Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

Literacy Charities, World’s Greatest Storytellers, and More
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:25:48 +0000 -

Painters and poets of the New York School; the year of the essay; active reading; 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:

The world’s bestselling author James Patterson isn’t the only one helping independent bookstores this holiday season. Jeffrey Stayton, whose debut novel, This Side of the River comes out in February, awarded grants of $250 to six independent bookstores through his “Cheer for the Bookstores” competition. (Shelf-Awareness)

Speaking of literary giving, GalleyCat lists five charities that promote literacy for those who are unlikely to have access to books.

“As I dive into the opening pages, the first question I’m asking is, what are the qualities or values that matter most to this author, or at least in this novel?” Author Tim Parks explicates his active reading process at the New York Review of Books.

“This radical disjunction between things, this art of objects and the spaces between them, is key to the New York School Aesthetic.” At the Guardian, Olivia Laing reviews Jenni Quilter’s new book about the New York School, a group of mid-twentieth century painters and poets who collaborated with each other in New York City.

Books by Claudia Rankine, Fred Moten, and Peter Gizzi are among the Philadelphia Review’s fourteen best poetry picks of 2014.

Publisher Macmillan has reached a multiyear sales agreement with Amazon for both print and e-books. The deal will go into effect on January 5, and follows Amazon’s recent agreements with publishers Simon & Schuster and Hachette. (Publishers Weekly)

At Electric Literature, Jason Diamond pronounces 2014 the “Year of the Essay,” and discusses several notable personal essay collections from Roxane Gay, Charles D’Ambrosio, Megan Daum, and others.

Who would you choose as the world’s greatest storyteller? This infographic details responses collected from five hundred authors, editors, students, and marketing professionals. (Raconteur)

Expensive Book Bids, a Push for Libraries to Emulate Coffee Shops, and More
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:24:33 +0000 -

Joseph Brodsky’s commencement speech; chapbooks over greeting cards; beyond the Bechdel Test; 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:

An independent report on the public library’s role in England has warned that libraries need to become more like coffee shops—and be sure to offer free WiFi—in order to survive. (Guardian)

Rare and used bookseller AbeBooks.com has listed its fifty most expensive book sales of the year. A first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, for example, sold for eighteen thousand dollars.

In more book-bidding news, you can now purchase a book previously owned by a celebrity for a good cause. ReadByFamous.com sells books pre-owned by famous actors, artists, athletes, and more, and proceeds of the sales go towards literacy-focused nonprofit organizations. (New York Daily News)

Emily St. John Mandel, whose novel Station Eleven was a finalist for the National Book Award, discusses a literary passage that has influenced her writing of “complex, flawed characters” for the Atlantic’s “By Heart” series.

Beyond the Bechdel Test: Kelly Jensen suggests that the Bechdel Test, in which a work of fiction “passes” if it features at least two women talking to each other about “something other than men,” may still be too limiting in discussing issues of how women are portrayed in fiction. (BookRiot)

A new anthology featuring selections of David Foster Wallace’s fiction, teaching syllabi, and e-mail correspondence offers a sense of the late writer’s virtuosity, “whether as a fantasist, a maximalist, an ethicist…a tourist…or culture critic.” Read Janet Maslin’s review of The David Foster Wallace Reader at the New York Times.

“Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger, for it is blame-thirsty. A pointed finger is a victim’s logo.” On this day in 1988, poet, essayist, and Nobel Prize–winner Joseph Brodsky gave a gripping commencement speech at the University of Michigan. (BrainPickings)

Create a new holiday tradition: Instead of sending out your normal holiday cards, why not send small-press literary chapbooks to your loved ones instead? (Bustle.com)

The Prince of Poets, Handwriting Advocacy, and More
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:37:37 +0000 -

Too many hyphens; responding to critics; the year’s best sentences; 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:

As handwriting continues to significantly decline in the age of computers, neuroscientists and handwriting advocates weigh in on the cognitive benefits of handwriting over typing. (Guardian)

In January, Abu Dhabi will host three hundred poets from twenty-nine countries for the preliminary round of its Prince of Poets competition. The Prince of Poets—soon to be in its sixth season—is a United Arab Emirates television show similar in structure to American Idol. According to the Middle East Online, the show has “successfully introduced young blood into the tradition of Arabic poetry…through the publishing of many poetry collections in the previous years of the competition.”

