Niall O'Sullivan

high brow, low brow, none of that stuff in the middle

Allen Ginsberg – Ah! Sunflower

When I started out as a lecturer, one aspect of modern academic life disconcerted me. As I fumbled through my sophomore powerpoint presentations, I noticed that most students’ faces were illuminated by their laptop and tablet screens. I soon learned the difference between the attentive frowns of those that were making lecture notes and the […]

August Kleinzahler – Sleeping it off in Rapid City

In the last post we looked at how an all pervading sense of decorum, reverence and importance impeded a Derek Walcott poetry reading. In this post we look at how a similarly renowned poet manages to overcome these stifling conventions. August Kleinzahler’s reading takes place at Harvard University. It is part of the Phi Beta […]

John Berryman: Dream Song 29

This performance of Dream Song 29 by John Berryman defies many of the metrics I have claimed make a good poetry reading: Dial down your intensity when performing in an intimate setting. Try to minimise distracting physical gestures and tics. Don’t drink too much before reading, in fact, try not to drink at all. For […]

Trumpigram, the poetic form for the post-truth era

I recently watched this video from The Nerdwriter on YouTube about the tweets of Donald Trump. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time if you haven’t already watched it. Part of its conclusions can be condensed to this: tweets from Donald Trump’s account that share links are probably composed by his staff. Tweets […]

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  • insta-haiku (hover over picture to see the poem)


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