Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

PBS Expands Book Programming, Behind the Celebrity Book Deal, and More
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:14:35 +0000 -

Uncertain future for Carmen Balcells lit agency; Iran protests Frankfurt Book Fair; an appreciation of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse; 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:

After the death of Carmen Balcells last month, the future of her literary agency, Agencia Carmen Balcells, remains uncertain. Rachel Donadio reports for the New York Times on the ensuing management negotiations and potential buyers, which she describes as “a land grab involving some of the biggest personalities in world publishing.” Balcells, who founded the agency in 1956, represented some of the most acclaimed authors in Latin American letters, including Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa.

PBS has big plans for its book programming. Since launching the show Book View Now in September 2014—which covered industry events including BookExpo America and the National Book Festival—PBS has been working to expand its original programming and build content for a distribution platform that includes other PBS shows, websites, libraries, and partner networks. The expanded programming aims to target a broader range of readers by providing coverage of fiction, young adult literature, genre fiction, graphic novels, and more. (Publishers Weekly)

Last week it was revealed that comedian Amy Schumer inked a book deal with Simon & Schuster worth between eight and ten million dollars. At the New Republic, Alex Shepard weighs in on the multi-million-dollar celebrity book deal and the publishers’ logic behind it.

Fiction writer Lauren Groff—whose third novel Fates and Furies is longlisted for the National Book Award—discusses what Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse taught her about depicting the passage of time in writing. “Her project…is to capture the fleeting nature of happiness and transfer it directly to the reader. It’s a sort of literary possession, a ghosting.” (Atlantic)

The Washington Post’s Julia Carpenter interviews fiction and nonfiction writer Sloane Crosely about the inspiration behind her new novel, The Clasp, and returning to fiction writing after publishing two best-selling essay collections.

Upon learning that novelist Salman Rushdie will be a guest speaker at next week’s Frankfurt Book Fair, Iran’s deputy culture minister Abbas Salehi sent a protest letter to festival organizers and encouraged other Muslim countries to follow suit and boycott the fair. Rushdie has been under fatwa since the publication of his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, for its portrayal of the prophet Muhammad. (Yahoo News)

For booksellers, here’s one idea to set your store apart from the rest: Only stock one book. A branch of the Tokyo-based bookstore Morioka Shoten offers a single title on a weekly basis. The owner came up with the idea after organizing readings for single publications, and appreciated the dedicated space and attention given to the books. (GalleyCat)

Ted Hughes Biography Controversy, Salman Rushdie on Literary Influence, and More
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 16:23:04 +0000 -

Elizabeth Bishop and Clarice Lispector’s relationship; Jenny Diski’s memoir-in-parts; Swedish novelist Henning Mankell has died; 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:

They were peers, decidedly not friends, and not quite “frenemies.” At the Poetry Foundation, writer Alexandra Pechman considers the complicated relationship between Brazilian fiction writer Clarice Lispector and poet Elizabeth Bishop. “To associate with someone might mean to let her talents suggest your own; to inspire jealousy or insecurity can be flattering. This kind of relationship needs a different kind of vocabulary.”

Best-selling Swedish author Henning Mankell died Sunday at age sixty-seven. Mankell was a leading figure in the Nordic noir genre, best known for his series of crime novels featuring Swedish police inspector Kurt Wallander. Over the course of his career, Henning wrote more than forty books of fiction and forty plays. (New York Times)

In the latest installment of Biographile’s Under the Influence series, in which noted authors share their inspiration, Salman Rushdie discusses the nature of literary influence, its vast capacity and omnipresence, and how to channel the work of others to bring “newness into the world.”

Jonathan Bate’s new biography of late poet Ted Hughes, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorized Life, has garnered controversy over Bate’s rights to Hughes’s archive—which were ultimately revoked—as well as the book’s omission of details regarding Hughes’s part in poet Sylvia Plath’s suicide. In a review at the Independent, Jonathan Gibbs writes, “Bate doesn’t explicitly convict or exculpate Hughes for Plath’s death, but this is broadly a redemptive book.” Meanwhile, Bate discusses the controversy and the genesis of his biographical project.

An exhibit opening this weekend at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art examines the history of Black Mountain College, the famed, experimental arts institution that lasted just twenty-three years, from 1933-1957. Black Mountain’s literature teachers and students included poets Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, and Charles Olson. (Boston Globe)

“A long time ago I’d concluded that there was no point in my life if I wasn’t to be a writer.” Part fourteen of British author Jenny Diski’s new memoir—which is being published serially in the London Review of Books—is now online.

