- Renowned American poet Galway Kinnell died of leukemia last week at the age of 87. Kinnell received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1982’s Selected Poems—as well as a MacArthur genius grant, a poet laureateship in Vermont, a chancellorship at the American Academy of Poets, and, most recently, the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The World War II vet, anti-Vietnam War activist, and civil rights champion infused his verse with the gritty social issues pervading the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Los Angeles Times writes that the Kinnell is celebrated for his “forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life,” and how he “blended the physical and the philosophical, not shying from the most tactile and jarring details of humans and nature.” His work reflects the influence that Walt Whitman and friend W.S. Merwin had on him. Kinnell—who also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Reed College before retiring in 2011—is survived by his wife, two children from a former marriage, and two grandchildren.
Tag: Poetry (1-10 of 43)
Bookseller Barnes & Noble is launching the Espresso Book Machine at three store locations, including New York’s Union Square flagship. The machines, which retail at $80,000 a piece, print books on demand—then collate, cover, and bind them in minutes for customers. [Good e-Reader]
Valérie Trierweiler, the ex-girlfriend of French President François Hollande, published a tell-all memoir last week. France’s former First Lady writes in detail about her relationship with the highly unpopular President Hollande, including the devastation she experienced after finding out about his highly publicized affair with French actress Julie Gayet. A senior Socialist politician said that the release of the book is “a mortal poison for François but also, perhaps, for a whole generation of politicians,” The Telegraph reports. READ FULL STORY
Versatile TV and radio personality Nick Cannon will soon be adding “published poet” to his list of professional accomplishments. Today Scholastic announced it will publish Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems, a hip-hop-influenced children’s poetry book written and partially illustrated by Cannon, in March 2015.
The poetry collection will include “funny, silly, gross, heartwarming, as well as serious poems,” according to the Scholastic press release. Cannon—a musician, comedian, actor, producer and host of America’s Got Talent—will do some of the illustrations himself, while others will be the work of notable streets artists like Califawnia (a.k.a. Fawn Arthur), Art Mobb (a.k.a. Michael Farhat), and MAST.
Neon Aliens is inspired by Cannon’s love for both poetry and hip-hop. “Writing is at the center of everything I do as an artist,” Cannon said. “As a kid, it was my escape from the inner-city pitfalls.” He credits Shel Silverstein in particular with fostering his passion for writing poetry and creating art from a young age—and aspires to do the same for kids today with his book. “I hope that poems in Neon Aliens will help inspire kids to want to get out a pen and paper to write or draw their own thoughts, rhymes, and stories.”
The book deal is the result of a collaboration between Nick Cannon’s production and management company Ncredible Entertainment, Vice President at Scholastic Debra Dorfman, and the investment group Impact Republic. Scholastic is set to publish a previously announced children’s book by Cannon in November, Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas.
This week, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill calling for the revision of the state’s history and social science curriculum to include instruction on “the election of President Barack Obama and the significance of the United States electing its first African American President.”
Specifically, the law requires the Calif. Instructional Quality Commission to consider recommending the adoption of the requirement to the state board. The bill has been tacked on to the state’s Education Code, meaning that the historical and social gravity of Obama’s landmark 2008 election could soon become required reading in school textbooks statewide. READ FULL STORY
Theodor Geisel’s golden years were the 1950s, when he published Horton Hears a Who! (1955), The Cat in the Hat (1957), and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), as well as the screenplay for The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. He also published a few short stories in Redbook magazine. Random House is now publishing Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories, a collection of stories from the Redbook days, adding illustrations, and releasing it as a picture book in September. [The Guardian]
Before his untimely death last year, Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos was working on a novel more ambitious than anything else he wrote: It’s a 859-page historical novel about Mark Twain and Henry Morton Stanley, the famous explorer who found missionary Robert Livingstone in central Africa. He finished the manuscript before he died, and now Hijuelos’ widow is pursuing publication. The novel, Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise, will be published in the fall of 2015 along with an unpublished short story. Hijuelos’ wife also said he had another 700-page manuscript written, but she doesn’t currently plan to publish it. “I see Twain and Stanley as Oscar’s crowning achievement,” she said. [The New York Times] READ FULL STORY
The New York Times examines the rampant wave of poets laureate in the United States. “‘I’ve been to places where there is a poet laureate for every ZIP code,’ Billy Collins, a former United States and New York State laureate, said. ‘The country is crawling with them. I think it’s out of control.'” [The New York Times]
