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Erin Williams   

This week
We have the incredible U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith on the podcast, and she talked about how to slow down and enjoy poetry. Feels like a fitting follow-up to last week's newsletter about Mary Oliver. 

My life was greatly improved last year when I subscribed to Matthew Ogle's Pome, a poem-a-day email. It is now, unfortunately, on hiatus. But the Poetry Foundation has you covered.

I'm reading
The art of decision-making. A tech dude's dubious quest to live to 180. A couple's race to cure a genetic disease that one of them inherited. The anxiety of 'doing womanhood correctly' in academia. America's long weird history of gendering tea. The invisible reality of new motherhood on instagram. Ellen Page on telling the truth about her life. Wesley Morris on the on-screen fantasy of interracial friendship. How the German white nationalists capitalized on a teen's death. How teachers are reviving labor activism. Where Amazon returns end up. Weedmaps is not just "Yelp for stoners"—it has massive implications for the California economy. A fascinating tale of teeny bikinis and intellectual property. The mysterious interstellar object that has astronomers talking about aliens. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

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I’m looking & listening
Dolly+Keanu. A highlight reel of Fiona the Hippo's first two years. Serial and S-Town producer Julie Snyder on Longform. How the Forever 35 podcast gets made. A tale of friendship and obsession with a defunct Epcot center ride (via Alexis Madrigal). Curator Thelma Golden on Design Matters.

Couture memes! Will wonders never cease?

I endorse
Some food things:
  • Taiwanese tea eggs. The artist Debbie Carlos, who is a member of my extended friend-fam, is teaching the world how to make this most comforting of foods. (She's also selling these very cute mugs, which you could probably put a tea egg in if you need to travel with it.)
  • This old guide from Mark Bittman on making soups without a recipe. If you're a kitchen freestyler like I am, you'll appreciate it. 
  • Cheese by Numbers, an account dedicated to building a better cheese board. Some people set fitness or meditation goals for the new year. I'm upping my cheese-platter game. (Thanks to Catherine Andrews for this gem.)
  • Ginger, lemon and maple syrup tea. I know this recipe is about soothing a cold, but my takeaway is YUM.
All of these pair well with a book of poetry.

You endorse
On Being interview with Claudia Rankine. "I went to On Being to hear Mary Oliver's interview and also listened to this one. The quick small interactions Rankine shared have been on my mind all week." -Monica.

What do you endorse? Submit a link here.

The Classifieds

Everyone deserves a happy relationship with food + their body. Join this newsletter for weekly ideas on how to get there.
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This newsletter is a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language.
Forward it to your favorite casual poet.

Ann Friedman

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