music

Illustration by Matt Manley

Happiness is a changing thing. One of the first statements on happiness I remember as a child came from watching reruns of the TV show Taxi. At one point, the Danny DeVito character, a cantankerous individual, surprises a love interest with the line: "Happiness is hard to come by in this life, and you have given me more than my share." Eight-year-old me tucked that one away, mulling it over now and then throughout life afterwards.

The phrasing alone makes the argument. The...

Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It needs receptors and the more the better. As writers we are used to reading to each other and to other readers. That is our comfort zone, preaching to the choir. Step out of it. Kick your way out if need be.

Writers tend to overlook the visual, the auditory, the kinetic experience when considering readings....

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

Lyrics:

I threw a wish in the well,

Don't ask me, I'll never tell

I looked to you as it fell,

And now you're in my way

Many cultures throughout history have regarded water, because of its vital necessity to human existence, as a sacred gift from the gods. The idea of a wishing well, a body of water which will grant wishes, comes from this...

Flashback to 1973. Rich Ives is a young student in the Creative Writing program at Eastern Washington University. He has stacks of photos he’s taken of various subjects (coeds, mainly, in abstract postures) and a freezer full of cheap corn dogs.  He plays keyboard in a rock blues band. We share an office as teaching assistants and travel the road with Professor Jim McAuley and Dick Hugo in the Poets...

My students often ask me about the difference between writing songs and writing poems.  They’re insistent -- so insistent – that they’re the same art form, and I always have to work to get them to stop thinking that way.  They’re related art forms, surely, perhaps closer to each other than poetry to the novel or short story, but they’re not the same, just as working with paint and working with colored markers aren’t the same to visual artists. Sure, we use the term “lyrics” for both the...

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