Daily News from Poets & Writers

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Daily News in the Writing Community from Poets & Writers

Parenthood and Writing, Rejection Letters, and More
Fri, 27 May 2016 14:59:42 +0000 -

A Shakespeare-inspired card game; Macmillan has acquired Pronoun; internal legibility in poems; 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:

“A baby is, grimly enough, a tiny reminder of your own mortality. For me, seeing the passage of time reflected in my ever-changing children was a good kick in the ass to get to what I most wanted to do: writing.” Debut novelist Rumaan Alam mediates on how parenthood has made him a better writer. (BuzzFeed)

The British Library has digitized and made public more than three hundred items—drafts, diaries, letters, and notebooks—of major twentieth-century writers including Virginia Woolf, Ted Hughes, and Angela Carter. Amongst the documents are several rejection letters, including T. S. Eliot’s letter to George Orwell declining to publish Animal Farm. What the manuscript needed, Eliot asserted, was “not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.” (Guardian)

Tim Cassedy, an English professor at Southern Methodist University, and a group of students have released a card game based on Shakespeare’s plays, “Bards Dispense Profanity.” Similar to the popular game “Cards Against Humanity,” players compete to create the most ribald sentences using phrases from the Bard’s plays. (Washington Post)

Macmillan has bought Pronoun, the self-publishing platform that was originally founded as Vook. Pronoun will continue to offer free self-publishing services to authors, but will develop more advanced digital tools and opportunities for self-published writers to transition to a traditional publishing contract. (Publishers Weekly)

At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter considers novels with “girl” in the title and whether this trend of books where “bad things happen to girls” is on its way out.

Kate Gavino, illustrator and writer of the popular blog and book Last Night’s Reading, narrates and illustrates a video about the ABC’s of being an Asian American writer including “I is for intersectionality” and “W is for The Woman Warrior.” (Margins)

“I like it when poems attempt some kind of internal legibility that gives them the opportunity to be wrong, to fail whatever terms one sets out for them. To mean something, and not just be some scrambled ream of vocabulary or disconnected, facile observations.” Josef Kaplan talks with fellow poet Monica McClure. (Believer)

Seattle Tops Well-Read Cities List, Thin-Slice Historical Fiction, and More
Thu, 26 May 2016 15:46:11 +0000 -

Musician creates punk album from William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch; why “translated fiction” is not a genre; Raymond Carver’s brother writes the author a birthday tribute; 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:

Seattle is America’s most well-read city, according to an annual list released by Amazon.com. The list ranks cities with more than 500,000 residents based on their per-capita purchases of books and periodicals. (Business Wire)

Do you need more Beat-writer-punk-psychedelic music in your collection? If so, you’re in luck. Canadian musician King Khan has set audio of William S. Burroughs reading “obscene passages” from his 1959 novel Naked Lunch to music, resulting in a thirteen-song “psychedelic spoken word album.” The album, Let Me Hang You, will be released July 15 on Khan’s record label. (Independent)

At New Statesman, a writer explains why it is problematic for booksellers and readers to treat translated fiction as its own genre. “By giving translated fiction a separate section in bookshops and online stores and suggesting it is possible to ‘like’ translated fiction, just as one might like crime or sci-fi, booksellers imply that there is something that unites all of these books. Yet it is the broadest possible category.”

James Carver, brother of famed fiction writer Raymond Carver, writes a tribute to the late author and reflects on their lives together. (Electric Literature)

After an almost year-long global campaign advocating her release, Azerbaijani reporter Khadija Ismayilova has been freed from prison. Ismayilova was originally sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for her investigative work that linked Azerbaijani corruption to the highest rungs of the Azeri government, including President Ilham Aliyev. (PEN.org)

At Signature, best-selling historical fiction writer Erik Larson discusses his approach to writing about history—what he calls “thin-slice history”—and how he selects topics to write about based on their novelistic qualities.

