A Poet's Struggle to Save Mexico, the Vanishing Creative Class, 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:

Poet Javier Sicilia is leader and founder of the Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity, a mass group organized in protest against drug-related violence that has left over forty thousand murdered in the last five years. The New York Times asks, "Can this poet save Mexico?"

Salon takes a look at the middle-class segment of what's considered the creative class, which includes book editors, journalists, and untenured novelists. Considering the 260,000 publishing jobs lost since 2007, "the creative class is melting, and the story is largely untold."

To conclude Banned Books Week, author Barbara Ehrenreich writes of her famously contested book, "Nickel and Dimed’s recent ascent to the list of the top ten banned books in the United States has generated fresh interest, which has not, so far as I know, harmed sales. So the question is: How do I get more of my books banned?" (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Meanwhile, the Uprise Books Project has launched a Kickstarter campaign to provide teens access to banned books. (GalleyCat)

In an interview in the Guardian, Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, now eighty-three, says, "I refuse to lie to children. I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence." The author also has choice things to say about Rupert Murdoch, Salman Rushdie—who responded via Twitter—and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Book trailers are evolving as a marketing tool, skewing toward sophisticated and glamorous. On the heels of the Hal Hartley–directed book trailer for novelist Paul La Farge—which followed celebrity-starring trailers such as those from Gary Shteyngart and John WrayYou Had Me at Woof author Julie Klam asks for help from avid reader and Oscar-winning actor Timothy Hutton.  (New York)

Recall the old saying about a thousand monkeys with typewriters eventually banging out Shakespeare? Well, a young software engineer has set out to prove it. (Huffington Post)

A new twelve-month calendar, Men of the Stacks, features librarians as pin-ups. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar benefit the It Gets Better fund. (Los Angeles Times)

Flavorwire has collected baby pictures of famous authors. Who knew Patti Smith was so adorable?