Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

Inaugural Winners of Kirkus Prize Announced, Dylan Thomas Centennial Celebrations, and More
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:24:03 +0000 -

Bronx bookstore to remain open after all; the San Antonio Library launches an “airport e-book” branch; the age of “Transrealism”; 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:

Booklovers to the rescue! After yesterday’s announcement that the Bronx’s only full-service bookstore was set to close by the end of the year, borough residents and Bronx president Ruben Diaz Jr. have successfully campaigned to save the Co-op City Barnes & Noble. Diaz negotiated terms between the bookseller and its property owner, and the store will remain open for at least two more years. (New York Times)

The inaugural winners of the Kirkus Prize for fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature were announced yesterday. Read more on the Grants & Awards blog.

Celebrations have begun for the centennial of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas's birth. Festivities include the Dylan Thomas Festival in Wales, the Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia festival in London, and a featured exhibition at the Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City, titled “Dylan Thomas in America: A Centennial Exhibition.” Thomas was born on October 27, 1914, in Swansea, Wales. (New York Times)

Is “Transrealism” the first major literary movement of the twenty-first century? As genre boundaries continue to blur in contemporary literature, Damien Walter suggests Rudy Rucker’s 1983 essay “A Transrealist Manifesto” is now “reaching its fruition,” with work by authors like Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, and Stephen King. In his manifesto, Rucker—a mathematician, writer, and critic—wrote, “Any literature which is not about actual reality is weak and enervated. But the genre of straight realism is all burnt out….The tools of fantasy and science fiction offer a means to thicken and intensify realistic fiction.” (Guardian)

Travelers, if you happen to pass through the San Antonio International Airport, make sure to pick up a temporary library card and check out a book or two! San Antonio is the first library in the country to install an “airport e-book branch,” where travelers can digitally browse the library’s collection and check out items onto an e-reader or phone. (Melville House)

Amazon has suffered a large financial operating loss this quarter—$544 million compared to $25 million in 2013—and slow revenue growth in its media segment, which has caused some analysts and investors to question the company’s fourth quarter forecast. (Publishers Weekly)

The Museum of London is currently hosting an exhibit on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die” will explore how Doyle’s character “has transcended literature onto stage and screen and continues to attract huge audiences to this day.” (GalleyCat)

The Los Angeles Review of Books interviews John Darnielle, author and lead singer of folk band The Mountain Goats, about his debut novel, Wolf in White Van. Darnielle, whose novel was longlisted for the National Book Award for fiction, talks about the difference between songwriting and prose, the power of the imagination, and how much a book tour (unsurprisingly) differs from a band tour.

The Bronx Loses its Last Bookstore, Joan Didion Documentary, and More
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:05:32 +0000 -

Ink blots and reader notes are on display at Cambridge; writers discuss the importance of place in their work; a literary atlas of Ireland; 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:

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, a proposed documentary about iconic author Joan Didion, is currently being funded through Kickstarter. Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne is producing the film, which will piece together the author’s life and legacy through her memories, old footage, and interviews with over a dozen artists including Vanessa Redgrave and Patti Smith. (NPR)

Literature lovers in the Bronx will soon face the closing of the first and only general-interest bookstore in the borough. The Co-Op City Barnes & Noble, which opened in 1999, will shut its doors at the end of December, leaving the Bronx—which has a handful of shops selling comics, textbooks, and religious and foreign-language books—without a single general-interest shop. (New York Times)

The lack of specific details disclosed following Amazon’s recent sales deal with publishing house Simon & Schuster has sparked various speculations from different media outlets about who will benefit and who will suffer from the agreement. (Publishers Weekly)

Why do we love Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper? At the New Republic, Britt Peterson investigates our fascination with Victorian crime stories, and reviews three contemporary books on the subject. Peterson discusses how these books “to varying degrees…both indulge our own detective-fever, and seek to de-sensationalize the people who originally experienced it—sometimes a tricky juggling act.”

Alex Dimitrov, a poet who lives in New York City, and writer and performance artist Kate Durbin, who is based in Los Angeles, interview each other at the Rumpus about poetics, performance, and the importance of “place.”

