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  • It’s time for our third and final featured poem from Broetry in honor of National Broetry (Poetry) Month.

    So far, we’ve covered creation and intellectual sustenance. Now, it’s time for more practical concerns. Being a poet and college graduate in the 21st century, Brian McGackin has, understandably, written several poems about his abject poverty.

    This week’s poem includes financial stress, hunger, and a coming-of-age story. All in a poem short enough to memorize and impress your friends... over pizza.

  • I suppose when you've written one absolutely perfect book, you don't have much more you need to say. This Sunday marks Harper Lee's 86th birthday, a gal who wrote a brilliant classic (To Kill a Mockingbird) and never wrote a second novel.

    So in honor of her birthday, I've pooled together my five favorite books by women writers who, like Harper Lee, I wish wrote more.

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926, this Alabama lady stuck to her roots while writing this Southern Gothic novel. Much like the characters of Scout and Dill, Harper and childhood friend Truman Capote used to discover items left in the hollow of their favorite tree. Over 50 years later, this 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel remains a bestseller with over 30 million copies in print.

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: Originally published as a two volumes in a three volume set (the third volume was Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte), this novel was often condemned for the amoral passion portrayed in its pages.

    In 1850, Charlotte Bronte posthumously edited and published her sister’s novel under the author’s real name. Prior to that, Wuthering Heights was published under the nom de plume “Ellis Bell.”

  • In honor of Workplace Conflict Awareness Month, we're posting excerpts from Caroline Tiger's How To Behave: A Guide to Modern Manners. In How To Behave, Caroline dedicates an entire chapter to office etiquette. It's my hope that these bits of wisdom, posted every Wednesday this month, will help you to alleviate the conflict in your workplace.

    So far we've touched on How To Deal with the Overripe Office Refridgerator, Photocopier Etiquette, and Cubicle Courtesy. Today's the last Wednesday of the month, so this is the last Workplace Wednesday post. Hopefully Caroline's guidelines helped you avoid conflict in the office. Today's bit of wisdom has to do with where a lot of conflict begins... talking. Read on to learn about Office Speak.

  • Happy birthday, Will!

    Shakespeare turns 448 years old today. What better way to celebrate the Bard’s birth than with one of these excellent books?

  • Here at Quirk, we like our classic literary mash-ups. But we like the original classics too. Happy birthday to Charlotte Bronte (April 21, 1816), who more than one hundred and fifty years ago wrote a bang-up tale of orphans, ghosts, betrayal, and all-consuming love featuring one of the most independent, kickass heroines in all literature.

    If you haven’t read Jane Eyre lately, it’s time to pull it off the shelf and give it a go. It’s good. Really good. In fact, it’s better every time you read it. But if you’re not up for quite that big of a time investment, try one of these movie versions of Jane Eyre instead:

    Jane Eyre (2011)

    Mia Wasikowska (Albert Nobbs and Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Shame, 300), are impressive as actors and might garner great attention, but when acting together there’s no sexual tension.

    In fact, if you don’t already know the story, it’s hard to see why this young Jane would fall in love with this master of the house. When you want Jane to go off to Africa with St. John, you know something is wrong!

    Jane Eyre (1996)

    Anna Paquin makes a bold young Jane and Helen Burns at Lowood School is beautifully played. This version is worth watching for its arresting cinematography and interesting interpretation. But William Hurt is perhaps a bit too mild to make a convincing Rochester and this Jane may be a little too plain.

  • It’s time for another poem from Brian McGackin’s Broetry!

    Last week, we tackled the beginnings of the universe. This week, it made sense to feature something almost as important: Harry Potter.

    This poem tackles the male desire for sex, the female desire to share emotional intimacy, the universal human need for companionship, and the prospect of dressing up as witches and wizards to attend midnight book release parties. Also, I can personally attest to the fact that this poem is true to life: I did the exact same thing to my boyfriend.


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