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by Adrian Versteegh
A coalition of organizations representing artists and cultural workers has entered the national debate on healthcare reform. Americans for the Arts, in conjunction with twenty other national nonprofit groups, has called on Congress to enact a public health insurance option for individual artists, along with measures making it easier for cash-strapped cultural organizations to provide adequate coverage for employees.
by Stephen Morison, Jr.
Two American journalists who were arrested on March 17, presumably at the border between North Korea and China, have been tried and sentenced to twelve years hard labor, North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, recently announced. The state agency accused the women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, of “illegal border crossing” and described their punishment as “reform through labor.”
Near the end of a recent interview for the New York Times Magazine, president Barack Obama briefly mentioned that he was reading Joseph O’Neill’s PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel Netherland (Pantheon, 2008). The interview made no mention of whether the president was enjoying the book, just that he was reading it. But from the mouth of the popular president, that was enough.
by Stephen Morison Jr.
Four days after a liberal blogger and writer was stabbed at a bookstore during a reading in Beijing, the writing community here still has more questions than answers. Xu Lai is recovering, his compatriots are actively theorizing about the motives behind the incident in their blogs, and the proprietors of the bookstore-café that sponsored the event are uneasy and hoping to avoid notoriety.
The Burmese poet Saw Wai was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison for writing a love poem that contains a hidden criticism of the Burmese dictator General Than Shwe.
by Stephen Morison Jr.
In the cyclone-ravaged country of Myanmar, where citizens face censorship and repression, contributor Stephen Morison Jr. speaks with authors who, despite the country's Orwellian police state, refuse to be intimidated and continue to write.
by Joe Woodward
As the presidential election approaches, our national hand-wringing has ramped up and everyone is once again focused on the perennial question: What makes America America? Two recent literary anthologies show just how far this popular introspection reaches into our creative communities of writers and artists.
by Kevin Nance
For Ethan Canin, writing has never been easy—or, for that matter, pleasurable. Despite the sprawling achievement of America America, his newest novel might just be his last.
by Travis Nichols
While it's safe to say the twenty-first century has so far not been a great time for American diplomacy, a handful of new poetry anthologies, from Norton, Dalkey Archive Press, North Atlantic Books, and Graywolf Press, offer proof that American poetic diplomacy might be entering a new golden age.
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