Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

Authors Demand Justice for Bangladeshi Bloggers, Future Library Project, and More
Fri, 22 May 2015 16:17:36 +0000 -

Wimpy Kid author to open bookstore; Anne Enright interviewed; books to read in less than an hour; 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 response to the recent murders of several bloggers in Bangladesh, more than one hundred fifty writers, including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, and Yann Martell, have signed a letter to the Bangladeshi government demanding the bloggers’ murderers be brought to justice: “Freedom of expression is a fundamental right under Bangladesh’s constitution as well as one of the rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The letter calls on the Bangladeshi government to “do all in their power to provide protection and support to bloggers and other writers at risk in Bangladesh, in accordance with Bangladesh’s obligations under national and international law.” (Guardian)

On May 26 Margaret Atwood will be the first of one hundred writers to contribute a manuscript to the Future Library project. Created last year by Scottish artist Katie Paterson, the Future Library will collect one hundred stories from one hundred authors; the stories will not be revealed or read until 2114. Atwood recently shared her thoughts on the project: “As a child, I was one of those who buried treasures in jars, with the idea that someone, some day, might come along and dig them up.... That is what the Future Library is like, in part: it will contain fragments of lives that were once lived, and that are now the past. But all writing is a method of preserving and transmitting the human voice.” (GalleyCat)

After building one of the most successful franchises in publishing, what’s a best-selling author to do? Jeff Kinney, whose Diary of a Wimpy Kid children’s book series has sold over one hundred fifty million copies, speaks with the New York Times about his decision to open a bookstore in Plainville, Massachusetts.

In the latest installment of the Atlantic’s By Heart series, editor and novelist Anna North, whose newest novel is The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, discusses the influence of Homer’s The Odyssey on her life and writing.

“It’s one thing whether we can know each other, it’s another thing why we should want to. The book really is interested in what it is to be alone.” The Millions interviews author Anne Enright about her role as Ireland’s inaugural fiction laureate and her new novel, The Green Road.

Learn about the creation of Literata, Google’s new typeface designed specifically for e-books, over at Fast Company.

Strapped for quality reading time this weekend? Electric Literature provides a handy infographic of twenty-four books you can finish in less than one hour. For example, if you have twenty-one minutes to spare, you can complete Edgar Alan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher.

Bin Laden’s Books, Great Gatsby Home for Sale, and More
Thu, 21 May 2015 16:09:22 +0000 -

Nikki Giovanni interview; a cultural history of stress; Dante’s birthday; 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:

Yesterday, the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a list of English-language books found in Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound. Among the thirty-nine titles, which were recovered during the 2011 Navy SEAL raid, were Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky and Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward. CBS News has published several reactions from authors whose books were found on Bin Laden’s reading list. (Washington Post)

The Long Island, New York, home where F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda lived from 1922–1924 is up for sale for $3.8 million. Fitzgerald is believed to have penned The Great Gatsby while living in the house. (Guardian)

Dante Alighieri’s 750th birthday is this week. John Kleiner writes for the New Yorker about the poet’s enduring influence on Italian culture. 

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tom Lutz interviews iconic poet Nikki Giovanni about her founding of the Black Writers Conference in the 1960s, her relationship with Mohammed Ali, children’s literature, and more. Giovanni recently delivered the keynote address at the 2015 LA Writers Conference.

With heated debates over trigger warnings abounding on college campuses, Jeet Heer examines the evolution of trigger warnings and the cultural history of stress. Heer notes that some historians trace the earliest case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1. (New Republic)

The latest installment of the Poetry Foundation’s PoetryNow podcast features Solmaz Sharif reading her new poem “Persistence of Vision with Gwendolyn Brooks.”

“The thing about this book is the time that it is going to take to write and that no one’s time on Earth is guaranteed….The book must continue to be fragile for years and years as it grows into being. That’s a terrifying feeling, but the only way to get through that terror is to embrace it and love it in its moment.” House of Leaves author Mark Z. Danielewski talks with the Rumpus about his twenty-seven-volume serial novel The Familiar.

