Art Works Blog

Notable Quotable

"I tend to write a lot of subtext. I leave a lot of space for subtext and I leave a lot of room on the assumption that an actor's going to fill that.... I can't just look at [my work] on the page and know what it's going to be. I need an actor to actually bring it to life and show...
"When those two things collide, the politicial forces of the world and the primal nature of one's own being, sparks fly, and, at least in the dramatic form, you have something that is hopefully quite provocative and interesting. And to me, that intersection of the primal and the political...
"The isolation of literary American readers from the wealth of work outside the U.S. is more than unfortunate. It seals us off not only from other ways of being and imagining, but from understanding ourselves and our own culture more deeply, if only by comparison. Conversely, literary...
"There is a reason that people seek out poetry, even if they’ve never read a poem in their lives, even if they think poetry is something totally esoteric or trivial or irrelevant. In the most powerful moments of our lives, in moments of love, passion, birth, death, marriage, all the...
"Speaking a poem by heart connects you to the Greater Conversation, whatever your sorrow or bliss, whoever your god. It also lowers your blood pressure." --JoAnn Balingit, Delaware Poet Laureate Need more reasons why you should get to memorizing? Click through for more musings on the...
“Nothing is beneath poetic notice--that's why nothing is too big for it.” -- Heather McHugh, NEA Literature Fellow Click through to read the complete interview with Heather McHugh by--wait for it--Heather McHugh! Can't get enough quotes about poetry? Visit the NEA Facebook page...
"We tend to underestimate the psychic costs of writing lyric poetry. It's already a dangerous effort that requires considerable amounts of character and self-awareness. And when we consider that the fear of coming to terms with one's own unique humanity is a major hazard in the writing...
"Many people come up to me and ask me how I play this jazz so good, you know? And they think I'm going to tell them something like it's in the hands or the heart or some nonsense like that. But I'm here to tell you, it ain't cosmic. It ain't super deep. And it ain't got...
"I believe that the artist can propose new perspectives and expand existing perspectives. The artist should act as a kind of mediator of a different culture and field to the public. I believe art can really do that, and at times can transcend past politics or cultural barriers. I believe a...
"Why do people need opera? To feel that they are people, human. Opera, like no other art form, 'talks, sings' to people using a language of noble emotions, without triviality, and teaches us important lessons without moralizing. The beauty of the music is intensified by acting, and the...

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