Walt Whitman's Meteors Real After All, Amazon to Reboot the Kindle, and More

by Staff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 6.4.10

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:

Despite ongoing violence in Kingston, the tenth annual Calabash Literary Festival, Jamaica's first and largest event of its kind, concluded as a smashing success on Sunday. (Daily Beast

An image of a meteor shower in Walt Whitman's poem "Year of Meteors" had long been thought to be a product of the poet's imagination, but now "astronomers and literature researchers at Texas State University have connected the poem to a rare celestial event, known as an Earth-grazing meteor procession, which was widely reported across America in July 1860 but later forgotten." (Independent)

Amazon is preparing a new version of the Kindle "believed to be slimmer with a more responsive screen and sharper picture." (Times)

Thousands of rare books and manuscripts on faith and science—"including hand-written notes from Sir Isaac Newton"—will soon be made available online through the Cambridge University Library. "Our library contains evidence of some of the greatest ideas and discoveries over two millennia," said the university's librarian. "We want to make it accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a thirst for knowledge." (Telegraph)

The recent death of Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky has caused some folks to recall a time when poets in Russia were more like rock stars, reciting their verse "in sports stadiums to overflow crowds." (New York Times)

Michael Horowitz, a candidate for the Oxford professor of poetry post, received a boost yesterday when rock star Damon Albarn, frontman of two major bands, Blur and Gorillaz, publicly endorsed the poet's bid. Albarn used the poet's verse on the Gorillaz latest album, Plastic Beach. (Sun)

A collection of first-edition books heralded as "the greatest of its kind" is estimated to sell for as much as twenty million dollars at Sotheby's in London this fall. (Independent

In honor of the late actor and director Dennis Hopper, who died last Saturday, Open Culture has posted a moving video of the Easy Rider star reading Rudyard Kipling's "If" on the Johnny Cash Show in 1970. 

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.