In today’s fragmented and tense sociopolitical landscape, E. M. Forster’s famous phrase “only connect” may appear suspect. Author and law professor Jedediah S. Purdy suggests that acclaimed writers Ta-Nehisi Coates and Elena Ferrante succeed in making human connection seem more possible by resisting its expected principles. “These writers render, at arrestingly high resolution, the distance of our minds from one another, and the gaps and barriers between a person and the world. What unifies their writing is refusal to indulge the wish that language—the language of unity, universality, even sympathetic imagination—can rejoin what living sunders.” (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Ferrante’s “Fragments,” Nigeria’s Booksellers, and More
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:34:13 +0000 -

BlazeVox announces Bettering American Poetry anthology; a tour of Margaret Atwood’s speculative novels; Dan Beachy-Quick on Moby-Dick; 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:

On January 5, Europa Editions will publish a collection of interviews and letters from best-selling novelist Elena Ferrante titled Fragments: On Writing, Reading, and Absence. An excerpt from the forthcoming book—in which Ferrante discusses her writing process and her decision to remain anonymous—is up at Guernica.

At the Boston Review, poet Dan Beachy-Quick offers a reading of Moby-Dick as a “primer to creative crisis.” “To read Moby-Dick by its own light—and we must keep in mind that it is a novel about pursuing illumination—is to find ourselves obsessed with the nature of obsession.”

In response to last month’s Best American Poetry controversy and conversations surrounding inclusiveness and cultural appropriation in the poetry community, indie publisher BlazeVox Books announced it will publish a new anthology titled Bettering American Poetry, which will “intentionally shift favor so that the literary landscape within this anthology reflects a ranging plurality of voices in American poetry and illuminates the possibilities of sharing space.” Nominations for the anthology are open until November 30.

Nigerian novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani reports for the New Yorker on the state of Nigeria’s literary culture and the struggles and successes of various booksellers in the country.

Submit your work while supporting a good cause. Throughout the month of October, 100 percent of Sundog Lit’s submission fees will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

In a new memoir, Hemingway in Love: His Own Story, A. E. Hotchner, one of Ernest Hemingway’s closest friends, reveals how the author’s love affairs changed his life and influenced his art. (Smithsonian

To celebrate the recent release of Margaret Atwood’s fifth novel, The Heart Goes Last, Flavorwire takes a chronological look back at all of Atwood’s speculative novels, beginning with her 1985 work The Handmaid’s Tale.

Mary Karr on the Art of Memoir, T. S. Eliot's Love Life, and More
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:26:38 +0000 -

Blackstone Audio launches print imprint; the ethics of cultural appropriation in literature; Patti Smith’s new memoir; 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:

“One reason I talk a lot about my own mind is to show that I’m feeling for the truth, not reporting, not pulling out a pristine file from a drawer. If you’re not showing the edges of your consciousness, you’re not psychologically self-aware enough to write [a memoir].” At the Rumpus, Emma Winsor Wood interviews memoirist and poet Mary Karr about the perception of memoir as the “trashy genre,” as well as how to negotiate with the limits of memory.

A new edition of poems by T. S. Eliot offers a glimpse into the modernist poet’s romantic and sexual life, with the inclusion of previously unpublished poems from his notebooks written to his second wife, Valerie. Faber will release the collection in the United Kingdom in November. (Guardian)

Audiobook publisher Blackstone Audio has launched a print imprint, with its first title, James W. Huston’s thriller The Blood Flag, due out in November. Blackstone plans to release fifteen to twenty titles a year. (Publishers Weekly)

New York–based Polis Books will publish Ted Dawe’s young adult novel Into the River, the first book to be banned in New Zealand in more than twenty years. The book was banned last month after Christian groups sent complaints about the book’s “detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language, and scenes of drug-taking.” (GalleyCat)

David Crystal, author of Making a Point: The Persnickety Story of English Punctuation, surveys the Western canon’s most lax and most scrupulous punctuation stylists. William Wordsworth, who admitted he was hopeless with punctuation, used to send his poetry to be copyedited by chemist Humphry Davy. Mark Twain, on the other hand, once wrote in an 1889 letter, “Yesterday Mr. Hall wrote that the printer’s proof-reader was improving my punctuation for me, and I telegraphed orders to have him shot without giving him time to pray.” (Guardian)

“Can some kinds of appropriation shatter stereotypes? This has been literature’s implicit promise: that entering into another’s consciousness enlarges our own.” At the New York Times Magazine, Parul Sehgal considers the ethics of cultural appropriation in literature.

At the Los Angeles Times, David Ulin reviews Patti Smith’s new memoir, M Train, which will be released next week by Knopf. “When she writes of having ‘no task more exceptional than to rescue a fleeting thought, as a tuft of wool, from the combo of the wind,’ she is describing her entire aesthetic, in which the internal becomes externalized, or vice versa, and we find ourselves moving through a landscape that is both utterly real and also strangely magical, one defined by myth and icons…”

Past is Present, the American Antiquarian Society’s blog, rounds up unusual names of nineteenth-century newspapers, including the Sucker and Farmer’s Record, the Horseneck Truth Teller and Gossip Journal, and the Mud Turtle.