Happy one-hundred-forty-first birthday to editor, novelist, poet, and essayist Ford Maddox Ford. Born on this day in 1873, Ford is best known for his novel The Good Soldier and his World War I tetralogy Parade’s End.

If you are considering self-publishing, be sure to watch your hyphen use. Following customer complaints, Amazon removed Graeme Reynolds’s self-published book from the Kindle store for its overuse of hyphens, which “significantly impact[ed] the readability” of the book. (GalleyCat)

At the New York Times Bookends blog, writers James Parker and Zoe Heller discuss the negative consequences of directly responding to one’s critics.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic lists six notable books not previously covered in the periodical this year, and asks the authors of those titles to share the books they loved in 2014. Among the six “best missed” books are Sarah Wildman’s memoir Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind, and Wendy Lesser’s nonfiction book Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books.

Here’s a more specific year-end list: Brooklyn Magazine lists not books, but notable sentences written over the past year, including gems from a Charles D’Ambrosio essay, a Ben Lerner novel, Perfume Genius’s lyrics, and more.

Jane Austen’s Birthday, the Man Who Saved Waterstones, and More
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:41:02 +0000 -

“Blinkist” app releases audio version; standout poetry books of 2014; Judy Blume’s adult novel; 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:

In honor of what would be Jane Austen’s two-hundred-thirty-ninth birthday today, Joanna Scutts highlights four books that examine the history of the “cult of Jane,” from scholarly analyses on Austen’s cultural reception to Rudyard Kipling’s story about Jane superfans called “Janeites.” (Biographile)

“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.” If you are in need of more ways to celebrate Jane Austen today, browse this list of quotes from Austen and her characters. (Guardian)

Taking the reading out of…reading? A German tech startup called Blinkist, whose app distills books down to text sections called “blinks” that can be read on e-readers within fifteen minutes, is now launching an audio version of the app for “readers who want a hands-free, eyes-free source of factoids from popular publications.” Condensing information in such a way has proven negative in that it leads to decreased memory retention of the material, but Blinkist cofounder Holger Seim states that the app is mainly used as a discovery tool that actually leads people to read more books. (Melville House)

Bookstore hero: The London Evening Standard speaks with the current managing director of Waterstones Bookstores James Daunt, who saved the brick and mortar shops from going under.  

What’s the best way to encourage your children to read this holiday season? Bruce Feiler poses this question to a selection of popular authors of young adult and children’s literature at the New York Times.  

The Academy of American Poets has released its list of standout poetry books of 2014. Among the selections are impressive works by Jericho Brown, Erin Belieu, and Diane Di Prima.

Next summer, beloved children’s author Judy Blume will release her first adult novel in sixteen years. In the Unlikely Event (Knopf) follows three generations of people affected by a series of plane crashes in the author’s hometown in the 1950’s. (Guardian)

At the Nieman Foundation blog, Kate Galbraith discusses the current challenges faced by independent literary print magazines that publish long form articles and narratives.

Poets on Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, James Patterson’s Holiday Gift to Indie Bookstores, and More
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 16:46:38 +0000 -

Literary tea references; Shakespeare’s reputation; hacks to combat publishing’s lack of diversity; 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 are all grateful to Claudia for reminding us that our work as poets can have a great political significance.” In the wake of recent racially charged violent occurrences, poet Carmen Giménez Smith leads a two-part roundtable discussion with contemporary writers Ruth Ellen Kocher, Nick Flynn, and Mark Nowak about Claudia Rankine’s latest collection, Citizen: An American Lyric. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

How did the Bard become the Bard? Shakespearean scholar Cameron Hunt McNabb examines the factors contributing to Shakespeare’s literary reputation, which include the discovery of the First Folio, the actor David Garrick, and the early spread of the British Empire. (Salon)