MacDowell Colony’s New Diversity Fellowship, Neruda Foundation Demands Poet’s Reburial, and More
Wed, 20 May 2015 15:49:39 +0000 -

Man Booker International winner announced; Baltimore library receives grant; Ian McEwan defends free speech in commencement address; 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:

Yesterday, the MacDowell Colony artist residency program announced the launch of a new fellowship named for literary agent Charlotte Sheedy. An anonymous $200,000 donation will fund the Charlotte Sheedy fellowship, which will grant an annual residency of up to two months to writers representing “populations across racial and cultural boundaries.” Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist and MacDowell chairman Michael Chabon introduced the fellowship, stating, “The MacDowell Colony commits itself, every day, to supporting, fostering, and nurturing diverse artists in their daily struggle to make art.” (Shelf Awareness)

The Neruda Foundation, which oversees Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s estate, has demanded that his body be reburied. The Nobel Prize–winning poet died in 1973 under “suspicious circumstances,” and his body was exhumed in 2013 to determine the cause of death. In a statement released to the Associated Press on Tuesday, the foundation said, “Without any desire to interfere with the justice system, which we always collaborated with, we believe that more than the prudent time has passed for the poet to return and rest in peace in his home in Isla Negra, [Chile].”

Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library has received a $25,000 grant from the PNC Foundation for remaining open and providing community support during the recent protests in the city over the death of Freddie Gray. The library plans to use the grant for building renovations and programming initiatives. (CBS News)

Last night, Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai was announced the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. The biennial £60,000 award honors a living author for a body of work in fiction published or translated into English.

Speaking of the Man Booker Prize, novelist and previous Booker Prize–winner Ian McEwan gave the commencement address at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania this week. In his speech, McEwan paid tribute to the Charlie Hebdo writers who were murdered in January, and addressed the controversy surrounding PEN American Center’s honor of the magazine: “American PEN exists to defend and promote free speech. What a disappointment that so many American authors could not stand with courageous fellow writers and artists at a time of tragedy.” Time has reprinted McEwan’s speech in full. (Guardian)

“It seems silly to pretend that nothing meaningful happens to the young.” At the New York Times, Authors Leslie Jamison and Benjamin Moser discuss whether there should be a minimum age requirement for writing a memoir.

From “megabooks” by Donna Tartt and Larry Kramer to multi-volume epics by Karl Ove Knausgaard and Elena Ferrante, Boris Kachka considers the place of the “Very Long Novel (VLN)” in today’s publishing environment. (Vulture)

Meanwhile, in advance of the Norwegian-American Literary Festival taking place in New York City tomorrow, Literary Hub lists five Norwegian writers, besides Karl Ove Knausgaard, to keep on your radar.

Shakespeare’s Portrait, the Secret Life of the Pencil, and More
Tue, 19 May 2015 15:57:30 +0000 -

Madeleine Thien on Hong Kong MFA closure; Folio Society to end Folio Prize sponsorship; a poet and a soldier write a 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:

Has William Shakespeare’s true likeness been revealed at last? Botanist and historian Mark Griffiths asserts that an engraving made in a 16th-century botany book is the only portrait of Shakespeare made during his lifetime. Griffiths claims he decoded Shakespeare’s resemblance through decorative motifs and emblems surrounding the engraved figure. (BBC News)

“In its abrupt closure of a small program, City University has chosen to make the act of writing a political battle.…Language can diminish and language can enlarge. For our young people, to read and to be read matters.” At the Guardian, novelist and creative writing professor Madeleine Thien weighs in on the decision of the City University of Hong Kong to shut down its MFA program in creative writing last month. Thien, who feels the decision intends to limit free speech, is one of the founding faculty members of the program.

The pencil is getting a closer look. Opening in London this week, a new art exhibition called “The Secret Life of the Pencil” features large-scale photographs of the beloved writing instruments of famous authors and artists. Proceeds from the exhibit will be donated to the international charity Children in Crisis, which aids children in countries experiencing conflict and civil war. (T Magazine)

Independent publisher Restless Books has started a Kickstarter campaign to publish classic literary texts with accompanying scholarly videos. Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote will be the first in the Restless Classics series, as this year marks the 400th anniversary of the book’s original publication.

At the New York Times, Margaret Sullivan considers how close a book reviewer should be to her subject: “What editors may see as compelling expertise, readers may see as bias.”

