Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

Inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, Genre Apocalypse, and More
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:33:47 +0000 -

Rod McKuen has died; poems for cash; Minnesota’s moment; and other news.

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Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Author Anne Enright, who won the 2007 Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, has been named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. Enright’s “eloquent and powerful writing, fiercely individual voice and unyielding commitment to her craft combined to make her the pre-eminent choice,” stated Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who delivered the announcement. (Irish Times)

Songwriter and poet Rod McKuen passed away yesterday at the age of eighty-one. McKuen found commercial songwriting success in the 1960s and 1970s and published more than three-dozen poetry and essay collections in his lifetime. (Los Angeles Times)

“We’ve hit a critical mass of literary data that don’t fit the old dichotomies. Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Lethem are among the most obvious paradigm disruptors, but the list of literary/genre writers keeps expanding.” At the Chronicle of Higher Education, Chris Gavaler discusses the continuous “genre-blurring” of literary fiction.

Here’s one business idea for poets: Set up your typewriter in a subway station and sell custom poems. Poet Lynn Gentry lets commuters in New York City name their own price and pick their own subject, then types out poems on the spot. Gentry says he makes around $700 a week selling poems. (Business Insider)

From its independent bookstores and literary organizations to hosting this year’s AWP conference, it seems that Minnesota is having a literary moment. (Fine Books)

Bestselling British author and Costa Book Awards judge Robert Harris has called the BBC’s lack of book coverage “an absolute disgrace.” Harris noted that when the Costa prize was launched in the 1970s, there were two programs on the BBC dedicated to book coverage, and now there are none. (Telegraph)

Salman Rushdie’s new novel, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, will be published by Random House in September. This will be Rushdie’s first novel for adults in seven years, since the publication of 2008’s The Enchantress of Florence. (Publishers Weekly)

Colleen McCullough Has Died, Voltaire Book a Bestseller in France, and More
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:44:31 +0000 -

Thomas Merton celebrations; translating “The Red Wheelbarrow”; Egyptian poet facing prison; and other news.

Page 1
This is all the info relevant to page 1 of the article.

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Australian author Colleen McCullough, who wrote the bestselling 1977 novel The Thorn Birds, passed away today at age seventy-seven. The former neurophysiologist wrote over twenty novels in her lifetime, and The Thorn Birds has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. (New York Times)

Eighteenth-century Enlightenment writer Voltaire’s Treatise on Tolerance is currently a bestseller in France. The book, which was published in 1763, has been climbing the Amazon, FNAC, and French bookseller Gilbert Joseph lists since the January 7 attacks at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris. The Treatise “stemmed from Voltaire’s conviction that religious differences were at the heart of world strife.” (U.S. News)

January 31 marks the centenary of poet and Trappist monk Thomas Merton’s birth, and celebratory events have been planned around the world. (Melville House)

Fatima Naoot, a prominent Egyptian poet, is facing up to three years in prison over a Facebook post in which she criticized several Muslim practices, including the slaughter of animals at a Muslim festival. Naoot has been charged with “contempt of Islam, spreading sectarian strife, and disturbing public peace.” (GulfNews)

“So much depends / upon” a poem to preserve multilingualism. Ashford King, a student at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, has taken on the project of translating William Carlos Williams’s famous poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” into one hundred and forty-two languages.

Author Jeff VanderMeer has agreed to publish three novels in one year. VanderMeer documents this literary journey at the Atlantic.

“The truly unique trait of Sapiens is our ability to create and believe fiction. All other animals use their communication system to describe reality. We use our communication system to create new realities.” Historian Yuval Noah Harari’s new book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, examines human history and our singular trait of telling stories. (Smithsonian)

Helen Macdonald Wins Costa Prize, the Jaipur Literature Festival, and More
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:32:33 +0000 -

Roethke’s influence; fiction and attention; readers decide what to publish; and other news.

Page 1
This is all the info relevant to page 1 of the article.

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Helen Macdonald has won the 2014 Costa Book Award for her memoir H is for Hawk. The £30,000 prize is Macdonald’s second award this year, as she won the Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction in November. Formerly the Whitbread Literary Prize, the Costa is given annually to authors based in the UK and Ireland. (Guardian)

"Few of the big ideas and dramatic stories discussed by the writers it hosts are bigger or more dramatic than the emerging India parading around them.” India’s Jaipur Literature Festival, which was held last week, attracted over 20,000 people. (Economist)

Digital book publisher Readership launched a website yesterday that allows its community of readers to ultimately decide what books get published. (GalleyCat)

“Reading novels arguably asks for a kind of attention very different from the drifting, out-of-time submergence in music. But whatever mental effect it does have—and we can hardly say for sure—it may look oddly close to distraction.” Nicholas Dames examines the value of attentiveness in music and fiction at the New Yorker.

