Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

The Writer’s Paradox, the Distance Between Poems, and More
Wed, 04 May 2016 16:29:31 +0000 -

Author day jobs; Jacqueline Woodson on James Baldwin’s influence; transgender writers and required reading lists; 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:

At Literary Hub, Adam Haslett, who is profiled in the May/June 2016 issue of Poets & Writers, considers the writer’s paradox of communicating to others through mostly solitary work, and how that paradox “reveals itself a kind of gift. Because however much solitude writing requires, it remains an effort to connect.” Haslett’s latest novel, Imagine Me Gone, was released yesterday from Knopf. Listen to an interview with the author on episode seven of Ampersand: the Poets & Writers Podcast.

Speaking of Imagine Me Gone, Haslett’s novel is on Vulture’s list of seven book recommendations to read in May.

“I probably turned to poetry because it allowed for a complexity of idea and feeling that I thought religion asked me to avoid.” At the Boston Review, poet Jericho Brown discusses the complicated feelings about joy that turned him towards poetry, and considers how poets deal with the sometimes long distance between writing poems. “The hardest part isn’t writing the poem. We have no choice but to experience joy in that moment. The difficulty of the poet’s life is how to look forward to the next poem—how to know that another one is indeed on the way.” 

On the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of James Baldwin’s novel Giovanni’s Room, author Jacqueline Woodson reflects on the importance of Baldwin’s continued influence. “I, like so many writers of color I know, now believe that we’re writing because Baldwin wrote, that history repeats itself and continues to need its witnesses.” (Vanity Fair)

Fiction writer Brian Evenson, whose work is known for its dark, visceral elements, lists six novels that justify delving deep into uncomfortable territories. Evanson has a new novella, The Warren, scheduled for publication this fall from Tor. (A.V. Club, Tor.com)

Bitch features a report on the difficulties of getting books by transgender women included on classroom reading lists.

Jack London was an oyster pirate and Stephen King was a high school janitor. Sometimes an infographic featuring surprising day jobs of famous authors is exactly what you need to see. (ExpertEditor.com)

Algorithm Selects Book to Publish, Bookslut’s Final Issue, and More
Tue, 03 May 2016 16:23:31 +0000 -

Shelfie app partners with U.S. bookstore; Ruth Ozeki on embodied writing; on avoiding childbirth scenes in fiction; and other news.

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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:

“I find that whether I’m writing fiction or memoirish essay…the key to any kind of literary writing is being able to tap the body’s memory: to enter the writing through the senses, and through the body.” At Electric Literature, author and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki discusses her new book-length essay, The Face: A Time Code, a meditation and “exercise in the defamiliarization of our most known and intimate parts—the human face.”

Over at the Slate Book Review, Pamela Erans—whose latest novel, Eleven Hours, takes place entirely during labor and delivery—wonders why detailed scenes of childbirth are often avoided in contemporary literary fiction.

Pioneering online literary magazine Bookslut’s final issue is now available. Vulture features an interview with Bookslut’s founder, Jessa Crispin, in which she discusses the decision to shutter the publication on the site’s fourteenth anniversary.

Publishing platform Inkitt, which allows users to read books on its site before they are published, has partnered with Tor Books to release the first book chosen for publication by a computer algorithm. Inkitt’s algorithm used predictive data that analyzed users’ reading patterns, and identified Erin Swan’s young adult novel Bright Star as the “next best-seller.” The novel is set for publication in summer 2017. (Bustle)

Shelfie, an app that offers readers discounts on the digital versions of their print books, is beginning a promotional partnership with Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on four print titles. This is the Canadian startup’s first promotion in a U.S. bookstore.

Some publishers have taken big—multi-million-dollar big—chances on literary debuts, such as Emma Cline’s novel, The Girls, and Stephanie Danler’s novel, Sweetbitter. (Entertainment Weekly)

Oprah Winfrey has been cast in a forthcoming HBO film adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s best-selling nonfiction book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010). While no release date has been set, filming will begin this summer. (GalleyCat)

The Handmaid’s Tale Adapted for Hulu, Writing From the Darkness, and More
Mon, 02 May 2016 16:00:09 +0000 -

How Houghton Mifflin Harcourt grapples with Mein Kamp’s profits; an interview with poet Wendy Xu; poet and anti-war activist Daniel Berrigan dies at ninety-four; and other news.

