A Christmas Carol in New York City, Short List for International Prize in Arabic Fiction, and More

by Staff

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 short list for the most prestigious literary prize in the Arab world was announced this month, but not without some controversy. (Daily Star)

On the occasion of the anniversary of F. Scott Fitzgerald's death seventy years ago yesterday, Open Culture posted an old recording of the author reciting John Keats's famous poem "Ode to a Nightingale" from memory—most of it, anyway. Fitzgerald cuts off in the middle of the poem, indeed a "rather fitting metaphor" for The Great Gatsby author's own life. (Jacket Copy)

This week Publishers Weekly launched PW Select, a quarterly listing of self-published titles.

Authors Mary Gaitskill and Francine Prose, actor Scott Adsit of 30 Rock, and a host of other luminous literary and artist types took turns reading the entirety of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol at Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York City on Sunday, much to the delight of those present. (Book Bench)

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Amazon is likely to sell eight million Kindles this year, which is more than 60 percent above predications from analysts. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's most famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," turned 150 years old on Monday. According to the Atlantic, where the poem first appeared in 1861, the antislavery poem was "a rallying cry" for the Union and the bard "quietly spent the earnings from his best-selling poetry to buy slaves their freedom."

St. Martin's Press has acquired the rights to famed biographer Andrew Morton's forthcoming biography of Prince William, the future king of England, and Kate Middleton, his fiancée, who will wed in a royal ceremony at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. (Publishers Weekly)

Chelsea Hayes was named the poet laureate of Lone Star College-North Harris in Texas for 2011, for which she will be required to compose and recite original poems at campus events next year. (Houston Chronicle)