Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memoir to be Published This Fall, Teju Cole on Race in America, and More
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:04:24 +0000 -

Iranian poet and activist Simin Behbahani dies; the case for laughter in literature; what editors read; 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:

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s memoir of frontier life, which inspired her Little House on the Prairie series, will be published for the first time this fall as Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press. According to the Associated Press, the book's “not-safe-for-children tales include stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry, and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey." Wilder and her daughter, the author Rose Wilder Lane, attempted unsuccessfully to get the autobiography published throughout the early 1930s. (NPR)

At the New Yorker, Teju Cole considers racism in America through the lens of James Baldwin’s "Stranger in the Village."

Iranian poet and women’s rights advocate Simin Behbahani—known as the “Lioness of Iran”—has died at the age of eighty-seven. Forbidden from leaving Iran for the past four years, Behbahani was known for writing poems that criticized censorship and the lack of freedom of expression in her home country. She was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize. (Guardian)

“I wrote fiction for seventeen years before I found out I was a fantasy novelist. Up till then I always thought I was going to write literary fiction, like Jonathan Franzen or Zadie Smith or Jhumpa Lahiri. But I thought wrong.” Lev Grossman writes about finding his voice in fantasy. (New York Times)

With its downtown location shuttering at the end of August, Shakespeare & Co., one of New York City’s most iconic independent bookstore chains, may be at risk of closing entirely. (Publishers Weekly)

Book Riot asks the editors of Graywolf Press, New Directions, Coffee House Press, and NYU Press which books they are currently reading, what they’re excited to read, and the books they would most recommend.

In the latest installment of the Atlantic’s By Heart series—in which authors discuss their favorite passages in literature— Sean Wilsey, author of the essay collection More Curious, makes a case for humor in literature.

Minnesota author Stephen Eirik Clark talks about his debut novel, Sweetness #9—which recently received the coveted Colbert Bump—as well as being a Hachette author during the publisher’s battle with Amazon, and the culture of food anxiety. (MinnPost)

Dani Shapiro on Memoir in the Digital Age, the Importance of Independent Bookstores, and More
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:57:24 +0000 -

Amazon responds to German authors' protest; the most powerful man in publishing; J. K. Rowling pens a new short story set in the Harry Potter universe; 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:

“We live in a time in which little is concealed, and that pressure valve—the one that every writer is intimate with—rarely has a chance to fill and fill to the point of explosion.” At the New Yorker, author Dani Shapiro writes about the meaning of memoir, and the importance of taking one's time, in the age of instant expression and gratification via social media.

Amazon has responded to the recent protest letter by German-language authors regarding the retailer’s battle with publisher Bonnier over e-book prices. The response accuses Bonnier of setting prices too high, adding, “The fact is Bonnier’s terms are out of step with other major German publishers. We are working diligently with Bonnier to reach a new agreement more in line with typical industry terms in Germany.” (Publishers Weekly)

And on the subject of the Internet giant, the Guardian calls Amazon vice president and head of Kindle operations “the most powerful man in publishing.”

Meanwhile, Tom Robere of New Directions writes a compelling case for independent bookstores, noting that in the midst of the ongoing Amazon/Hachette battle, indie shops are now more necessary than ever. (Publishing Perspectives)

A group of lawyers is fighting for a different interpretation of the famous Shakespeare quote from Henry VI, Part 2, “The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.” (Wall Street Journal)

J. K. Rowling has returned to the land of Harry Potter, with a new short story on the Pottermore website. The story centers around the minor character Celestina Warbeck, a singing sorceress never seen in the series (though one of her songs was included in the sixth book), whom Rowling says has nonetheless been a “part of the Potter world ever since its inception." (NPR)

Salon profiles self-published author Drac Von Stoller, who has written 155 books and is currently waging a private battle with Amazon, where his books boast an average rating of one and a half stars.

Writer Eckhart Tolle is launching his own imprint, Eckhart Tolle Editions, at New World Library, with the first titles scheduled for release next spring. (GalleyCat)

German Authors Join Amazon Protest, the Neuroscience of Distraction, and More
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:04:15 +0000 -

Audrey Niffenegger slams Amazon; Louise Erdrich wins Dayton distinguished achievement award; the science of typos; 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:

Following the lead of a growing number of American authors, more than a thousand writers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have joined in the protest against Amazon, writing an open letter to the retailer in response to tactics used against Switzerland’s Bonnier Group in a battle over e-book prices. “Amazon manipulates recommendation lists,” the letter reads. “Amazon uses authors and their books as a bargaining chip to exact deeper discounts.” (New York Times)

Meanwhile, while delivering the inaugural PEN/HG Wells lecture in London last week, American author Audrey Niffenegger, who announced that she is writing a sequel to her best-selling novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, said, “The biggest threat to the arts that I can think of at the moment [is Amazon].” (The Bookseller)

“Are the luxuries of time on which deep reading is reliant available to us anymore? Even the attention we deign to give to our distractions, those frissons, is narrowing.” At Salon, Michael Harris discusses his failed attempts to read War and Peace, and the neuroscience of constant distraction in the digital age.

Louise Erdrich, author most recently of the novel The Round House, has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s distinguished achievement award. (TwinCities.com)

In this week’s installment of the New York Times’s By the Book series, author Terry Pratchett says the best kind of fantasy novel is “the kind that isn’t fantastic.”   

Wired considers the science behind typos, and why it’s often so difficult for writers to catch their own mistakes.

