call themselves
Today, two fascinating conversations around brain plasticity,
neuroscience, and self-directed brain change. The conversations are between Sounds True’s Tami Simon & Dr Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist.
In Part 1, Simon
speaks with Hanson about the ways we can “install” positive brain states as
lasting traits; how we can respond in situations when we feel our basic needs
are threatened; and the three ways of working with unpleasant experiences—letting
be, letting go, and letting in. In Part 2 speaks they talk about how we can
move from a “red” reactive state to a “green” state of calm… and his vision for
how healthy brains can change the state of our world.
One of my favourite Australian novelists was interviewed last Thursday (aired Friday). His name is Tim Winton. It’s an interesting interview, and I’m looking forward to taking his latest novel down from the shelves later in the year after I’ve finished other novels, which I have on the go. Nice to hear that Flannery O’Connor (another favourite) was formative for him. Interview lasts just over 30 minutes.
“Acclaimed Australian author Tim Winton has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for 'The Riders' and 'Dirt Music'. His book of short stories 'The Turning' has been made into a film which is about to be released in New Zealand cinemas. He talks about writing, his love of western Australia, and his latest novel 'Eyrie' - the story of Tom Keely, who is divorced, unemployed and living in a seedy flat at the top of a Fremantle high-rise block.”