Norman Mailer Film in the Works, Lena Dunham's and Jon Hamm's New Yorker Promo, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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 release date of the much anticipated screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby has been pushed back. (GalleyCat)

In other Hollywood news, a film is in the works about the relationship between author Norman Mailer and convicted felon Jack Abbott, surrounding Mailer's 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Executioner’s Song.  Mailer helped secure Abbott's release from prison, based on Abbott's skills as a writer. Six weeks later, Abbott killed a man during a fight at a New York City restaurant. Daily Beast/Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown is the film's executive producer. (Hollywood Reporter)

Meanwhile, filmmaker Lena Dunham landed the help of Mad Men star Jon Hamm to promote the New Yorker's iPhone app. The young creator of HBO's Girls seizes the opportunity for some self-directed satire. (Flavorwire)

Mother Jones underscores some of the "facts" schoolchildren in Louisiana may be taught under a new state-sponsored voucher program, if those school use textbooks from Bob Jones University Press. It highlights passages from a 2001 textbook discussing Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson: "Twain's outlook was both self-centered and ultimately hopeless...." and "Several of [Emily Dickinson's] poems show a presumptuous attitude concerning her eternal destiny and a veiled disrespect for authority in general."

Mat Honan explains how security flaws at Apple and Amazon allowed his digital life to be destroyed, included the sole copies of a year's worth of photos of his baby daughter. (Wired)

If you're curious about what caused the dust-up at the Oxford American, this is one side of the story.

Continuing the excellent We Can Be Heroes: Poetry at the Olympics series at the Los Angeles Review of Books—today's installment is by Erika Meitner and A. Van Jordan. Meitner writes, "As a poet, I am well-versed in failure. As a poet, I’ve found ways to compete sideways, take the less traveled paths. I write narrative poems. I write poems about sex and women’s bodies and babies. I write poems about Walmart. Apparently Trampoline gymnasts feel similarly."

If you missed Alfred, Lord Tennyson's birthday, it was yesterday. Although he died in 1892, a recording survives of the great poet reading "The Charge of the Light Brigade." (Poetry Archive)