Wednesday, July 21, 2010

B.o.B. to headline Lawnparties?

Lawnparties may not be for another two months, but it looks like at least one major artist may have already been confirmed for the event. On his official website and MySpace page, rapper B.o.B. lists that he will perform at the University on Sunday, Sept. 19, the weekend of Lawnparties.

His first album, “B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” was released in April, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. “Nothin' on You,” the album's first single, reached No. 1 after being released in February and has since gone double platinum. Its second single, “Airplanes,” peaked at No. 2, and the album has sold more than 300,000 copies since its release. Both songs have become national sensations - and if you don't recognize the names, look them up on Youtube (here and here). You've probably heard them.

We're working on getting the USG to confirm the concert, but given B.o.B.'s current popularity, it's likely he will headline fall’s slate of shows. USG Social Chair Jake Sally ’12 promised “an answer asap” in response to an e-mail asking for confirmation of the show, but rumblings from students involved with planning other clubs’ events make it seem likely.

One particular detail is still uncertain, though, as both of B.o.B.'s websites list the show as starting at 7 p.m. This is later than the traditional afternoon shows, so it is unclear whether this is a mistake, some sort of schedule change or a different, non-Lawnparties concert altogether.

The Roots headlined this past spring's USG Lawnparties concert, and Gym Class Heroes played in spring 2009. There was no USG-sponsored concert last fall after students controversially voted to donate the money allotted to that event to civic engagement endeavors. Lupe Fiasco, with whom B.o.B. collaborated on “Past My Shades” on “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” played in fall 2008.

By Gabriel Debenedetti


Thursday, July 1, 2010

W.S. Merwin named 17th poet laureate

W.S. Merwin ’48 was named the nation’s 17th poet laureate by the Library of Congress on July 1.

Merwin, 82, lives in Hawaii and has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, in 2009 for “The Shadow of Sirius” and in 1971 for “The Carrier of Ladders.” The author of more than 30 books of prose and poetry, he stopped using punctuation in his work in the 1960s, once saying, “I came to feel that punctuation was like nailing the words onto the page … I wanted instead the movement and lightness of the spoken word.”

Of his appointment, Merwin told the New York Times that though he likes “a very quiet life,” he will enjoy “being part of something much more public and talking too much.”

“One always hopes that one is going to draw more attention to poetry and get more people to pay attention to it,” he told the Washington Post, though he added, “I am not primarily a disseminator. I just like to write poems.”

As an undergraduate at the University, Merwin studied with poet John Berryman and critic R.P. Blackmur. He received a degree in English and wrote a thesis titled “John Donne and the Metaphysical Tradition.”

Merwin will succeed Kay Ryan as poet laureate for a one-year term, during which he will seek to promote national appreciation of poetry.