Diamond, a comic book distribution company, released its mid-2014 state-of-the-industry report. Comic book merchandise sales are up, but actual comic book sales are down. [Publishers Weekly]
Andrew Crofts, one of the most successful writers you’ve never heard of, speaks about his ghostwriting career. He’s written 80 books in 40 years, and his books have sold over 10 million copies. He earns more than most professional writers, and charges an average of six figures (in pounds) for his books. [The Guardian]
Reviewing three new books about banned literature (Ulysses, Doctor Zhivago, and The Satanic Verses), Leo Robinson digs into the history of literary censorship. “An often heard literary argument against censorship is that—as well as misrepresenting novels—it dominates their reputations.” [The New Statesman]
In a wide-ranging interview, The Rumpus talks to novelist and Authors Guild co-vice president Ricard Russo about the Amazon-Hachette dispute, a career in writing fiction, and the future of publishing. [The Rumpus]
The New Yorker highlights five pieces from its archive about New York City. [The New Yorker]
The newest addition to Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels has been announced. Sophie Hannah has written The Monogram Murders, which will be released on September 9th. Hannah says that she had the idea for the plot for years, but it wasn’t until she was offered the chance to author a Hercule Poirot novel that she found the perfect setting. See the her talk about the book in the video below:
Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn takes a shot at writing a graphic short called “Masks,” and frankly, it’s a little terrifying. Illustrated by Dave Gibbons, the graphic story artist who drew Alan Moore’s Watchmen comic series, the comic is V for Vendetta except with masked moms who are exacting vigilante justice on high school bullies. In a masked frenzy, the well intentioned moms end up bludgeoning an innocent kid to death. This collaboration was part of a promotion for the upcoming comics exhibit at the British Library in London, so Flynn hasn’t forsaken her prose novels. But it would be cool if she got a taste for comics and did her next novel as a graphic! [Guardian]
Neil Gaiman is giving away free copies of Stardust on May 3rd! That got you excited right? Well, the fine print is that it’s only happening in Sainsbury’s, a UK grocery chain. Eff. When you pick up a copy of The Guardian in the grocery, you get a copy of Stardust to celebrate the paperback release of his newest book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. So Brits, get on that…and please send me one! [Guardian]
The Polish poet Tadeusz Różewicz passed away at 92. His poetry was deeply influenced by the European political turmoil of the 20th century: the insidious infiltration of fascism, the terrors of World War II, the rise and fall of the USSR. The Guardian reports that both he and his brother (also a poet) served in the Polish Underground, but his brother was killed by the Gestapo in 1944. His hard life led to his stripped down style of poetry, affecting and merciless. [Guardian]
I am an unabashed Celine Dion fan. Whether you love her or loathe her, Slate has an interesting essay by Mary Gaitskill, who wrote the story that became that movie Secretary (such a great flick). She picks apart why Dion is so polarizing (and it’s not because she’s Québécois!) and why our tastes in art can make us want to throttle artists sometimes. This is an excerpt from the upcoming book, Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste. Need this. [Slate via NPR]
Rush over to The New Yorker because they have some new work by Rebecca Solnit! Solnit is both an avid environmental activist and a beautiful, philosphical writer. She’s written 16 books, including these amazing city guides where she layers old maps showing various forgotten and unusual aspects of city history, unfolding magical energy lines and mysteries. So far she’s done San Francisco and New Orleans. This essay in The New Yorker is an adaptation from her new collection Men Explain Things to Me. Brilliant title. [The New Yorker]
On The Books: Claudia Rankine wins poetry prize; the trials of building Noah's Ark and Shakespeare's Globe Theater
Jamaican poet Claudia Rankine won the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize this year, which comes with a sweet award of $50,000. Rankine has published four books of poetry; her last was 2004’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. She told The New York Times that she plans to publish a follow-up in October called Citizen. “Both books reside in the realm where one’s attempts to negotiate a day are complicated by racial interactions,” Ms. Rankine said. “Where ‘Lonely’ looked at the role of media in our private lives, ‘Citizen’ attempts to understand how black people, like tennis star Serena Williams, negotiate racism on a public stage.” Rankine was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets last year and currently teaches at Pomona College. [New York Times]
The Financial Times ran a story (on their salmon pink website to match their salmon pink paper) about the battle for Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theater. The Bard had a little known nemesis, the maniacal Lady Elizabeth Russell, who lived next door to his playhouse. She was your typical belligerent neighbor who’s always snooping in your business. To take her down a notch, “the playwright had lampooned members of the Dowager’s coterie in Henry IV, Part 1,” and he skewered her husband as a drunk buffoon — so Russell was out for payback. She turned many of Shakespeare’s friends against him and pushed through a petition to have the Globe shuttered, but the story ends with an ironic twist – classic Will! – so you have to finish the article to get the joke of the whole thing. [Financial Times]
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