Act like you know the new poet laureate
The Voice at 3 A.M.
Charles Simic; Harcourt; $14; Buy it
Charles Simic’s selection last week as the next poet laureate was a gift to folks who believe the honor should be awarded only to those with highbrow credentials: He’s a poet of true stature, not a feel-good versifier. He won the Pulitzer in 1990 for the collection The World Doesn’t End, but we recommend starting with his more recent selected poems, The Voice at 3:00 A.M. The title hints at the surreal terrain his work covers.
MTV exec reads his new industry satire
Bill Flanagan Somewhere at the intersection of satire and roman à clef sit clever writers like Bruce Wagner and, newer to the scene, this executive VP of MTV Networks. Flanagan’s first novel, A & R, was an insider favorite, but he’s even more qualified to have written New Bedlam, about a once-powerful TV exec forced to run three tacky cable channels belonging to squabbling members of a dysfunctional Rhode Island family. Make like a couch potato and hear him read it aloud. Barnes & Noble, Astor Place
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Nickel Creek and Fiona Apple
at Central Park
Win tickets to this must-see double bill. Plus, $10 off for all Agenda subscribers. Get the secret code for the discount now and enter for a chance to win.
Collect art on the cheap
The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe Here’s a biennial for the rest of us: It’s not-for-profit (proceeds go to the Robin Hood Foundation) and open to the public. Apexart’s open call for amateur curators and budding artists has resulted in some 450 highly varied works—everything from a photo of a tattooed tush to pen-and-paper portraits to intricate graphic designs. Check out the salon-style showing and head online to place your bids, which start at $10, before Friday. Invest in a college education other than your kid’s. Apexart
Bids close August 10
Venice Biennial »
More biennials »
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Here’s another reason to obsess
Brigitte Bardot Collection We’d tell you that this set captures Bardot in her pouty-lipped prime (Love on a Pillow, The Vixen, Naughty Girl) and leave it at that. But if dropping “bombshell” doesn’t sell you, consider these fun facts: Bob Dylan once said he dedicated his first song to Bardot, name-checked the Swede (now an anti-Muslim ultraconservative ideologue!) on “I Shall Be Free,” and wrote in Chronicles that “everyone said” his first girlfriend looked like her. If Dylan obsessed over her … Lionsgate
On sale today
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Director defies X-Files fandom
Private Fears in Public Places Eyebrows shot up when, at 84, renowned French director Alain Resnais declared contemporary American television “more rich and innovative than the majority of cinema.” What were we to think when the man behind Hiroshima Mon Amour cited the X-Files as a major influence on his recent work? We needn’t have worried: This story of six lonely Parisians in the dead of winter, now available here on disc, is a quiet masterpiece to shame even Chris Carter. IFC
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Have her solve a mystery
Sherlock Holmes Takes the Case In this interactive mystery, in which kids do the solving along with Sherlock himself, everything’s accounted for but the pipe-smoking. A lucky volunteer gets to play the trusty Dr. Watson, and Holmes does his thing with the help of the audience, who boo, cheer, and hoot their way to the bottom of the puzzle. The story’s tweaked to make it easy for young’uns to understand, but it’s real Conan Doyle all the way. The Traveling Lantern Theatre Company
St. George Library Center August 8
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