Actor and writer B. J. Novak talks about democratizing writing, the influence of his father’s career as a ghostwriter on his own path, and his thoughts about actors playing writers in movies: “Nothing bothers me more in a movie than an actor playing a writer, and you just know he’s not a writer…Ethan Hawke is too hot to be a writer.” (New York Times)

Crowdsourcing Novels, Translation’s Role in Latin American Culture, and More
Wed, 25 May 2016 15:31:29 +0000 -

Nikki Giovanni on the fortieth anniversary of Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Roots; writers petition against Donald Trump; the inaugural Little Free Library Fest; 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 Kenyon Review features a conversation with Mexican essayist and translator Ilan Stavans and Latin American Studies and Translation professor Charles Hatfield on the role of translation in Latin American culture. The conversation is the first in a series on the topic, in which Stavans and Hatfield will discuss “the role of translation in the conquest of the Americas, moving on to the colonial period, the independence period, the nineteenth century, and the twentieth century.”

More on the subject of translation at the Ploughshares blog: Yardenne Greenspan discusses the difficulties of prioritizing work as both a translator and a writer. “Translation, like writing, is both time consuming and taxing to the mind. It requires creative commitment and depletes one’s literary resources…. By putting translation first in my daily routine I am, de facto, defining myself as a translator who writes, rather than a writer who translates.”

Poet Nikki Giovanni discusses the influence of Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Roots, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. Over Memorial Day weekend, a new remake of the 1977 television adaptation will air on several channels. (Literary Hub, New York Times)

What’s it like to crowdsource a novel on the Internet? A writer and editor for the tech website CNET shares what he learned from his experience collaborating with the public on a science fiction novel.

More than four hundred fifty U.S. writers—including Stephen King, Amy Tan, Rita Dove, and Junot Díaz—have signed a petition opposing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. As of today, the petition has reached more than eight thousand signatures. (iPetitions.com)

The recent ban of a graphic novel from a Minnesota school over its “inappropriate language” has drawn protests from free speech organizations, including the National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN America, and the National Council of Teachers of English. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, the inaugural Little Free Library Fest was held in Minneapolis this past weekend. During the event, community members constructed a hundred Little Free Libraries, which were then distributed to neighborhoods and facilities in need. (Publishers Weekly)

Raining Poetry, the First Science-Fiction Story, and More
Tue, 24 May 2016 16:18:37 +0000 -

Herman Melville’s love affairs; Barnes & Noble Education partners with fourteen more colleges; poet francine j. harris on reinventing language; 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 Boston, a public-art installation titled “Raining Poetry” is bringing poetry to the people in a fun, unique way. The nonprofit Mass Poetry and the city of Boston have stenciled poems on sidewalks in a water-repellant spray that is invisible during dry weather and appears only when it rains. (Smithsonian)

According to World Fantasy Award–winning writer John Crowley, the genre of science fiction began in 1616 with German author Johann Valentin Andrae’s book, The Chemical Wedding. This November, Crowley is working with a German language scholar to publish his own version of the story. (Guardian)

“Extremely long titles that are sentences are still Very Much A Thing.” At Electric Literature, Kelly Luce shares twelve trends in contemporary fiction she observed from reading short story submissions for the 2016 O. Henry Prize.

Barnes & Noble College has partnered with fourteen more U.S. colleges and universities to operate their campus bookstores; the new partnerships will provide an estimated 140,000 students and faculty with books and course materials.  (Yahoo! News)

Poet francine j. harris discusses her most recent collection, play dead, as well as embracing how language shifts over time, and how a poet plays with expectations. “A poet is interested in trying to reach the point where you understand, and then pushing that understanding.” (Divedapper)

In an interview at the Paris Review, fiction writer Stephanie Danler talks about the influences behind her debut novel, Sweetbitter, which is released today from Knopf.

A new biography of Herman Melville, as well as a new novel about the author, delve into his love affairs to discover the muse of his novel Moby-Dick. Was it Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated the novel, or his neighbor Sarah Morewood? (Wall Street Journal)

Big-Name Authors Venture Into Comics, Against Adverbs, and More
Mon, 23 May 2016 15:57:39 +0000 -

Man Booker winner Han Kang on Korean literature and translation; Gabriel García Márquez’s ashes returned to Colombia; an interview with Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich; 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 first issue of the Black Panther comic series, written by National Book Award–winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates, is so far the best-selling comic of the year. Coates is part of a growing number of acclaimed literary authors—including Michael Chabon and Margaret Atwood—who have ventured into writing comics. (NPR)

At Vulture, Christian Lorentzen makes a case against the overuse of adverbs. “The adverbs easiest to hate are the so-called sentence adverbs—also known as conjunctive adverbs. Writers who lean on the crutches of ‘moreover,’ ‘accordingly,’ ‘consequently,’ and ‘likewise’ are declaring a lack of confidence in the sequence of their own logic or a lack of faith in their readers’ ability to follow it.” 

