Article Archive: News and Trends

Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.

Kirkus Reviewed

by
Kevin Canfield
1.1.05

The biweekly magazine Kirkus Reviews publishes pre-publication book reviews, offering professional opinions of approximately 5,000 titles per year. But the tables have turned on the 72-year-old publication as writers and publishers offer their own appraisals of its recent decision to charge money for some book reviews. 

All's Fair in Poems About Love and War

by
Kevin Larimer
1.1.05

Despite the fluctuating aesthetics and ideologies espoused by critics, professors, and practitioners of poetry, there remain two general subjects that consistently offer poets inspiration: love and war; but with walentine’s Day just around the corner, three new anthologies of love poems are offering readers a respite from verse about violence.

Book Tours: Can Readings Be Fun?

by
Kevin Canfield
11.1.04

Cindy Dach, the events and marketing manager of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, recently launched First Fiction Tour, a program that she hopes will heighten the public image of the first-time author. But it’s not what you might expect: She isn’t packing customers into the bookstore, she’s inviting them to the bar.

The Contester: Poetry.com Struggles for Legitimacy

by
Margo Stever
11.1.04

No entry fee? Little chance of rejection? Any poet worth her iamb has reason to be suspicious. And, indeed, the International Library of Poetry and its affiliates—the International Society of Poets, Watermark Press, poetry.com, and so on appears on several Internet-based contest-scam watch lists. Still ILP education director Len Roberts argues that the organization has its purpose and is taking steps to redeem its reputation.

Grassroots Effort Saves Poetry Reviews

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.04

The industry trade magazine Publishers Weekly this summer decided to stop publishing its monthly Poetry Forecast section, an editorial move that would have had deleterious effects on independent publishers. In response to complaints from many publishers, editors, and poets, the decision was reversed a few weeks later, before any changes were made to the magazine.

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.04

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features Pindeldyboz, Grand Street, Verse, the Paris Review, Lilies & Cannonballs Review, and No: A Journal of the Arts.

A Contest Clinker

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.04

When New Rivers Press announced that Ron Rindo of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a winner of the 2003 MVP Competition this past summer, some of the approximately six hundred entrants were perplexed. The guidelines stated that the contest, which awards three $1,000 prizes and the publication of three book-length manuscripts, was open to emerging poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Rindo, who won for his short story collection Love in an Expanding Universe, had previously published two books, both with New Rivers Press.

The Contester: WordTech Cancels Poetry Contests

by
Eleanor Henderson
9.1.04

For nearly two years, WordTech Communications was one of the growing number of small presses using the contest model in which entry fees fund prize monies as well as the publication and promotion of winning books. Some would even say the Cincinnati-based press was gung ho about it, holding a different poetry contest every month. But in June, WordTech announced it was discontinuing its contest program and replacing it with an open-submissions policy, stating that there was more money to be made without contests.

Is That a Penguin in Your Pocket?

by
Kevin Canfield
9.1.04

A recent headline in the New York Times Book Review declared, “Books Make You a Boring Person.” Many would disagree with that statement, but few would go as far as the folks in the marketing department at Penguin UK. The London-based arm of the venerable publishing house has begun to advertise its books as dating aids. According to Penguin, you’re not good looking—or Good Booking—unless you’re holding a book.

Big City, Big Magazine, Big Festival

by
Timothy Schaffert
9.1.04

Every year, musicians, movie stars, filmmakers, and politicos share billing with creative writers at the New Yorker Festival, held every autumn at various New York City venues. Now in its fifth year, the literary event has turned into a pop-culture phenomenon.

Learning to Read a Doctor's Books

0409_newsgordon.jpg

Vladimir Nabokov once wrote, “Does there not exist a high ridge where the mountainside of ‘scientific’ information joins the opposite slope of ‘artistic’ imagination?” This was, of course, a rhetorical question, but Nabokov’s own life proved that this connection indeed exists. A dedicated lepidopterist (one who studies moths and butterflies), Nabokov not only held a post at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, he also wrote Lolita, a classic of 20th-century literature. I was recently reminded of Nabokov’s butterflies in, of all places, a dead man’s apartment in Boston.

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
9.1.04

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features Granta, the Indiana Review, Black Warrior Review, Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, Absinthe Literary Review, Minima, Wild Strawberries, and Cue.

Memoir: Whose Life Is It Anyway?

by
Arlene Modica Matthews
7.1.04
pwweddingp9_csp.jpg

Appearing in someone else’s memoir is like appearing in someone else’s dream. Your role is scripted according to the vagaries of the author’s memory and subjected to the Rorschach test of the heart. This utter lack of editorial control is the second thought I have on learning, in the pages of the New York Times Book Review, that the son of my late ex-husband has published a memoir of his father, the poet William Matthews.

Small Press Points

by
Kevin Larimer
7.1.04

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Green Integer, Coffee House Press, Verse Press, Fiction Collective Two, and Kelsey St. Press.

John Barr: Invested in Poetic Currency

by
Kevin Larimer
7.1.04

When John Barr was named president of the Poetry Foundation six months ago, most poets in the country were asking themselves, “John who?” Although Barr has published six books of poetry and served on the board of directors of Yaddo as well as that of the Poetry Society of America, many poets had never heard of him. His long career as an investment banker on Wall Street hadn’t raised his literary profile either. The worlds of high finance and poetry are totally unrelated. Not anymore. In 2002, Ruth Lilly’s unprecedented financial gift—$100 million over the next 30 years—to the Poetry Foundation, formerly the Modern Poetry Association, changed all that. Suddenly poets are paying attention to what an investment banker has to say.

The Contester: The Failure of Zoo's Fiction Contests

by
Thomas Hopkins
7.1.04
0407_newshopkins.gif

In this inaugural installment of our new column, The Contester, devoted to the news and trends of literary contests, we look at Neil Azevedo's Zoo Press, a press that despite being well known for its poetry books and prizes (the Kenyon Review Prize and the Paris Review Prize), hasn't had much luck in the fiction arena.

 

Pages