All posts tagged: Robert Pinsky

Wendy Willis: “A Million People On One String – Notes on Poetry and Social Media”

These days, it’s all big data all the time. Over the past few months, I’ve seen headlines ranging from “Big Data or Big Brother?” to “Big Data’s Little Brother” to “Big Data at the Oscars.” Just today, I was solicited for a webinar entitled “Big Data is a Big Deal!”(exclamation point theirs). As Duke psychologist and behavioral economist Don Ariely recently quipped on his Facebook page:  “Big data is like teenage sex:  everyone talks about it, nobody knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” But the big data debate is not entirely made up of cutesy wordplay. Ever since Edward Snowden first started leaking information about the massive U.S. government spying operation, Americans—for the first time in over a decade—started kicking up some real, honest-to-goodness dust about whether the government can do whatever it pleases if it claims to be protecting us from terrorists. And then there’s the “creepy” index that seems to be the new—if somewhat ephemeral—standard for just how far the …

Robert Pinsky: 2007 Distinguished Lecture

On March 21, 2007, in Portland, some 400 people crammed the sold-out Wonder Ballroom to hear to hear the former poet laureate speak, read poems, & launch the Music Issue. Robert Pinsky condemned educational administrators who want to break the chain of culture by cutting funding to music, arts, & creative writing programs. “Woe unto them,” said Pinsky, who also read recent & new poems, & closed the night with an electrifying reading of John Keats’s hymn to music & poetry, “Ode to a Nightingale.“ Listen to an excerpt of his performance exclusively through Poetry Northwest Online: