Shakespeare & Spenser Told Us Long Ago Life’s a Beach

Critical guides to complex literary works can be great resources, doing the dirty work of identifying themes and trends for us.  It can be arguably more rewarding, however, to make connections on our own.  Even if they’re as simple as the one I made a few weeks back (and have been meaning to share) between … Continue reading

Sir Phillip Sidney on Writer’s Block, Renaissance Style

In sonnet one of Astrophil and Stella (1591) by sixteenth-century courtier and author, Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586), the poem’s speaker (Astrophil) struggles for ‘fit words’ to convey his heartache to his lover.  In the closing couplet, the speaker’s muse weighs in with sound advice for anyone with writer’s block, particularly anyone feeling constrained by conventions or the … Continue reading

Deadly Dramatist & Pugnacious Poet: Ben Jonson

In spite of the fact that in modern times Ben Jonson has been overshadowed by Shakespeare, Jonson enjoyed tremendous success as a writer in his own era.  He rather quickly worked his way from bricklayer to soldier to actor to author with a royal pension.  In fact, many identify Jonson as England’s 1st poet laureate, though … Continue reading

Conundrum Stage’s “SpeakOut”

Sometimes the best things in life really are free, though I would have gladly paid admission to see some of the many deep and daring performances delivered Saturday night at “The SpeakOut,” a spoken word event presented by Conundrum Stages at 18 Rabbit Gallery in Ft. Lauderdale.  The creative mastermind behind this well-attended event, Executive Producer, Kevin … Continue reading

England Appoints First Female Poet Laureate in History of Position

England Appoints First Female Poet Laureate in History of Position After centuries of young men performing female roles on the English stage, Charles II ascended the throne in 1660 and in the same year, officially authorized women players to perform their own parts.  349 years have passed since this historic and proto-feminist event, and England … Continue reading

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