Diana Gabaldon, author of the bestselling book series Outlander, has partnered with the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, to launch a writer-in-residence program. Gabaldon has chosen mystery writer Charles Finch as the first recipient of the weeklong residency. (Publishers Weekly)

This week at the New York Times Bookends blog, writers Benjamin Moser and Dana Stevens debate whether being a writer is a job or a calling.

“Roethke’s interested in the degree to which, through writing and language, we can go after God—or whatever you want to call it, the sublime, the ineffable.” At the Atlantic, Thomas Pierce discusses Theodore Roethke’s influence on his writing.

Cervantes’s Casket, Charles Simic on Mark Strand, and More
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:43:55 +0000 -

Poetry and medicine; writers released from Eritrean prison; the evolving library industry; and other news.

Page 1
This is all the info relevant to page 1 of the article.

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

A casket believed to contain the remains of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, has been discovered in Spain. Cervantes was buried in 1616, and the exact whereabouts of his grave have since been unknown. (CBS News)

“Having known him for forty-six years, I’ve come to realize since he passed away what a huge presence he was in my life and still continues to be.” At the New York Review of Books blog, poet Charles Simic writes about his memories of the late poet Mark Strand.

“Great poetry makes us understand the only half-understood; in that understanding comes relief, and it can feel very physical. This is art acting as a medicine.” Scholar and educator Belinda Jack discusses how the study of poetry can enrich the study of the medical sciences. (Times Higher Education)

Good news for free speech: PEN International has announced that six Eritrean writers have been released from prison after nearly six years of arbitrary detention.

The Jewish Book Council has announced the five finalists for this year’s Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. The finalists for the $100,000 prize are fiction writers Molly Antopol, Boris Fishman, Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Ayelet Tsabari, and Kenneth Bonert. (GalleyCat)

Today marks the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Yesterday, Scottish Labor MP Thomas Docherty called for a national debate on whether to prohibit the sale of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf in the United Kingdom. (Guardian)

Current development proposals for libraries in Brooklyn, New York, include updating buildings in the Sunset Park and Brooklyn Heights neighborhoods and adding subsidized housing units on top of the library fronts. (New York Times)

Speaking of libraries, the library and information science industry is evolving, and Electric Literature has provided an informative infographic about the industry outlook. 

Robert Burns’s Walking Routes, Lena Dunham Interviewed, and More
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:02:49 +0000 -

Female Nobel Prize–winners; Patricia Smith’s poetry; indie bookstore search engine; and other news.

Page 1
This is all the info relevant to page 1 of the article.

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Last night marked “Burns Night,” the annual celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns. If you celebrated by eating haggis and drinking Scotch, you can continue to honor the poet by following his walking routes throughout England and the Scottish Highlands. Burns scholars have mapped the poet’s eighteenth-century routes using notes from his handwritten journals and letters in hopes of “inspir[ing] people to engage with the work of Burns and consider him as a man who reacted to his surroundings.” (Guardian)

“There is no prescription for productivity, and writers must find environments that support them and lift them up.” At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Laurie Winer interviews actress, director, and author Lena Dunham about her writing, her critics, and the power of art.

Support local bookstores with ease: A new website called CityShelf allows users to search for specific books at independent bookstores in New York City. (Fast Company)

“There was life then and there is life now. And there is poetry, the bridge that carried her from one place to another.” At the New York Times, Rachel L. Swarns profiles journalist-turned-poet Patricia Smith.

Out of the 111 writers who have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, only thirteen are women. This infographic depicts the female Nobel Prize­–winners, along with their “best novels and poems and words of wisdom.” (GalleyCat)

According to the Economist, e-book subscription services such as Scribd and Oyster will reduce book sales less than what publishers and authors predicted. E-book expert Andrew Rhomberg likens the services’ business model to that of gyms. “They are relying on lots of people signing up but not making much use of the service.”

Your Twitter account is about to get more poetic. The new website Poetweet allows you to turn your tweets into rondels, sonnets, and indriso poems. (Next Web)

Joan Didion’s Favorite Books, Robots Learn Your Handwriting, and More
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:40:53 +0000 -

Amazon debates; technical emphasis in English classes; Claudia Rankine’s double NBCC nominations; and other news.

Page 1
This is all the info relevant to page 1 of the article.

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Today is National Handwriting Day, so write a letter to a friend, copy your favorite literature passage, and read this handwritten list of Joan Didion’s favorite books. (GalleyCat)

Speaking of handwriting, if you want to send a handwritten letter, but are also tech-obsessed, there are now bots that mimic your handwriting, which allow you to send letters as quickly as you write e-mails. The bots generate handwritten letters based off of individual handwriting samples. “The bot doesn’t just copy letters; it learns spacing patterns, angulation, how a person connects certain letters, and how far someone veers from the margins.” (Fast Company)

If robots can write letters, they can also write novels. However, the quality of the novels remains in question: “Kitty couldn’t fall asleep for a long time. Her nerves were strained as two tight strings,” an algorithm “wrote” in 2008. (BBC News)

Meanwhile, English classes are not immune to technological saturation. An increasing emphasis on teaching technical skills has shifted how the humanities are taught. At the Atlantic, Michael Godsey examines the “noticeable de-prioritization of literature” in English classes.