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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:

Margaret Atwood’s 1985 best-selling novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, is set to be adapted into a drama series. Elizabeth Moss will star, and Atwood will serve as a consulting producer. The series will be available to stream on Hulu in 2017. (Verge)

At Bookforum, Karan Mahajan interviews fiction writer Adam Ehrilch Sachs about his debut collection, Inherited Disorders: Stories, Parables, and Problems; his influences and the fragmentary structure of the work; and the emotional risk involved in his project.

An article at the Boston Globe reports on how Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has approached dealing with its profits and royalties over the years from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The publisher first printed the infamous screed in the United States in 1933.

Poet Wendy Xu talks about her work and her ideas of what a poem should do in an interview at DiveDapper. “How do you test a poem? I’m not sure. Maybe the lab is each reader’s world of interpersonal relationships. The poem tries to offer a kinder reality, and the reader has the good fortune of testing that reality out for themselves. Living out various proposals for empathy.”

Poet, anti-war activist, and Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan died on Saturday at age ninety-four. Berrigan, who won the Lamont Poetry Prize in 1957, rose to national attention when he and eight others—known as the Catonsville Nine—were imprisoned in 1968 for burning hundreds of draft records in protest of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. (New York Times)

“For darkness restores what the light cannot repair.” Essayist Kathryn Harrison discusses how that particular line from Joseph Brodsky’s poem “On Love” defines “Writing the way I experience it. For me, writing is a process that demands cerebral effort, but it’s also one informed by the unconscious. And through that dark, opaque process, I can restore what might otherwise be lost.” (Atlantic)

Awful Library Books, Whitman's Health Manifesto, and More
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:08:09 +0000 -

University of Pittsburgh launches Center for African American Poetry and Poetics; Amazon profits go up in 2016; Fanny Howe on when a poem is finished; and other news.

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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:

Walt Whitman Quarterly Review has published a long-lost text by the poet Walt Whitman: a health manifesto entitled, “Manly Health and Training.” Graduate student Zachary Trupin discovered the forty-seven-thousand-word series last summer while browsing through a digital database of newspapers. The text, which had been published under one of Whitman’s pseudonyms in an obscure newspaper, had been lost for more than a hundred fifty years. In the series, Whitman offers advice on everything from diet, shaving, gymnastics, baseball, and footwear. (New York Times)

As National Poetry Month winds down, poet Jericho Brown discusses why he writes and the difficulty of waiting for the next poem. “Somehow in the act of writing, the tree, the shoestring, the molestation, the mother, the beating, the burial, and the musical become the same. Each item of one’s life—from experience or from imagination—merges until anything becomes material we can use to make the gorgeous and enduring thing.” (Boston Review)

In March, the University of Pittsburgh—under the leadership of poets Dawn Lundy Martin and Terrance Hayes—launched the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, or what Hayes describes as a creative think tank for poetics in “all things American, all things African, all things in that little hyphen.” (Pitt News)

At the New Yorker, Daniel A. Gross considers the practice of weeding a public library of its least-read books, and the popular blog run by two Michigan librarians, Awful Library Books. The blog features books that have been collecting dust on the shelves, such as Be Bold With Bananas, A Definitive Study of Your Future as a Dental Hygienist, and Big Bob and the Magic Valentine’s Day Potato.

“When I talk to novelists, we tend to talk about movies. It’s true. It’s much easier to talk about. I just don’t talk much about my work with other writers, and I don’t talk much about their work. A few sentences. We’re like two characters in an old Western movie in which the main element, the main audio element is to be very laconic.” Novelist Don DeLillo—whose latest novel, Zero K, comes out next week—talks with the Los Angeles Times’s Carolyn Kellogg about writing on a typewriter, old Western movies, and the reality of fiction.

In honor of the late Harper Lee’s ninetieth birthday, biographer Linda H. Davis recalls her correspondence with the author, and how “Harper Lee told me—graciously—to leave her alone” when she approached her to write a biography. (Washington Post)

Amazon sales show no signs of slowing: The company posted a $1.1 billion profit for the first quarter of 2016, which is a $255 million increase from the first quarter of 2015. Amazon partially attributes the increase to the success of its cloud service and increased sales of Fire tablets. (Publishers Weekly)

“The weirdness of revising is that you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how do you know when it’s right? That already puts you in a trance-like state, where you’re unearthing something that you don’t even know what it is. So, how do you recognize it? Recognition is a puzzle. Something I worry over. When I feel the poem is done, it’s both that I’m just sick of it and tired of it, but also that I’ve made the discovery, I’ve found the thing that I didn’t even know I was looking for.” Divedapper interviews poet Fanny Howe.



