New Poetry

Hi Hart Beat. How are you? I’m sitting in my perfect little studio that Matt and I called “our little Scandinavian getaway” all winter long. It felt just like that, with the snow coming down softly on the roof, my fairy lights twinkling outside on the balcony. Now that spring is here and summer is coming fast, we rearranged the furniture to make room for a little sitting table and couch. I think we’re going to need another nickname soon.

Anyway, this month is National Poetry. I’ve written about poetry I love so much here on Hart Beat over the years. One of my favorite emails I get every morning is a poem of the day from the National Poetry Foundation. It took me a while to figure out I actually liked poetry though, Hart Beat. It wasn’t until I figured out that for me at least, liking a poem doesn’t mean understanding it or even loving it, it means I get a feeling from it. It doesn’t matter what the feeling is and half the time I couldn’t even name the feeling if I tried. It’s a low bar and for that, the world of poetry is now huge and I am grateful to know it.

This month the Pulitzer Prizes in Literature were announced. The winner for poetry is Forrest Gander’s, Be With. A few days after the announcement I saw a list float around on Twitter with all the other books that were under final consideration for the category.

I’m sorry to say that the only book I was already familiar with was Mary Karr’s. So, I did what any other aspiring writer who likes poetry would do, I requested the rest of them on inter-library loan. Most of them have come in since then. I loved The Carrying, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, and Blue Rose. I’m still waiting for a few more, including the winner.

The full list is below if you’re interested in reading any of them. And if you’re not and just curious, here’s one of my favorites so far. Of course it’s one of Karr’s and even though I know it’s about God and religion, it makes me feel something and for that, I like it.

VI. Wisdom: The Voice of God
by Mary Karr

Ninety percent of what’s wrong with you
could be cured with a hot bath,
says God through the manhole covers,
but you want magic, to win
the lottery you never bought a ticket for.
(Tenderly, the monks chant,
embrace the suffering.) The voice never
panders, offers no five-year plan,
no long-term solution, no edicts from a cloudy
white beard hooked over ears.
It is small and fond and local. Don’t look for
your initials in the geese honking
overhead or to see through the glass even
darkly. It says the most obvious shit,
i.e. Put down that gun, you need a sandwich.


Full List of the runners up for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 2019:

Ada Limón, The Carrying
Forrest Gander, Be With
Kevin Prufer, How He Loved Them
Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Max Ritvo, The Final Voicemails
Kyle Dargan, Anagnorisis
Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
jos charles, feeld
Chelsey Minnis, Baby I Don’t Care
Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ghost Of
J. Michael Martinez, Museum of the Americas
A. E. Stallings, Like
Carol Muske-Dukes, Blue Rose
Mary Karr, Tropic of Squalor
Sherwin Bitsu, Dissolve

On The Line

Hiya Hart Beat! If you follow along on Instagram then you might have noticed I was in Austin, Texas last weekend. It was the last of a very long period of travel (more on that soon, I’m sure) and even though I was so tired of travel, I loved it.

This winter Jenny Lewis announced that she was going on tour this Spring for her new album, On The Line. Some college friends and I decided to meet in Austin for her concert. I had never been to Texas (or the south really) before and jumped at the chance.

Do you know I had to tell three separate people I had to pee in order to get out of random conversations while there? Are people honestly that friendly in the south? Are we really that cold in the northeast? I’m working on an essay about it so enough of that and let’s get down to the good and dirty stuff.

How good was Jenny?

SO GOOD SHE WAS AMAZING AND I LOVE HER. Jesus almighty was she good. That woman knows how to perform and loves it. I went expecting the best and was blown away. If you haven’t listened to On The Line then I’d say get right to it. It’s more Stevie Knicks than The Voyager and less folksy woman than Rabbit Fur Coat, two things I appreciated.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from the album. The one here “Heads Gonna Roll” is the first in the album and the first you should listen to if it’s all new. Personally? I love “Hollywood Lawn” and “On The Line” (BOBBY 4EVER WE WERE TOGETHER) but I don’t want to overwhelm you here, Hart Beat.

Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. Put some time aside tomorrow or this week to listen to Jenny. And as always (EVEN THOUGH IT’S OUTDATED I’M SORRY) there’s a #famous Hart Beat Playlist you can follow along to on Spotify. Goes waaaaaaaaay back to 2011. Fun times. Hasta mañana!

Lost & Found

Oh! Hi! SWEET BIRTHDAY BABYYYYYY (I know it’s not your birthday but am I the only one who can’t get that god damned line out of my head?) It’s been too long, Hart Beat.

Why am I here again, popping up into your life again, you might be asking yourself. Valid. And it’s okay, I can take the judgment (most days). Well, to be honest, I’m banking on not many people still being here. Long story short is I spend the month of March up in Johnson, VT at the Vermont Studio Center for a writing residency. It was wonderful and scary and horrible and amazing and inspiring and I hated it the first week and loved it the last. Typical. Sounds just like me actually. (#hateschangeloveseverythingelse)

One of the best things to come out of my month-long residency was the realization that as much as I love the GD book, it has lost something in all the edits over the past year. What it lost though thankfully, is not very far. It’s here actually, in the thousands of sentences I’ve written for the past eight years on Hart Beat. I lost my voice. Yea, that’s right, this voice. The one that makes you cringe sometimes but also inspires fan emails (humble brag) pretty regularly. So in an attempt to connect back to what I love about writing, and what you apparently love to, is to start free writing here every morning before I jump into my manuscript.

I’ll try at least. The best made plans you know? So many things have changed since I started writing here in 2011. I’ve been through two major relationships, I’ve graduated college, moved to New York and from New York, become a dog mom, Snapchat came and was instantly taken over by Instagram Stories, fell in love with the one, and decided on a million more little (damn bangs) and big (I’m a writer?) decisions.

I’ll try not to rip content off of my Instagram or the personal essays I’ve been writing. There will be poetry, new music, movie reviews, favorite things, ramblings, and love notes. I can’t wait, Hart Beat. Hasta mañana.

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Updates

I’m so sorry for the lack of posts, Hart Beat! As I’ve mentioned I’m working away on my memoir manuscript and it’s taking #all #my #time. Hope to talk to you soon and in the meantime see this site for writing updates!

Besos, Hannah

Thankfulness

Hi Hart Beat. How are you? How was yesterday? How is today? I’m thinking about you and thought it might be time for a little note to you, my Hart, on this cold Berkshire afternoon.

This time of year always makes us all think, doesn’t it? Thankfulness, gratefulness, happiness, all the ness’s really. I’m thankful for so many things; my family, my health, Teo, this beautiful land, this forgiving Universe.

But this year, in particular, I’m thankful for so much more. If I look back at what I was doing on this day just two years ago I can’t believe how different everything is. If you had asked me then what the chances are I would be happy living with my parents in Stockbridge, dating someone I’ve known since I was four, and finishing a full-length memoir I would have told you to get your head checked by a professional.  Like asap. Like yesterday.

“It feels like we’re becoming the women we always dreamed we would be,” my sister Samantha said to me after seeing her on her twenty-eight birthday last month. It’s stayed with me since then and every day I think to her words and realize how true they are. 

The next four months prove that to me. This December I’m pitching my fully finished memoir to agents. In January and February, I’m traveling to France and Spain on a grant I was awarded this fall to start working on a second book. My boyfriend Matt, who I started dating in July (!!) is coming with me. In March I will be up at the Vermont Studio Center for a month-long writer in residence program—something I’ve dreamed about since 2012 when my mom was a painter in residence there.

This life, Hart Beat. “We are becoming the woman we always dreamed we would be.” There’s not much more I can think of that can make this life any beautiful. For that, and for everything else, I am thankful today, tomorrow, and ever and ever.

Sending you love, Hart Beat. Always.

Updates & A Few Things

Hola mi Amor. I miss you, Hart Beat! I’m sorry for being so MIA lately. As many of you know, I’m deep in the final edits of the God Damned book I’ve been working on this past year and a half. (If you’re on Instagram I’m sorry for harassing you so much with stories. It can get boring writing all day to an empty room.)

