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National Broetry Month: Now I Assume That Everyone Named Harry Is a Wizard

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.

Posted by Courtney Daniels

Wearable Books: A Treat for Your Inner English Major

Charms by Melissa Oesch

One of my favorite things about wearable mini-books is that I get to use leather journals as jewelry without being a pretentious twit about it.

That was the habit when I was 18 and a freshman English major: using such things as self-adornment, as an insecure suburban teen trying desperately to look intellectual and literary is wont to do. I leaned toward unadorned leather journals in which I earnestly wrote bad prose and worse poetry in a very public manner. Why, yes, I believe there were kreteks involved.

Even though I’ve given up the poetry (you’re welcome) and have switched to writing bad prose on a laptop, I still have a soft spot for the accoutrements of the newly minted English major which is indulged by these Etsy shops. Check them out.

These mini-book necklaces by Philadelphia’s Margaux and Walter Kent at Peg and Awl are a callback to those more fanciful days.

The Kents hand make each piece using reclaimed leathers from sources such as vintage sofas and antique doctors’ bags.

Posted by Lisa Fary

In Honor of Arbor Day: Top Five Green Friendly Characters in Comic Books

There are a multitude of reasons why we, as human beings, should be grateful to the trees. Oftentimes, we drive past them in a hurry to get where we are going, not taking a moment to pause and consider what it is that they give us. Trees provide us with oxygen, food and even the paper that the books we love are printed on.

With Arbor Day (April 27th) in mind, I’ve listed my top five green-friendly characters in comic books. Whether they are strictly friendly to plants and hostile to others, or comprised entirely OF plants, these are the most eco-conscious (whether they mean to be or not) characters in comics.

Swamp Thing (Swamp Thing, Pictured Above): Poor Alec Holland is just a mild mannered scientist, attempting to help the world grow some new vegetation. After a bomb explodes in his lab, Holland finds himself flaming and covered in his own formula. He shambles toward the Louisiana swamp only to fall into the water, dead.

Moments later, a walking plant creature that thinks itself to be Holland emerges from the swamp. With a plethora of plant based powers, Swamp Thing becomes the swamp’s protector.

Black Tom Cassidy (The X-Men): Thomas “Black Tom” Cassidy is the proverbial bad apple. Cousin of Banshee, Black Tom has the power to focus energy through a wooden shillelagh. This ability allows him to create concussive blasts to knock his enemies for a loop.

Over time, Tom’s powers continue to evolve, allowing him to become a half plant, half human creature, thus making him nearly impossible to destroy.

Mervyn “Merv” Pumpkinhead (The Sandman): In a world filled with gods and monsters, heroes and villains, Merv is just your every day Joe, that is, of course, forgetting the fact that he has a pumpkin for a head.

The always put-upon Merv works as the janitor of the Dreaming. In a place where almost anything is possible, Merv functions well as a grounding voice. With a cigarette hanging out of the jagged gash in his pumpkin head, Merv is always ready with a sarcastic remark.



Posted by David Winnick

National Broetry Month: The Guttenberg Bible

April is National Poetry Month, and some of you are probably already celebrating by quoting Emily Dickenson or John Keats. No? Just me then.

For everyone who thinks poetry has to be about high-minded intellectual pursuits or daffodils in spring, we are going to feature a more relaxed form of prose. For the next three weeks, we’re going to share a poem from Broetry by Brian McGackin, who tackles important, real-world topics like beer, frozen pizza, and Bruce Willis.

It was difficult to select just a few poems to share, but it seemed logical to start with one that featured the formation of the universe. This poem contains all those very important poetry themes: the indifference of God, the history of the printed word, and the Police Academy sequels. Enjoy, and happy National Broetry Month.

Posted by Courtney Daniels

Some Memorable Fictional Libraries and Their Special Keepers

The Sunnydale High Library in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It’s National Library Week, and even fictional characters need a place to check out books from time to time. Though it’s not always the case, fictional libraries tend to be magical; after all, they’re created by writers, and writers know the power of the written word. If they’re going to invent a repository for knowledge, then at the very least, it should be an interesting one.

Of course, in the manner of mice, cookies, and milk, when a writer creates an unusual library, he or she is going to invent an unusual librarian to go along with it. Here are a few memorable made-up archives and their equally memorable keepers:

Matilda & Mrs. Phelps in Matilda: The Musical

The Local Public Library & Mrs. Phelps (Matilda): Roald Dahl’s classic opens by introducing the protagonist, Matilda, as a Reader, which perhaps makes Mrs. Phelps the most important librarian of them all – in taking a four-year-old’s request for a ‘grown-up’ book at the local library seriously, she sets the rest of the story into motion. Mrs. Phelps is the first adult in young Matilda’s life to encourage her to learn, and the first to feed her hunger for knowledge.

The magic here is in the moment when Mrs. Phelps presents Matilda with a library card and tells her she can start taking books home.

The Great Library & Cheshire Cat (Thursday Next): In the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, characters can travel in and out of books, interacting with public domain heroes and villains – as long as an intrepid explorer has already found a way in. In Lost in a Good Book Thursday enters the Great Library for the first time, which contains every book ever written, every book that ever will be written, “and a few others beside.”

The Library is the starting point for all Prose Resource Operatives, or members of Jurisfiction, and is overseen by the ‘quite mad’ Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland (technically, the Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat due to adjusted county boundaries). He can give you the publication date, ranking, and up-to-the second reading figures for every book in the library – as long as you have tuna-flavored Moggalicious to trade.

Posted by Megan Christopher

Life @ Quirk: March’s Pink Piggy Party

Here at Quirk we know how to work hard and play hard. Our monthly office parties give us an excuse to celebrate. Katie Hatz, our resident party designer, picks fun and quirky themes for us to play with. We went for a Pink Piggy Party in March. We celebrated with pig ear headbands, ate pork-inspired treats, and played pink pig balloon volleyball.

Check out some photos, our music list, and great recipes below. Oink, oink!

Posted by Jennifer Adams