Andrew Wylie vs. HarperCollins, Slam Poetry Is Twenty-Five, Gertrude Stein Gets an iPhone, 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:

In an interview on BBC radio, Andrew Wylie, literary agent and owner of the Wylie Agency, accuses HarperCollins of behaving in an "unusually shrill and punitive" manner toward authors, and suggests the publisher's actions warrant further scrutiny. (HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp.) (The Bookseller)

Emerging from bankruptcy last year, the parent company of Reader's Digest magazine has hired financial advisers to court potential buyers, hoping to garner a one-billion-dollar sale. (Wall Street Journal)

Rene Alegria, a former HarperCollins editor, and founder of Rayo, the first major Hispanic imprint in publishing, has launched a website aimed at Latino mothers (America's fastest-growing demographic), called Mamiverse, intended as a culture-shaping site in the spirit of and iVillage. (Daily Beast)

Michael Suarez, director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, wants his students to handle rare manuscripts, to understand their nature and historical importance. "We insist that students touch and smell and shine light through items, and investigate them to understand the book in history, and understand the book as history," Suarez says. (National Public Radio)

The venerable Columbia Publishing Course (formerly at Radcliffe), through which many thousands over the decades have gained a foothold in the publishing industry, has been retooled for the times, with an emphasis on e-books. (New York Times)

Slam Poetry, events at which performing poets compete for prizes, celebrates twenty-five years since its inception in Chicago. (Harriet)

In reviewing David S. Reynolds new book, Mightier than the Sword, which is a kind of biography of the best-selling and influential novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Slate delves into Harriet Beecher Stowe's work, that figures as disparate as Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Dixon believed "changed the history of the world." (Slate)

If the news rocking NewsCorp has left you wanting more, the people at Good have rounded up a list of books on journalistic scandals.

Executive editor Bill Keller suggests we ban books. Well, not really. But he laments many aspects of today's world of books, including the sad and desperate act of actually writing one (or two). (New York Times)

And some fun for Monday, Gertrude Stein gets an iPhone. (McSweeney's)