It’s been hard the last year and a half not keeping up with you here on ye old blog. There’s been so much culturally, philosophically, politically, sartorially, and just generally juicy happening this year that it’s driven me a little bananas to not process it here with you.

But you know, writing twice a day here takes time and the G.D. book has taken everything out of me. So I thought I’d pop in here and share with you some of the things I’ve been doing, reading, listening to, and buying lately.

Books & Things I’ve read and loved:
– Dining In by Alison Roman (HOW DID I MISS THIS WHEN IT CAME OUT!?!?)
– Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
– Natalie Shapero’s poems in November’s POETRY Magazine. (Especially “Other Things, If not More Urgent Things”—read it here below. I couldn’t find a link.)
The NY Times profile on Anne Lamott. And her response on Instagram. God, I love her.

Songs I’ve had on repeat:
– NEW ROBYN HIIAAIIII HONEY. More specifically Missing U
– Your Best American Girl from Mitski (that bridge though)

Things I’ve bought:
– A new Outdoor Voices Kit now that they’re back for purchase (!! thank you Ty!)
This kickass t-shirt from Love Yoga in L.A.
– New white eyeshadow from Jane Airedale because I dropped my old one and it shattered 🙄.
This shirt from Madewell which I have yet to take off since its arrival in the mail.

I’m sure there are other things I should share with you (movies I’ve seen, places I’ve been—Portland, ME! Denver, CO! Brooklyn!—but I have to get back to the G.D. book. Talk soon, Hart Beat. xo

Other Things, If Not More Urgent Things
by Natalie Shapero

How to get close without going over.
How to feign lust for whatever’s on offer.
How the largest possible quantity
of anything is a lifetime. A lifetime
of oat bran. A lifetime of timing belts.
A lifetime of saying, SURE, WHY NOT,
I’M ONLY ON EARTH FOR X NUMBER
OF YEARS, and not knowing what
to make x. Sometimes I pick a number
I’ve already passed. I remember
the gambler’s credo— when you only
have fifty bucks left in this world,
you’d better get rid of it fast; the last
thing you want is money around,
reminding you every day of the money
you lost. The recommended
retirement plan is arabesque, then leap
and smash on the seawall. We made
a promise not to catch each other.

Top photo via Gabrielle Thurin

Hannah Hart Beat

Fall Movies

Hola Hart Beat! One of the best things I’ve started doing since moving back to the Berkshires was implement a Tuesday Night Movies ritual with my friends and family.

In the city, it was so expensive to go to the movies and I never felt like I really had time. Here in the Berkshires, there are two small local theaters within a twenty-minute drive of where I live and so there’s always something good to see. Plus, both theaters have a Tuesday night deal where any movie is $6.00. Score. The only problem is that because we only have a handful of screens, movies only will stick around for a week or two.

What that means is that every Tuesday, my friends and family have a standing date at one of the theaters. As my friend Kasha says, “A bad movie is always better than no movie at all.” And so, every Tuesday, no matter what’s at The Triplex or The Beacon, we go to the movies.

The ones that I’ve liked particularly the last few months have been Leave No TraceCrazy Rich AsiansEighth Grade, and Three Identical Strangers. If you haven’t seen any of them go, go, go, go!!

And here are a few trailers for ones that I’m excited to see:


Ethan Hawk AS A GRANDFATHER jdkfjdksfjdksfjdkls^^^

What have you seen recently, Hart Beat? Anything good? Anything bad? I’ll talk movies anytime!

Top photo from Crazy Rich Asians, second photo from Eight Grade.
First trailer is for Juliet, Naked, second is for Colette, and third is for McQueen.

Change

Hola Hart Beat. Can you believe it’s already the end of August? On Friday it will be September and even though Summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks I can feel it coming. Living in the Berkshires has given me such a connection to nature, something I never truly felt in New York, and every day the air, the trees, the wind, the bugs remind me that times are changing.