E-tailer Amazon’s growing power in the publishing world continues to create controversy. Listen to Joe Konrath and Matthew Yglesias (Amazon advocates) debate Franklin Foer and Scott Turow (Amazon opponents) about the motion, “Amazon is the Reader’s Friend” at NPR.

The Poetry Foundation has rounded up more news about Claudia Rankine’s double National Book Critics Circle Award nomination—in both the nonfiction and poetry categories—for her book Citizen: An American Lyric.

According to a Digital Book World survey, one third of published authors make less than five hundred dollars a year from their writing. (Guardian)

At the New York Times, authors Thomas Mallon and Ayana Mathis discuss which literary figure is overdue for a biography. Mallon suggests Tom Wolfe, and Mathis suggests Albert Murray.

Provided courtesy of:
Poets & Writers, Inc.

Multimedia Items from Poets & Writers

If At First You Don't Succeed...
Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:49:57 +0000 -

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is one of three novelists, profiled by Emily Raboteau in "If At First You Don't Succeed" (March/April 2014), who persevered despite the commercial "failure" of early books. From the profile:

read more

How Food Writing Fed My Fiction
Mon, 20 May 2013 14:15:23 +0000 -
Associated Content

Join fiction writer, dessert blogger, and baker Aaron Hamburger at Whole Foods Market in New York City as he prepares his delicious limoncello cupcakes and talks about what the art of food writing has taught him about fiction writing. Watch via YouTube.

Junot Díaz Records Audio of His New Book, This Is How You Lose Her
Thu, 02 Aug 2012 04:00:00 +0000 -
Associated Content

Ever wonder how an audio book is created? Watch this exclusive video of Junot Díaz recording the opening lines of his short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead Books, 2012), which is featured in the Page One section of our September/October 2012 issue.

The Bard Behind the Bar
Sun, 01 Jan 2012 18:54:13 +0000 -
Associated Content

Join contributor Robert Hershon for a pint at McSorley's Old Ale House, where poet and head bartender Geoffrey Bartholomew has sold more than five thousand copies of his self-published collection, The McSorley's Poems, without the aid of a high-powered marketing department or special advertising and promotions. Watch via YouTube.

The Corner Library
Tue, 01 Nov 2011 14:12:13 +0000 -

Poets & Writers Magazine takes a look inside the Corner Library, a tiny book depository serving the community in Brooklyn, New York's Williamsburg neighborhood.

Behind the Scenes at a Poets & Writers Cover Shoot
Fri, 01 Jul 2011 13:15:49 +0000 -

Go behind the scenes at the photo shoot with the literary agents featured on the cover of our July/August issue to see how much time and energy goes into capturing the images published in Poets & Writers Magazine. Join the photographer, the art director, the managing editor, and the editor of the magazine in a SoHo loft as they work toward the perfect cover.

Writing Contest Advice
Sun, 01 May 2011 19:44:51 +0000 -

Watch Stephanie G'Schwind, Camille Rankine, Michael Collier, and Beth Harrison offer their advice for poets and writers interested in submitting their work to writing contests. G'Schwind, director of the Center for Literary Publishing; Collier, director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference; Rankine, communications coordinator at Cave Canem Foundation; and Harrison, associate director of the Academy of American Poets, talked with editor Kevin Larimer as part of a roundtable interview published in the May/June 2011 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

The Future of Family-Friendly Residencies
Tue, 01 Mar 2011 14:28:07 +0000 -

Watch contributor Thomas Israel Hopkins—along with this wife, novelist Emily Barton, and their son, Tobias—discuss the impetus for writing "The Future of Family-Friendly Residencies." In the article, which appears in the March/April 2011 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, Hopkins takes a look at the relatively small number of colonies that allow writers to bring children for their full stay and offers some suggestions for ways in which parent-writers and residency directors can work together to facilitate more programs that accommodate families.

Behind the Design of This Issue's Inspiring Cover
Sat, 01 Jan 2011 05:00:00 +0000 -
Associated Content

Watch editor Kevin Larimer's interview with illustrator Jim Tierney, who reveals his initial sketches and revisions of this issue's cover.

DIY: How to Coptic Bind a Chapbook
Mon, 01 Nov 2010 14:18:59 +0000 -
Associated Content

As a companion to Indie Innovators, a special section on groundbreaking presses and magazines, we demonstrate how to Coptic bind a chapbook. View the accompanying slideshow for information on formatting your book in Microsoft Word.