Private Lives of Print, an exhibition of early books complete with stains, ink blots, and reader notes, is currently on display at Cambridge University Library. Contrary to the assumption that these stains and scribbles depreciate the value of the books, curator Ed Potten believes that they “offer rare and fascinating insights into the private lives of books—glimpses of many ways in which books were received and subsequently used by the first generations of printed book owners.” The publication dates of the books on display go as far back as the fifteenth century. Poet Carol Ann Duffy has also been commissioned to write a poem accompanying the exhibition, which will run through next April. (Guardian)

Take a journey through the literary landscape of James Joyce and William Butler Yeats with this literary atlas of Ireland. (Electric Literature)






Amazon Reaches Deal with Simon & Schuster, Atavist Books to Shutter, and More
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:30:56 +0000 -

Houston art museum holds an Ekphrastic poetry competition; Interactive Fiction awards highlight text-based video games; “bad books for children”; 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:

Amazon has reached a new sales agreement with Simon & Schuster. The multi-year deal, confirmed on Monday, will give the publisher control over the price of its digital and print books, and “maintains the author’s share of income generated by e-book sales.” Amazon noted in a statement that the deal provides a “financial incentive” for Simon & Schuster to lower their book prices, though the details of such incentives have not been disclosed. The Internet retailer has yet to reach an agreement in its ongoing dispute with Hachette. (Publishers Weekly)

An organization called First Book will oversee a new digital platform called We Need Books, part of a larger project called We Give Books that donates books to children in need. The new digital platform features over three hundred children’s books. The Pearson Foundation, which originally developed the project with Penguin Group (USA), will donate 1.3 million dollars to First Book as part of the project. (GalleyCat)

Inspired by art? The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is holding an Ekphrastic poetry competition called ARTlines2. Writers may submit original poems responding to five works of art on view at the museum. Entries are accepted until November 30. Winners will receive one thousand dollars, and will be published alongside the artworks in an Ekphrastic poetry anthology. This year’s judges are Robert Pinsky, David M. Parsons, Patricia Smith, Mary Szybist, and Roberto Tejada.

After launching operations just last March, Atavist Books will close the end of 2014. The publisher, which was founded by media mogul Barry Diller and film producer Scott Rudin in conjunction with online magazine the Atavist, developed a digital-first model and published a mix of print and digital-only titles, including Karen Russell’s recent novella, Sleep Donation. (Los Angeles Times)

According to a report from the International Publishers Association, the United Kingdom publishes more books per inhabitant than anywhere in the world. More than twenty new titles were released every hour over the past year. (Guardian)

Are all books intended for young readers “good” for them? At the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead explores the “bad books for children” debate, and whether or not certain popular books, while attractive to children, might repel them from engaging with more difficult texts later on.

The annual Interactive Fiction awards are currently taking place. The awards honor the best new text-based video games. The current climate of technological advances in mobile platforms and e-reader devices has created new opportunities for interactive fiction writers and designers to create new games and attract a broader range of players.  (Guardian)

Nora Ephron's Celebrity Influence, the Potential Perils of Seeking Out Your Critic, and More
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:06:51 +0000 -

Lemony Snicket leads an independent bookstore initiative; Tom Hanks is published in the New Yorker; horror fiction examined; 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 Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, has developed a new initiative to unite independent bookstores. The campaign, called Upstream, involves calling upon authors to ask bookstores to sell signed copies of their books. Handler’s hope is to “remind both authors and booksellers of their local, less monolithic resources, and to improve general esprit de corps at a disheartening time.” (San Francisco Gate Chronicle)

“My book had not even been published yet and already it felt like everybody hated it, and me.” After author Kathleen Hale received a one-star review online for her first novel, she obsessively sought out her critic. (Guardian)

Human rights lawyer Brian Stevenson’s new memoir, Just Mercy, recalls his experience representing people on death row and those who have been wrongly convicted because of racial bias. Stevenson hopes his book will expose and challenge the inequalities of the U.S. Justice System and change the conversation about race in America. (NPR)

Actor Tom Hanks has published his first short story in the New Yorker. Hanks joins a list of celebrities who have contributed to the publication, and thus continues the controversy over publishing celebrity writing versus the work of aspiring writers who struggle to get published at all. (Washington Post)

Speaking of celebrity writing, Lydia Kiesling discusses author Nora Ephron’s influence on the new generation of female celebrity memoirs, and argues that this influence has turned the memoir into a “feminist self-help” book. Comedy actresses Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Lena Dunham all take cues from Ephron’s style of self-deprecating humor. (Salon)

“We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror…with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye….But now that we’ve gotten past that, there’s another question raised by fiction that falls into the realm of, for lack of a more graceful term, literary horror: how does it deal with our expectations of both of its literary forebears?” Read Tobias Carroll’s craft essay on horror fiction, in which he examines contemporary horror writers’ techniques in subverting genre expectations, or embracing them while still managing to keep the stories fresh. (Electric Literature)

Browse Bob Eckstein’s new drawings of New York City’s independent (and endangered) bookstores, along with stories from booksellers and authors about the shops that they love. (New Yorker)


