Google Books, Joan Didion's Birthday, Amazon's Latest Imprint, and More

by James F. Thompson

Daily News

Online Only, posted 12.5.13

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 obsession with digital errors in Google Books arises from the sense that these mistakes are permanent, on the record." In the New Yorker, Kenneth Goldsmith examines how human error complicates Google’s attempts to scan books and documents.

Joan Didion turns seventy-nine today, and to honor her birthday the Huffington Post has compiled a list of tips gleaned from her literary wisdom regarding how to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Amazon's latest imprint, StoryFront, is dedicated exclusively to Kindle and will focus on short fiction across all genres. (Publishers Weekly)

The New York Times reveals its list of the ten best books of 2013.

Britain's Literary Review selected author Manil Suri as the winner of this year's Bad Sex Award for his novel The City of Devi. The dubious award is meant to ”draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it." (Washington Post)

In the Rumpus, novelist Catherine Bush discusses the nebulous line between professional and private life, her creative process, and the challenges of writing Accusation, her latest novel. 

“I felt trapped in two dimensions, like a man climbing stairs made of paint.” Writer Boyer Rickel reflects on love, loss, and disease after experiencing the pain of losing his partner. (Guernica)

The National Poetry Series, which publishes five books of poetry each year, may close in 2014 due to a shortcoming in its annual fund-raising efforts. (New York Times)

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.

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.


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

by Kevin Larimer

Special Section

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.


Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

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.