Showing all posts tagged: poetry

Write Emily Dickinson poems with 90s-style game EmilyBlaster

4 July 2022

EmilyBlaster video game screenshot

EmilyBlaster is a game developed by characters in Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, the latest novel by Los Angeles based American author Gabrielle Zevin, which is being published by Penguin Random House tomorrow, 5 July 2022.

This isn’t something we see every day, a device, or object, featured in a work of fiction that becomes actual or tangible. The object of the game is pretty simple, all the more so if you’re familiar with the work of nineteenth century American poet Emily Dickinson. To succeed a player needs to shoot words appearing on the screen in the correct order, to form one of Dickinson’s poems, which is shown before the game begins.

My accuracy level was — let’s say — nothing to write home about, but maybe you’ll fare better. The game itself — by the sounds of things — is one of many produced by Sam Masur, and Sadie Green, who collaborate successfully while still studying at university in Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow:

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Zevin says EmilyBlaster is one of the first games she devised in the novel, which she intended be simple yet effective:

It’s the simplest game in the book, and I needed it to be convincingly something a clever college student might be able to make on limited resources and time in the 1990s. The game was inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson and by edutainment games of the 1980s, like Math Blaster!


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Time is a Mother, By Ocean Vuong

17 May 2022

Time is a Mother, By Ocean Vuong bookcover

Time is a Mother (published by Penguin Random House, 5 April 2022), is a collection of poetry written by Northampton, Massachusetts based Vietnamese writer Ocean Vuong, following the death of his mother in 2019.

In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, Vuong’s poems circle fragmented lives to find both restoration as well as the epicenter of the break.

Isabella Cho writing for The Harvard Crimson, says Vuong channels fear to bring forth this bold new collection of work:

The finale of Vuong’s sprawling poetic vision is at once dangerous and peaceful, elegiac and triumphant. Vuong’s text pulses with an attentiveness to fear. It is through this emotion that he renders such luminous meditations on his life, and of the people who have come to change it. Vuong fears, which is to say, he refuses to not love.


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Stella Prize longlist 2022, a good year for poetry

1 March 2022

Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen, book cover

Unlike the Miles Franklin Literary Award, which honours only works of fiction by Australian writers, the Stella Prize recognises writing across all genres, be it fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, graphic novels, biographies, historical writing, short story collections, novellas, and poetry.

In addition to the fiction and non-fiction works named on the Stella Prize longlist for 2022, Stone Fruit by Montreal, Canada based Australian cartoonist Lee Lai becomes the first graphic novel to be included on the longlist.

But it is the poets who have a made a mark this year, claiming four of the twelve slots on the longlist. Take Care by Eunice Andrada, Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen (cover featured above), Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki, and The Open by Lucy Van, are all in contention for the prize.

If one of the poetry titles wins, or Lai’s graphic novel, it will be a first for the Stella. A shortlist consisting of six titles will be unveiled on 31 March 2022.


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Emerging Poets Mentorship 2022

16 November 2021

Applications are open for the Emerging Poets Mentorship, which will be hosted online early in 2022, by the Stella Prize’s Virtual Writer in Residence, afshan d’souza-lodhi.

Run by Stella’s Virtual Writer in Residence, afshan d’souza-lodhi, the mentorship is open to an emerging woman or non-binary poet based in Melbourne, and seeks to support them in developing an unpublished collection of poetry.



The T. S. Eliot Prize 2021 poetry shortlist announced

15 October 2021

The 2021 shortlist for the T. S. Eliot Prize for poetry has been announced. The winner, who will be named in January 2022, will receive £25,000, while the nine runners up will each pocket £1,500. It’s good to see the efforts of poets that may usually go unrecognised, being recognised.


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