Kurt Vonnegut's Story Grids, Labor Dispute at the Strand, and More

by Evan Smith Rakoff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 3.16.12

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:

To celebrate National Novel Editing Month, GalleyCat features a writing tool Kurt Vonnegut used, story grids.

Poet Kevin Young's new book of nonfiction, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, was released this week. Reviewing The Grey Album for the New York Times, Dwight Garner writes Young's book "is an ambitious blast of fact and feeling, a nervy piece of performance art."

The Strand, a famed and enormous bookstore in New York City, is in the midst of a labor dispute with its unionized employees. (WNET)

An Italian human rights group, Gherush92, insists Dante's fourteenth-century epic poem Divine Comedy be removed from schools because of its "offensive and discriminatory" content. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News traces the origins of the offensive word that recently caused radio host Rush Limbaugh so much vexation back to another fourteenth-century epic, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Chaucer used the word to describe a slovenly man: “Why is thy lord so sluttish, I thee pray, And is of power better clothes to bey."

Letters of Note discovered a thoughtful exchange between E. B. White and the Xerox corporation concerning the importance of a free press. The letters were written in 1975 after White protested Xerox's planned sponsorship of an essay in Esquire.

The Philadelphia Daily News profiles a sign language poetry festival, Signing Hands Across the Water, occurring this weekend at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. The performance features American and British poets who "express themselves through movement rather than by speaking."

For Saint Patrick's Day, the blog at Los Angeles Review of Books revisits Samuel Beckett's masterful Waiting for Godot.


Seth123 says...

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.