Happy Holidays to independent bookstores! Bestselling author James Patterson has donated the final installment of his 2014 million-dollar grant to independent bookstores. The $473,000 gift is part of Patterson’s campaign to raise awareness about the importance of reading. The author will continue to donate funds to independent bookstores in 2015. (Publishers Weekly)

Today is International Tea Day, and even if you’re not a tea-drinker, you can sip on a few of the Guardian’s literary tea references, from the Mad Hatter’s tea party to T. S. Eliot’s painfully hesitant J. Alfred Prufrock, who goes through “a hundred indecisions, / And… a hundred visions and revisions / Before the taking of toast and tea.”

While the notable lack of diversity in publishing remains an ongoing issue, Publishers Weekly has organized a list of responses from book industry professionals on practical ways to combat this disparity in the industry.

The 2015 Folio prize longlist has been announced. The prize sets out  “to identify works of fiction in which the story being told and the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression.” The shortlist will be announced on February 9, 2015, and the winner will be announced on March 23.

“To describe his line breaks as arbitrary would be a kindness.” At the New York Times Sunday Book Review, poet Paul Muldoon discusses the “contradictory nature” in the collected letters and poems of absurdist author Samuel Beckett.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is set to publish an English-language version of Nobel Prize­–winner Patrick Modiano’s novel So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood late next year. (GalleyCat)

Australian Prime Minister’s Fiction Award Controversy, Accusations Against Turkish Novelists, and More
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 17:23:44 +0000 -

Marginalia’s moment; literary gift ideas; Poetry at Work Day; 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:

The results of Australia’s top literary prize, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in Fiction, have sparked controversy mainly amongst the award’s judges. While judges originally chose Steven Carroll as the winner of the eighty-thousand-dollar prize for his novel A World of Other People, Prime Minister Tony Abbott overrode their decision and announced at Monday’s award ceremony that the prize would be split between Carroll’s novel and Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which won this year’s Man Booker prize. Flanagan then announced that he would donate his winnings to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. One of the judges, poet Les Murray, told the Australian that a “clear majority of us thought the Flanagan book was superficial, showy and pretentious and we disdained it." (NPR)

The Turkish government has accused major novelists Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak of being controlled by an “international literature lobby” that uses authors to attack the government. Jo Glanville, director of English PEN—an organization that aims to protect writers whose lives have been threatened by their governments—says that the current conspiracy against the novelists is a “desperate attempt to undermine their credibility and influence, by saying they are just mouthpieces, not independent intellectuals.” (Guardian)

From the Oxford Marginalia group to PEN/American Center’s “First Editions/Second Thoughts” auction, marginalia is having a moment. At Salon, Laura Miller examines all there is to gain from reading and writing notes in books. “Marginalia is a blow struck against the idea that reading is a one-way process, that readers simply open their minds and the great, unmediated thoughts of the author pour in.”

Meanwhile, poet Elisa Gabbert leads a discussion between several writers about their reading habits in volume three of the Believer’s How Writers Read series.

Dylan’s tour isn’t over yet… Dylan Thomas, that is. While this past year saw much celebration around the world for poet Dylan Thomas’s centennial, Wales will continue to celebrate his legacy with the newly marked Dylan Day, which will commemorate the poet with educational activities and celebrations. Dylan Day will take place every year on May 14, the date in 1953 when Thomas read from his play Under Milk Wood in New York City. (Bookseller)

The holidays are almost here, and you probably need a gift for the writer in your life, so head over to Electric Literature and browse a selection of literary gift ideas. What could be better than giving or receiving an illustrated print of Frank O’Hara’s poem “Having a Coke with You?”

There will come a day when you will be encouraged to read poetry during a work meeting, and that day will be January 13, 2015. The third annual Poetry at Work Day is a “day to notice the poetry that is present in our workspaces.” (Tweetspeak Poetry)

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” Happy one-hundred-ninety-third birthday to Gustave Flaubert.

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.