Upon completion of its two-year commitment, the Folio Society confirmed it would not renew its title sponsorship of the Folio Prize for Literature. The annual £40,000 award, which was originally established to rival the Man Booker Prize, recognizes the best English-language fiction published in the United Kingdom during the previous year, “regardless of form, genre, or an author’s country of origin.” (Bookseller)

Here’s a somewhat unlikely writing pair: A poet and a soldier-turned-attorney have published a novel. (Seattle Times)

New Conference Addresses Rare Book Theft, AWP Removes Vanessa Place From Panel Committee, and More
Mon, 18 May 2015 16:10:38 +0000 -

Herman Wouk turns one hundred; Brontë sisters BBC series; promotions for Harper Lee’s new 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:

The Association for Writers and Writing Programs has removed Vanessa Place from its 2016 Los Angeles conference panel committee. The decision was made in response to controversy surrounding Place’s Twitter page, on which the conceptual poet, who is white, is tweeting excerpts of Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind in the voice of the character Mammy. More than two thousand writers signed a petition to remove Place from the AWP panel committee, voicing concerns over what they felt to be racial insensitivity. In a statement issued this morning, the organization said of its decision: “AWP believes in freedom of expression. We also understand that many readers find Vanessa Place’s unmediated quotes of Margaret Mitchell’s novel to be unacceptable provocations, along with the images on her Twitter page. AWP must protect the efficacy of the conference subcommittee’s work.” (Change.org, Association of Writers & Writing Programs)

On June 26, the British Library will host an international conference centered on ways to protect cultural heritage. The conference, titled, “The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril,” was arranged to address an alarming rate of rare book and manuscript theft from national libraries. (Guardian)                                                                                                     

“For Wouk, the United States is a haven of safety and plenty in a planet on fire—and the only possible source of rescue for all those in danger.” At the Atlantic, David Frum considers the long career and literary achievements of American war novelist Herman Wouk, who will turn one hundred on May 27.

Booksellers across the country are preparing a variety of promotional strategies for the highly anticipated July 14 release of Harper Lee’s new novel, Go Set a Watchman. (Wall Street Journal)

Fast Company associate editor Jillian Goodman has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new general interest magazine with a staff comprised entirely of women. The Mary Review will feature criticism, poetry, fiction, art, and news reports. Though all of Mary’s content will be written and created by women, the publication aims to appeal to everyone.

In a positive turn for independent bookstores in the age of Amazon, Joanna Scutts reports for the Daily Beast about the various successes of the inaugural Independent Bookstore Day, which took place earlier this month.

A forthcoming BBC television drama will explore the family life of famous 19th-century literary sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë. To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters is set in Yorkshire, England, and follows the relationships between the sisters, their brother Branwell, and their self-educated father. The BBC has commissioned award­-winning television writer Sally Wainwright to write and direct the drama. (Bookseller)

Digital Publishing in Iran, Little Free Library Book Drive, and More
Fri, 15 May 2015 16:11:05 +0000 -

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Franz Wright has died; Colin Firth to play late book editor Max Perkins in film; trigger warning debate over Ovid; 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:

To celebrate its third anniversary of becoming a nonprofit, the Little Free Library organization is hosting a worldwide book drive for children’s and young adult books on May 16. People are encouraged to drop off books at their neighborhood Little Free Library; afterwards, stewards will distribute the books to communities in need. (RushPR News)

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Franz Wright has died at age sixty-two after a long battle with cancer. The son of James Wright, another Pulitzer Prize­–winning poet, Franz Wright authored over a dozen poetry collections and published several translations of work by Rainer Maria Rilke and Rene Char. Wright’s editor at Knopf, Deborah Garrison, said in a statement, “Franz lived for poetry—at times it seemed it kept him alive—and he managed to write poems in which the choice to live feels continually renewed, not just an urgent daily requirement for the poet but a call to arms that includes every single reader.” (SF Gate)

As citizens of one of the most censored countries in the world, Iranian writers and translators are turning to digital and underground publishing outlets to eschew censorship from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. (Guardian)

Lionsgate Films has bought the rights to a film about renowned Scribner book editor Max Perkins. The film, Genius, is an adaptation of A. Scott Berg’s biography of Perkins, who worked with famous authors including Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Colin Firth plays the role of Perkins. (Hollywood Reporter)

According to a report from the World Cities Cultural Forum, Buenos Aires, Argentina has more bookstores per capita than any other city in the world. The city boasts 735 bookstores for a population of 2.8 million. (Melville House)

A group of Columbia University students recently wrote an op-ed stating that the classical Greek tragedy Metamorphoses by Ovid needs a trigger warning because of its depictions of sexual violence (Washington Post). At the New Republic, University of Chicago professor Jerry A. Coyne responds, arguing that trigger warnings such as these may eventually lead to every literary work being labeled as offensive.

Poet Amiri Baraka’s play about author and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois, Most Dangerous Man, will premiere at the Castillo Theater in New York City on May 28. Director Woodie King Jr. speaks with the New York Times about the play and Du Bois’s influence on the late Baraka, who died in January 2014.

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.