Hemingway, Darwin, Joyce, Tesla and Picasso were all remarkably different in their temperament and creative output, but they had one thing in common: a successful routine. From Franklin’s solitary nude reading hour to Picasso’s silent lunch gatherings, the outstanding rituals and habits that created genius are as fascinating as they are unexpected. Combing through over 160 accounts of creative minds, Mason Currey’s new book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” uncovers the daily almanac of history’s most eccentric, troubled and genius figures. Mason’s writing has appeared in Slate, Print, and Metropolis, where he was an editor for six years.
It's been ten years since Augusten Burroughs' memoir Dry was published. In that decade, the author of Running With Scissors has gotten married, stayed sober, and written a self-help book, This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't, now out in paperback.
We may associate canes with old age and physical decline, but 150 years ago the cane held a much more dashing and flamboyant place among the fashionable elite. Wildly decorated and splendidly diverse, canes were associated with prestige, power, and youth, and were extremely trendy. The demand for canes made of allspice wood nearly drove the West Indian trees into extinction. Here to discuss the 19th century version of twenty-two inch rims is Wayne Curtis, a freelance journalist who has written for The Atlantic, Preservation, and Down East magazines. We found his recent article, “Pimp My Walk” on The Smart Set blog.
Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO hit series Girls, recently signed 3.5 million dollar book contact for a memoir. When published, Dunham’s book will share shelf space with bestsellers like Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir and Heather McDonald’s My Inapropriate Life: Some Material Not Suitable For Small Children, Nuns Or Mature Adults. Part humor, part memoir, books in this category are almost always written by women and openly explore sex, drinking and even mental illness in a brazen and unrepentant manner. And readers, especially those that are not offended easily, are snapping them up.
Jean Railla, a writer and cultural observer is here to tell us more.
Related: Gawker's viral blog about Lena Dunham's book deal.
Throughout her career the poet Sharon Olds has been asked if her poems were true or autobiographical. There are poems about mothering and domesticity and eroticism filled with personal details and described with remarkable directness and insight. Sharon Olds has rejected the auto-biographical characterization and resisted talking about her life while her children were young, and her parents were alive. She even kept the disillusion of her 32 year marriage from the public; waiting more than a decade to publish Stag's Leap, a collection of poems that is being praised as the best book of her career, and earlier this month won the Pullitzer Prize for poetry.
For the past 25 years, New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College has hosted a celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday with period music, theatrical renditions, and public readings of all 154 of the bard's famously melancholic and romantic sonnets. Ryan Lessard brings us this audio postcard.
VIDEO: The New England based band Darlingside has long been a favorite here at Word of Mouth, so on their recent visit to a song writing and music business summit at the Concord Community Music School, we invited them to play a few tunes live in Studio D. Afterwards producer Zach Nugent sat down to chat with guitarist Don Mitchell and drummer and Concord area native son Sam Kapala.
Production help from Logan Shannon and Taylor Quimby
Tom Gauld's cartoon panels have been described as bleak, minimalist, sweet and funny. The London-based cartoonist and illustrator draws a weekly cartoon for The Guardian newspaper’s book review section, and has cracked the US market with comic strips in The New York Times Magazine. A new collection of those strips called, You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, will be released in the US on April 30th.
Gabriel Kahane made his recital debut as a composer and performer at Carnegie Hall, played piano for Mark Morris Dance Company, premiered a song cycle with John Adams conducting the LA Philharmonic, and performed his “Craigslistlieder” at a number of New York City bars. It’s little wonder the NY Times called Gabriel Kahane a one-man cultural Cuisinart. He’ll be mixing it up Friday, April 19th at the HOP with the premiere of “Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States”. It’s the culmination of two years as composer-in-residence with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Heather Maloney's music has been described as “adventurous folk", pushing the boundaries of the folk genre with lush, full-band arrangements and playful vocal runs. Heather visited the NHPR studios last week to play a few songs and chat with producer Zach Nugent about music, spirituality, and being partial to ramblers. She will be playing at The Big Room in Barrington New Hampshire on April 20th and at The Music Hall in Portsmouth on May 17th.