Change—something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. The other week in my favorite yoga class, my teacher talked about the idea that our bodies are biologically trained to accept change but that our social construct doesn’t welcome the idea. We don’t freak out when night comes because we know morning is coming right after but it’s our cultural and construction associated with change that gives us anxiety and regrets when we encounter change.

I’ve thought about that idea since she said it to our sangha. For me, this summer has been the cherry on top of this entire last year of freedom and exploration. I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled and it makes me anxious, this change in season. Can this happiness and life continue as the leaves fall, the temperature cools, and the fresh tomatoes in my backyard garden stop producing?

The book I’m writing, the god-damned book, is all about change. It’s about returning to your personhood you might have lost along the way of life. But I’ve been thinking lately, do you really return? Or do you incorporate your old self into your new self while not berating your past person for the time you might have lost or the self you might have pushed away?

People move, relationships progress, friendships ebb and flow, summer ends, fall begins, jobs grow stale, ideas bloom, and so much more—sometimes even all at once. I’ve been trying to embrace the changes and remind myself that it is all okay, that it’s all good even. It’s nature and natural for these things to happen. If we didn’t change what would we even be? Not alive surely and not learning or growing. How boring would that be?

This morning I read through the poem of the day emails I get from The Paris Review and was struck by this one here. It reminds me so much of what I’ve been wrestling with.

Cold
by Gerard Malanga

The young girl is unable to change 
The form of her habitual thinking,
The posture with which she corresponds to 
A feeling of sadness, the flow of her 
Thoughts in which she is looking,
The facial expression, and so on; 
She forgets herself to remember her pain 
In the neck, to remember her problems. 
I’ve said this before, remembering myself in the same 
Situation until she came 
Into my life for the first time 
Remembering herself walking out in the open field 
Of vision with eyes full of tears and smoke 
Slowly coming out of her mouth.

I hope this gives you some comfort, even in just knowing that there’s someone out there who is also thinking about all of this.

Things Lately

Hi Hart Beat! Hello! Hola! Bonjour! It is me! You’re favorite lifestyle blogger turned writer who then disappeared for a year in the Berkshires and you never heard from again!

Not to fear though Hart Beat because this fall marks a re-entry to the blogosphere and this here site. The book is chugging along (#thirddraftissues) but I miss you here so I’m wanting to stop in a bit more.

For today, here are a few things that I’ve been thinking about, wanting, listening to, and just generally jonesing about lately. 

New Fall Jumpsuits. 

My two best friends here in the Berkshires, Kasha and Rachel, have both recently bought jumpsuits from the great L.A. company Big Bud. Kash, in the video below, got the Mustard Yellow and Rach has it in Dusty Rose. I’m thinking either plane jane black or Forest Green. I love the idea of having a legit uniform for the Fall and Winter months. 

This Tweet from Paula Froelich. I’m finding fire, inspiration, regret, and fierce fight after seeing this tweet about Frida Kahlo

This song from Lorde’s album Melodrama from last summer. It feels so much like what this summer has been and I listen to it over and over in the car while I’m driving around my hometown. Do you know it, Hart Beat?

And that’s it for now, Hart Beat. See you soon. xo

Live From Here at Tanglewood

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi. Hello. Hola. Hey. How are you, Hart Beat? Long time no talk. I hope you’ve been well, I promise I haven’t forgotten about you all here on the blog. The G.D. book is coming along. Drafts one and two are officially finished and the third should be done by the end of July. Whew.

Yesterday a friend of mine came up from the city to visit the Berkshires and see Live From Here recorded at Tanglewood in right here in the Berkshires. It wasn’t until we walked on the grounds for the concert that the production is the new iteration of Prarie Home Companion formally with Garrison Keilor. Long story short (sup Instagram stories) the concert was amazing and introduced me to an entirely new group of musicians. Chris Thile, Lake Street Dive, I’m With Her, Punch Brothers were all there and played in various combinations. I loved every minute.

Hannah Hart Beat

If you want to hear the recording you can download it or stream it here. I highly recommend it and then looking up the musicians that performed. And if you want something quicker here’s my favorite song performed at another live event. Thought you might like it, Hart Beat. Talk soon, I promise.