E. B. White's Maine Hideaway, Worst Job Posting Goes Viral, and More

by Evan Smith Rakoff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 12.13.12

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:

GalleyCat explains why writers should make use of the hip-hop music wikipedia-like website Rap Genius.

"It’s late September and my husband and I are in North Brooklin, Maine, walking down a plain gravel path towards the cedar shake writing shed of someone who hasn’t invited us: Elwyn Brooks White…." Mira Ptacin visits author E. B. White's Maine hideaway. (Writers' Houses)

After a listing went viral on social media, Salon reports on the "worst job posting ever," which happens to be for an editorial intern position at Dalkey Archive Press.

Meanwhile, John O’Brien, the director of Dalkey Archive Press reponds: "I certainly have been called an ‘asshole’ before, but not as many times within a 24-hour period." (Irish Times)

Poet CAConrad compiled his annual best of the small press list for 2012. (Harriet)

The New Yorker looks at the legacy of Neal Cassady—Jack Kerouac’s muse, and basis for the character of Dean Moriarty in On the Road.

Octopus Books and Tin House Books will collaborate on a new poetry series. (NewPages)

Huffington Post explains why bad reviews can be a good thing.

Comments

142400 says...

Dear Mr. O’Brien:

My name is Jefferson Washington. I am currently employed as a slave on the Sweet Magnolia plantation near Yazoo City, Mississippi. I wish to expand my horizons beyond the plantation and am considering a career in publishing.

Originally, my overseer allowed me to enroll in night classes at the University of Mississippi, as long as it didn’t lower his metrics on the number of pounds of cotton I picked during the day. While taking classes in world literature at Ole Miss, I became an intern in the facilities department in a role in which I maintained over a dozen men’s rooms on campus. Unfortunately, several white janitors union members complained that I was taking their jobs away from them, and I was dismissed. Because I no longer could earn my keep, I was forced to leave school and return to the plantation.

My disappointment was palpable. As you know, it is rare for a slave to know how to read, and it is rarer still to find a slave who knows how to read and interpret Uzbek experimental fiction, to give just one example of my numerous strengths. So I am applying for one or more of the advertised positions. I can cite the following qualifications, which I believe provide an excellent match for your requirements:

-Highly productive picker of cotton

-Minimal whip scars, demonstrating my complete cooperation with management’s business model

-Ability to receive and execute orders without question, or dirty looks that can get you lynched

-Fluent in the literatures of former Soviet republics

I should add there is one additional benefit of hiring me: my presence would increase the diversity of your operations exponentially.

Unfortunately, my master does not appreciate these efforts to improve my station in life, and he sees little use in either studying or publishing literature. If my master truly wanted sophisticated reading, he should look no further than the Review of Contemporary Fiction. I, myself, read your journal religiously, taking a pass on the nightly dancing and spiritual-singing of my less-literate colleagues (at no small social cost I might add).

So I am contacting you in hopes of joining your publishing team. If I were hired, you would have an employee dedicated 24x7 to Dalkey Archive’s success. I sincerely hope that you agree I am the best applicant whom you will hear from. Given my background, I believe the transition from field slave to unpaid intern would be seamless. However, you may need to exchange something in-kind for my master to hire me out. Lightly worn clothing and/or slave quarters, built either at Sweet Magnolia or on the University of Illinois campus, would likely persuade him to release me to your care.

Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours very truly,

Jefferson Washington

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

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Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.

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Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

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Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.

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Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

News and Trends

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.

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