A report from the Association of American Publishers shows an overall industry sales decline in 2015. Jonathon Sturgeon considers how self-published authors and small presses impact the larger market, in a year when, “for the first time, the combined share of self-published books and books by ‘very small publishers’ (42 percent) is now larger than the total market share of Big Publishing (34 percent).” (Flavorwire)

Man Booker International Prize winner Han Kang and her translator Deborah Smith discuss their typical writing days, as well as the translation process for Kang’s award-winning novel, The Vegetarian. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, at the Financial Times, Kang talks more about the novel, which was first published in Korea nine years ago, and has since undergone multiple translations. “The way I write is very personal, and the concept of literature and nationality, they don’t go well with each other. As for language, it’s different. I always feel fascinated by subtlety and delicacy of language, so I have this great debt to Korean literature. But when I write my novels, I always have a sense of universality.”

An interview with Belarusian writer and 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich is up at the Millions. Alexievich’s 2013 oral history of post-Soviet Russia, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, comes out this week in English for the first time.

Yesterday, a portion of Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s ashes were returned to his home in Cartagena, Colombia, after being held in Mexico since his death in 2014. Márquez had lived in Mexico since the 1980s, but his family, which is based in Cartagena, decided that the author’s ashes should rest where his family members are buried. (BBC News)

Computers Write Bad Poems, Emily Dickinson’s Biographers, and More
Fri, 20 May 2016 16:11:50 +0000 -

Elena Ferrante interviewed; Copper Canyon Press launches the New Poets Project; how to incorporate today’s tech into fiction; 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:

Poets, do not fear the tech-pocalypse just yet: Computers are not good at writing poems! Dartmouth College recently held a contest—a variation of the Turing Test—that pitted artificial intelligence against human poets; the judges were easily able to distinguish between sonnets written by humans and those produced by the algorithms, the latter which lacked poetic feeling and nuance—you know, the human aspects. (Associated Press) 

Speaking of today’s tech, how does a fiction writer who chronicles contemporary society keep up with the times, while simultaneously attempting to achieve artistic timelessness? One tactic, fiction writer Teddy Wayne suggests, is to  “anonymize the technology, lest it soon be replaced. Instead of having a character watching a show on Netflix or HBO Go, it might be more prudent to talk of generically ‘streaming’ it (a term that may someday look as needlessly silly as ‘word search’).” (New York Times)

“In the twenty-first century, Emily Dickinson has become very much about ourselves, an interpretation that has been allowed to flourish partly because of her anonymity.” At the New Republic, Alexandra Pechman considers how biographers of poet Emily Dickinson fail to show readers who she was, instead reading “Dickinson herself like a text,” and making her into a version of the biographer. 

The New Yorker features an excerpt of a correspondence between Elena Ferrante and another Italian novelist, Nicola Lagioia. The full version of the interview will appear in Ferrante’s forthcoming book, Frantumaglia, which will be published in November by Europa Editions.

“Poetry is a bridge where we can meet and see one another clearly without shame or pause.” Poets Ocean Vuong and Camille Rankine, both whose debut collections were published by Copper Canyon Press, are participating in the press’s New Poets Project, a campaign to fund the publication of debut books.

Since Han Kang won the Man Booker International Prize for her novel The Vegetarian on Tuesday, searches for the term Kafkaesque spiked dramatically at Merriam-Webster.com.

Brooke Warner, publisher of She Writes Press, discusses the “gatekeeper” divide between traditional and independent publishing (“where the role gets falsely propped up by supporters of traditional publishing and completely dismissed by those who favor the indie space”), and suggests that book distributors may the industry’s new gatekeepers. (Huffington Post)

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.