Tolkien Lawsuit, Unfilmable Books, and More

by Evan Smith Rakoff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 11.20.12

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:

The estate of J. R. R. Tolkien has filed an eighty million dollar lawsuit against Warner charging promotions for the Lord of the Rings films, including online slot machines, are copyright violations. (Deadline)

In other film news, with Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi in theaters at midnight tonight, NPR looks at difficulties of making "unfilmable" books into good movies.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports filmmaker Michael Maren recently assembled a huge cast of writers to fill tables at a Brooklyn coffee shop for a scene in his upcoming film, A Short History of Decay, including Gary Shteyngart, Jean Hanff Korelitz, Jennifer Egan, Roxana Robinson, Philip Gourevitch, Michael Cunningham, Nick Flynn, and many others.

In the wake of the news of Philip Roth's retirement, Jason Diamond considers what the novelist's exit means for Jewish fiction. (New York Observer)

"Write the scene knowing that everything, always, can be fractured, broken, dissolved." Author and writing instructor Emily Rapp shares thoughts on Thanksgiving. (Role/Reboot)

Author Andrew Shaffer shines a light on Tim Ferriss's claim that his new book, 4-Hour Chef, is "the most banned book in United States history." (Huffington Post)

From the new book, Kurt Vonnegut: Letters, Slate features a missive from Vonnegut to novelist Richard Gehman, who'd just accepted a job at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop: “Don’t ball undergraduates! Their parents are still watching!”

Critic Dwight Garner picks his favorite books of 2012 (for the bathroom). (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.