Actress Lindsay Lohan recently confirmed that she plans to write a three-volume memoir. “I like to write because it’s like therapy for me,” Lohan said, adding, “it will probably be like a trilogy, like Harry Potter.” (SFGate)

Clearly Wolters, the woman who inspired the character Alex Vause on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, has signed a memoir deal with HarperOne. The book, entitled Out of Orange, will detail Wolters’s time in prison and her relationship with Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman. (GalleyCat)

Internet Reading and the Anxiety of Influence, the Language of Restaurant Menus, and More
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:04:25 +0000 -

The life and work of Martin Amis; books about race in America; a library taxi in Tehran; 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:

“In these online minutes or hours, I drift along with my mouth open, absorbing whatever’s floating by, never chewing or even swallowing, just letting it all seep pre-chewed into me. The impurity of this content makes it far more consumable than anything pure, even a little bit of which is filling.” At Electric Literature, David Rice considers Internet reading and its influence on writers.

The Guardian’s Sam Leith explores the work and public persona of Martin Amis, who he calls Britain’s “most controversial and outspoken novelist.” Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest—a contentious Holocaust comedy set in Auschwitz—will be released next week by Jonathan Cape.  

The Atlantic looks at the changing language of restaurant menus, and how certain descriptions of food relate to what author Dan Jurafsky calls “status anxiety” in his forthcoming book The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu.

In light of ongoing tension in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown, Book Riot’s Brenna Clarke Gray has compiled a list of five good books about race in America

Leading up to the release of her new novel, Rooms, in September, writer Lauren Oliver has launched a project called the Ghostly Goodreads Challenge: Each time Rooms gets ten new adds on Goodreads, Oliver will tweet a new section of an original ghost story. (GalleyCat)

In Tehran, a husband-and-wife team has turned their taxi into a mobile library. More than a hundred books are stacked in the couple’s car for passengers to read while they ride; when passengers pay the fare, they also have the option to buy a book. (Wall Street Journal)

Lowis Lowry, author of the 1993 dystopian young-adult novel The Giver—the film adaptation of which hits theaters today—says “dystopian fiction is passé.” (Variety)

J. D. Salinger’s former home in Cornish, New Hampshire, is up for sale, with an asking price of $679,000. (New Hampshire Public Radio)

Reading for Pleasure, the Memoirs of Lauren Bacall, and More
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:19:56 +0000 -

A look at Robin Williams's role as John Keating, a character based on a real-life teacher and author, in Dead Poets Society; bookstore sales down in 2014; author Lee Child takes Amazon to task; 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:

“There’s pleasure in ambition, too.” In the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead considers the idea of reading as guilty pleasure, and the pleasure of reading to impress yourself.

According to estimates released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales for the first six months of 2014 were down 7.9 percent compared to the same period last year. (Publishers Weekly)

The Los Angeles Times remembers actress Lauren Bacall—who died on Tuesday at the age of eighty-nine—through her writing. Bacall was the author of three memoirs: By Myself (1978), Now (1994), and By Myself and Then Some (2005).

The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at the late Robin Williams’s role in the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society—a film that celebrates the power of poetry as a tool for self-expression and personal discovery. John Keating, the character that Williams portrayed, was based on real-life teacher and author Samuel F. Pickering.

On the BBC’s Newsnight, author Lee Child—frequent writing partner of Douglas Preston, frontman of the anti-Amazon group Authors United—takes the retailer to task, saying, “Amazon wants to take over the world.”

Meanwhile, Bill Hamilton, the executor of George Orwell’s literary estate, writes to the New York Times with some harsh words for Amazon’s quoting of Orwell in their recent letter to Kindle users. Hamilton writes that Amazon’s tactics come “straight out of Orwell’s own nightmare dystopia, 1984,” adding, “this is about as close as one can get to the Ministry of Truth and its doublespeak: turning the facts inside out to get a piece of propaganda across.” (Flavorwire)

Poet Koh Jee Leong and writer Paul Rozario-Falcone will launch the Singapore Literature Festival in New York City this October. Fifteen Singaporean authors have so far been confirmed for the festival, including Alvin Pang, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, and Wena Poon. (GalleyCat)

In the latest installment of the New York Times’s Bookends series, James Parker and Dana Stevens discuss which books should be made into movies.

Reading Print Versus Digital Increases Comprehension, Amazon Partners With Purdue, and More
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:57:38 +0000 -

OverDrive launches Read an E-book Day; traveling vicariously through books; Anne Sexton's summer bikini tips; 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 recent study out of Norway reveals that reading in print results in higher rates of comprehension than reading from a computer screen. Reading on paper, the study's researchers say, helps the brain better create a mental map of an entire text. (GalleyCat)

Meanwhile, e-book and audiobook distributor OverDrive will launch Read an E-book Day on September 18, which the company describes as “a celebration of modern storytelling.” Readers are encouraged to check out e-books from their local libraries and share their favorite stories about books and reading on social media.

In an effort to expand its frontlist sales, the Strand Book Store in New York City—which has long been a mecca for used and discounted books—will launch a new subscription service in October. The Signed First Editions Club will offer customers signed first editions of new releases, and will kick off the service with Colm Tòibìn’s latest novel, Nora Webster. (GalleyCat)

In other bookstore news, Shelf Awareness takes a look at New York City mainstay Idlewild Books, which opened its third location earlier this year. The independent chain, which specializes in international literature, offers language classes in its stores.

For those feeling a midsummer wanderlust while stuck at home, Book Riot suggests a few ways to travel vicariously through books.

Amazon has partnered with the Purdue University in Indiana to launch the Purdue Student Store through the retailer’s website. The online store, which is still in beta, will offer students up to 30 percent discounts on print and digital textbooks, and, starting in early 2015, will also introduce staffed customer order pickup and drop-off locations on the Purdue campus.

Throughout this month, the Guardian is asking readers to respond to the question, “What book changed your life, and changed the way you view the world?” Readers are invited to leave a comment on the Guardian’s website until the end of August.

With the dog days officially upon us, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency imagines Anne Sexton’s Summer Bikini Tips.

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.