Classical Lit Goes Digital, Jericho Brown’s New Collection, and More
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:58:01 +0000 -

The British Library hosts a Gothic literature exhibit; Roger Moore publishes a Hollywood memoir; Heyday Books turns forty; 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:

The Loeb Classical Library of Greek and Latin Literature has expanded into the digital realm. Harvard University Press has developed a digital platform for the Loeb that includes more than five hundred twenty works of classic Greek and Latin literature. American philanthropist James Loeb founded the library in 1912 in an effort to broaden the accessibility and readership of Classical texts. (Wall Street Journal)

The British Library is currently hosting its largest exhibit of Gothic literature until January 20th. Inspired by the exhibition, British author Neil Gaiman discusses the influence of Mary Shelley’s quintessential Gothic work, Frankenstein, at the Guardian. “It was the place where people learned we could bring life back from death, but a dark and dangerous and untamable form of life, one that would, in the end, turn on us and harm us.”

Over at NPR, Rachel Martin interviews author Azar Nafisi about her new book, The Republic of Imagination. Azar is the author of the 2003 best-selling memoir, Reading Lolita In Tehran. Her new book explores American society through three works that reflect American conscience: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

Meanwhile, in his review of poet Jericho Brown’s new collection, The New Testament, author Craig Morgan Teicher notes that while the book includes tones of ambivalence and skepticism regarding the state of race relations in the United States, it also possesses the “fragile belief in the possibility of change” and an “unlikely kind of hope.” (NPR)

The Berkeley, California–based small press Heydey Books celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. Founder Malcom Margolin notes that the decision to make Heyday a nonprofit, as well as his willingness to adapt to technological changes in the publishing industry, have contributed to keeping the press alive. (Publishers Weekly)

A Shed of One’s Own? Peek inside the writing sheds of famous authors such as Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas, and Roald Dahl. (Guardian)

James Bond actor Roger Moore has published a new book. According to reviewer Chris Klimek, One Lucky Bastard: Tales From Tinseltown is more “cocktail gossip” than autobiography, in which the eighty-seven year old Moore discloses comical encounters with Hollywood elites. (Washington Post)

Paul Violi’s selected poems, a history of Berlin, and a travelogue from a six-thousand-mile journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway are among the top book picks for the week of October 20th. (Publishers Weekly)

In Defense of Clichés, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Revisited, and More
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:48:28 +0000 -

Famous writers compose an Exquisite Corpse; a tourist is accidentally locked inside a London bookstore; an essay on taboos and creativity; 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:

Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, an organization that provides literary programs and sanctuary for exiled and endangered writers, will celebrate its tenth anniversary tomorrow evening. The celebration will honor five exiled writers: Huang Xiang, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Khet Mar, Israel Centeno, and Yaghoub Yadali. Admission is free and open to the public.

Over at the Guardian, Orin Hargraves makes a case for clichés, noting their useful functions in language by “provid[ing] a stock of dependable formulas for conveying the ordinary.” Now isn’t that a fine kettle of fish!

Harry L. Katz, author of the new book Mark Twain’s America, lists his picks for the ten best Mark Twain books that reveal the writer’s singular character. (Publishers Weekly)

“The stories are gory, disgusting, psychologically complex, and frequently violent, with just enough humor to keep you turning the page.” Fiction writers Matt Bell and Anne Valente revisit Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the famed 1981 book—and its two sequels—written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. “All of these stories create a deeply unsettling mood and tone, and all of them push our understanding of the world further off kilter.” (Electric Literature)

Book jacket designer Peter Mendelsun discusses his process with NPR. Mendelsun has designed between six hundred and one thousand book covers. “I think of a book jacket as being sort of like a visual reminder of the book, but…it's also a souvenir of the reading experience. Reading takes place in this nebulous kind of realm, and in a way, the jacket is part of the thing that you bring back from that experience. It's the thing that you hold on to.”

Read an original “Exquisite Corpse” story composed by fifteen renowned authors at T Magazine. The Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative story creation technique invented by the French Surrealists around 1918.

“[T]aboos and censorship encourage creativity, of a kind. But what happens if the main obstacles to free and direct expression fall away?” Read Tim Parks’s essay on the current state of fiction and creativity in a society where nothing is hidden, and where taboos have all but disappeared. (New York Review of Books)

U.S. tourist David Willis was accidentally locked inside London’s Waterstones bookstore in Trafalger Sqaure last night. When Willis was unable to contact security personnel, he took to social media. Willis tweeted for help, and was finally released after two hours. There are worse places to be locked inside, right? (Guardian)

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.