- “We believed that poetry, the opposite of propaganda, should encourage people to think and feel for themselves: it should appeal to their ‘generous instinct,’ as MacNeice said in the violent 1930s”: the New Statesman recently published this lecture by Northern Irish poet Michael Longley on the Troubles and the poetry that came out of it.
- Sarah Schweig’s essay on Jill Bialosky’s now-infamous memoir is spot-on in its critique of a poetry community that is leaving less room for art and constructive criticism and more for “self-expression” and politics.
- I really enjoyed B. D. McClay’s review of this strange, little-known German novel, about beauty’s power to unite people, and an idealistic pope who wants to canonize Bach.
- The Public Domain Review provided this handy list of authors whose works go into the public domain—in Canada and the EU—in 2018. Lots of interesting names, like René Magritte, Siegfried Sassoon, and Winston Churchill.
- And from Duke University, here are just some of the books, movies, and artworks that could have gone into the public domain in America if Congress wasn’t trying so hard to please Disney.
- Charles Dickens really, really didn’t like America, but since he mostly stayed around Washington, D.C., I can’t say I blame him.
- Also from Literary Hub is this essay on how the different shades of meaning in a poem reveal themselves in multiple translations.
Happy New Year!