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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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`The books that help her through’: Winfrey suggests seven

NEW YORK — With Election Day approaching and the pandemic ongoing, Oprah Winfrey is setting aside her usual book club recommendations and instead citing seven personal favorites, ranging from James Baldwin's landmark essays in “The Fire Next Time” to Mary Oliver's poetry collection “Devotions.”

Water cooler: Poets to read in a time of political strife

During times of political strife people look to thinkers, leaders, helpers and especially artists. Not only do artists capture and expressively reflect ideas of the time, but they can offer humanity, guidance and healing. Here are a few poets to look for inspiration, catharsis and restoration during these times.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Black Belt’

How much pain and anger can a good poet pack into just a few words? A lot in this 15-word haiku by Laura Foley from her 2019 collection of poems from Headmistress Press titled “Why I Never Finished My Dissertation,” her seventh book. Foley lives in Vermont.

Locally Writ: Local poet Irv Broughton releases two latest poetry collections

Spokane Falls Community College professor Irv Broughton’s latest poetry collections, “Feilding the Cap Cod Past” and “The Fires of Tangerine,” are filled with memories from his east coast childhood. “Harvesting the past,” Broughton looks back on the many adventures of his idyllic adolescence and the writers he met along the way. 

American Life in Poetry: ‘Lip’

Karla Huston, Wisconsin’s poet laureate in 2017 and 2018, lives in Appleton. She’s published several books and chapbooks and does the good work of reviewing poetry for various journals.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Fayetteville Junior High’

How fascinated a young person can be with the secret lives of his or her teachers. I left junior high – middle school today – more than 60 years ago, but still I occasionally wonder about the private lives of my teachers.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Center Café’

I’ve shared with you a couple of poems from the anthology “Local News: Poetry About Small Towns” from MWPH Books in Fairwater, Wisconsin. Here’s another, by Mark Vinz, who lives in Minnesota.

American Life in Poetry: ‘At the Dentist’s’

I’m sticking my neck out here, but I suspect this is the first poem in history to picture a group of children making a practice visit to a dentist. And such a touching picture it is.

American Life in Poetry: ‘Game Prayer’

Most of the school-age athletes I know or have known would have been embarrassed to show any vulnerability, and this fine poem by Al Ortolani, from his chapbook “Hansel and Gretel Get the Word on the Street, published by Rattle,” really catches what I felt like, trying to do my best at what I was never any good at, even on my best day.

Water cooler: When at home, write a poem

Did you know April is National Poetry Month? It was established in the U.S. in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate and raise awareness about poetry and why it matters.