Murder, She Wrights Recommends Edgy Poetry Collection (Episode 3)

Murder, She Wrights Recommends Edgy Poetry Collection (Episode 3)

In this episode of Murder She Wrights, Erica Wright introduces one of her favorite poetry collections in translation, which is The Book of Things by Alex Šteger. Murder, She Wrights with Erica Wright is a video series that offers recommendations of books, stories, poems, and shows then uses those as inspirations for writing prompts.

You can think of these prompts as exercises or as jumping-off points. Don’t feel obligated to stick with the instructions. Instead, you can make them your own. And hopefully have fun along the way. To watch episode 1 and 2, please visit here and here.

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Transcription:

Hi everyone! I wanted to talk to you today about one of my favorite poetry collections in translation, which is The Book of Things by Alex Šteger, translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry. This book came out in 2010, and it’s one that I reread and revisit because the poems are so strong and this project is a little unusual. All the poems in this collection are either addressed to or about some sort of everyday object.

So if you look at the table of contents you have raisins, umbrella, knives. Let’s see, windshield wipers, paper clips. Really surprising subjects for poems, and he does so much with them. They’re not too far removed from Pablo Neruda odes if you’re familiar with that series, but there’s a real kind of cynical edge to these, and they have kind of razor sharp observations that you really wouldn’t expect.

I’ll just find one that I’ve marked to read to you quickly. There’s one, okay, so this is “Bread,” and at the very end. It is about bread and addressing, basically, the reader. “Yes, yes, he loves you, that is why he accepts your knife. / He knows that all his wounds crumble in your hands.” Really kind of a dark way to think about bread.

I’m getting a bit of a glare, but let me see if I can hold [the book] a little bit closer. So your writing prompt: choose some sort of pedestrian object, perhaps something even that’s in the room with you right now. I’ve got my favorite tea cup. My favorite fox tea cup or the lipstick I just use right before recording this video.

Find something right around you that you can use for this exercise, and I’d like for you to start a poem or a story or create an exercise in which you write about that object. See if you can think about it in an unusual way or just give it kind of some extra attention than you normally would in your everyday life. And I hope you have fun with this writing prompt. Thank you, as always, for watching.

Transcribed by Otter.

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To access the collection of essays by Erica Wright on fiction and poetry, please visit here. To subscribe to Murder, She Wrights video series by Erica Wright and another interviews and content by Mystery Tribune, please visit here.

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Famous in Cedarville, the latest mystery novel by Erica Wright is a diabolical mystery wrapped in Hollywood tinsel.

When reclusive, retired silver screen actress Barbara Lace dies in her bed, only the young widower of Cedarville suspects a crime. But Samson Delaware has always been something of an outsider, and his wife’s death hasn’t exactly improved his reputation. In fact, the local gossipmongers think he might be losing his mind. Their bless-your-heart manners can’t disguise their distrust, which makes his amateur attempts at an investigation even more difficult.

When Lace’s assistant is found decidedly murdered, the town starts to change its tune, though, and soon Samson finds himself in the thick of an improbable chase. Hollywood hotshots and small-town law enforcement make strange bedfellows—especially when secrets are getting women killed.

When Lace’s assistant is found decidedly murdered, the town starts to change its tune, though, and soon Samson finds himself in the thick of an improbable chase. Hollywood hotshots and small-town law enforcement make strange bedfellows—especially when secrets are getting women killed.

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