International Translation Day, Folio Prize Suspended, and More
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:32:37 +0000 -

Book banned in New Zealand to be published in the U.S; an interview with Valeria Luiselli; National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honorees announced; 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:

Appropriating the voice of the Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway character has its risks, but some writers are able to pull it off. At Literary Hub, Robert Hahn considers three novelists who are “crucially linked by their appropriation of the Carraway narration:” Donna Tartt, Lorrie Moore, and Richard Ford.

The National Book Foundation has announced its tenth annual 5 Under 35 honorees. The award is given to writers under the age of thirty-five who have published one book of fiction within the last five years. Among the honorees—who will each receive $1,000—are Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House; Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins; and Megan Kruse, author of Call Me Home. Read more at the Grants & Awards Blog.

Meanwhile, the finalists for the second annual Kirkus Prizes in fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature have been announced. The nonfiction finalists include Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk; the fiction finalists include Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies and Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth. The winners, who will each receive $50,000, will be named on October 15.

Speaking of Valeria Luiselli, read an interview with the Kirkus Prize finalist at Asymptote journal, in which she discusses her influences, the decision to write in Spanish, the importance of translation, and the growing attention on Latin American literature.

And while we’re on the theme of translation, happy International Translation Day! Celebrate by reading literature in translation at journals such as Asymptote, Words Without Borders, and World Literature Today.

Former National Endowment for the Arts literature director Ira Silverberg will join Simon & Schuster as a senior editor in October. Silverberg has held numerous positions in publishing—as an agent, editor, and publisher—and has served on the boards of organizations including PEN American Center and Bomb magazine. (Authorlink)

In other publishing news, Paris Review editor in chief Lorin Stein has accepted an editor at large position at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Stein will acquire and/or edit between four and eight titles a year for the publisher’s Macmillan division. (Publishers Weekly)

The U.K.’s Folio Prize for fiction is currently in sponsorship limbo, and will not run in 2016. The Folio Society announced it would not renew its sponsorship of the £40,000 prize, which was conferred to George Saunders in 2014 and Akhil Sharma in 2015. (Bookseller)

A young adult novel that was recently banned in New Zealand is to be published by Polis Books in the U.S. and Canada. Ted Dawe’s award-winning book Into the River was the first book to be banned in New Zealand in more than twenty years. (GalleyCat)

Writers Look Back at Their First Novels, Jane Austen App, and More
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 16:07:06 +0000 -

MacArthur Genius fellows announced; Daniel Handler and wife give $1 million to Planned Parenthood; confessional writing’s legacy; 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:

At the Millions, six authors look back on their debut novels and how their relationships with them have changed over time.

The MacArthur Foundation has announced the 2015 recipients of the MacArthur Genius grants. Among the twenty-four fellows are poet, novelist, and critic Ben Lerner, journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, and poet Ellen Bryant Voigt. Individual awards of $625,000 are given annually to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Read more on the Grants & Awards blog.

Best-selling author Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, and his wife, children’s book author Lisa Brown, are donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood. The literary pair’s generous donation comes at a time when federal aid to Planned Parenthood is at risk of being significantly cut. (Shelf Awareness)

Fifty years after the publication of Sylvia Plath’s poetry collection Ariel, a quintessential mid-century “confessional” work, writers Leslie Jamison and Charles McGrath discuss the legacy of “confessional” writing in the age of memoir: “American literary culture features both a glut of so-called “confessional” work and an increasingly familiar knee-jerk backlash against it: This writing is called solipsistic or narcissistic…. Its heritage is often traced to women writers, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, and its critiques are insidiously—and subcutaneously—gendered.” (New York Times)

At the Rumpus, Pulitzer Prize–winning fiction writer Adam Johnson discusses the difference between therapeutic writing and storytelling, the power of scene-based realism, and his new story collection, Fortune Smiles, which is currently longlisted for the National Book Award.

“He believes that the propositions his writing presents—uncreative writing’s permission to borrow entire texts, for example—are more interesting than the writing itself.” The New Yorker’s Alec Wilkinson considers conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s “challenging behavior,” which many in the poetry world feel has gone too far—particularly after Goldsmith’s “performance” last spring of Michael Brown’s autopsy report.

Do you feel like your days would be better if you could read more Jane Austen quotes? There’s an app for that. The Jane Austen Center in Bath, England, has launched the Jane Austen Daily Quote App, which directly delivers Austen witticisms to users’ smartphones. (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:

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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.