Noir’s Renaissance, Poet-Novelists in Conversation, and More
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:12:22 +0000 -

Indy 500 gets official poet; Don DeLillo’s forthcoming novel optioned for television; award-winning author Jenny Diski has died; 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:

Don DeLillo’s new novel, Zero K, which will be published next month, has already been optioned for television by FX. New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani calls Zero K DeLillo’s “most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld.” (Deadline)

Signature has compiled a reader’s guide to the work of George Saunders, the short-story master who will publish his first novel next year.

“The murky area between genres has always been the place where I feel most at home.” At the Millions, poet-novelists April Bernard, Idra Novey, and Jennifer Tseng discuss the pleasures of writing between genres, as well as their most recent works. 

Celebrated essayist and novelist Marilynne Robinson announced that she will retire from her teaching position at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the end of the current semester. Robinson has taught in the program for twenty-five years, and instructed hundreds of writers, including current workshop director Lan Samantha Chang and Pulitzer Prize–winner Paul Harding. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

An educator and doctoral student at Indiana University recently earned a new title: Official Poet of the Indianapolis 500. Reviving a tradition that began in the 1920s, Adam Henze’s poem “For Those Who Love Fast, Loud Things” will appear in the Indy 500 race program. The poem won him $1,000 and two tickets to the fast, loud event on May 29. (ABC News)

Prolific fiction and nonfiction writer Jenny Diski has died from lung cancer at age sixty-eight. Since her diagnosis in 2014, Diski wrote widely about her experience with cancer for the London Review of Books, where she had been a regular contributor since 1992. The magazine has made all of her articles—more than two hundred—available online. (Guardian)

At Electric Literature, writer Nicholas Seeley examines the cultural and political foundations surrounding early twentieth century noir literature, and what noir’s recent resurgence suggests about our current sociopolitical climate.

Barnes & Noble Leader Steps Down, a Call to Teach More Poetry, and More
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 15:58:40 +0000 -

Most sought-after out-of-print books; Pablo Neruda reburied in Chile; writing joy in memoirs of grief; 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:

Leonard Riggio, executive chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc., announced today that he will step down from his position in September. Riggio bought the Barnes & Noble bookstore—then a single struggling shop—in Manhattan in 1971 and went on to build the company into the nation’s largest bookstore chain, becoming chief executive in 1993. (New York Times

“Our poets are citizen journalists, activists, heroes, the narrators of our democracy-in-progress.” As National Poetry Month winds down, Academy of American Poets education ambassador and Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco writes for the Huffington Post about his rewarding work in the role as the Academy’s ambassador, the importance of poetry in the Cuban cultural narrative, and the need for educators in the United States to incorporate more poetry into lessons. “Our poets have played an essential role in shaping our country’s understanding of itself.”

BookFinder.com has released its thirteenth annual report of the top hundred most searched-for out-of-print books in the previous year. The top ten from 2015 include Madonna’s Sex (1992), Nora Roberts’s Promise Me Tomorrow (1984), and Stephen King’s Rage (1977).

At Shelf Awareness, award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye shares her reading habits and books she’s an evangelist for—including The Way It Is by poet William Stafford and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

Following the exhumation of his body in 2013 to determine the cause of his death, the remains of Nobel Prize–winning poet Pablo Neruda have been reburied at his Chilean home. Some had speculated that Neruda had been poisoned following Chile’s 1973 right-wing military coup, but forensic tests found no trace of toxicity in his remains. (CBS News)

According to a report from the Association of American Publishers, trade book sales totaled $7.2 billion in 2015, up .8 percent from 2014. The report also found that e-book sales declined overall in 2015, while audiobook sales increased. (GalleyCat)

In an interview at Guernica, nonfiction writer and 2016 Guggenheim Fellow Paul Lisicky discusses his new memoir The Narrow Door. “There’s a notion out there that if you’re not saying the darkest thing, you’re not telling the truth. That you’re participating in evasion, you’re whitewashing, you’re curating yourself, or that you want to appear likeable. But tenderness and joy are braided into those darker emotions, always.”

A Guardian article looks inside a weekly book club for inmates at an east London prison, and how the club plays a crucial role in bringing people together.

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:

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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.