Chinese Poet Faces Prison, Bukowski's Last Poem, 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 the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, activist Zhu Yufu stands trial for "inciting subversion of state power." Prosecutors centered charges around his poem, "It's time," which was circulated on the Internet. Zhu Yufu faces jail time if convicted. (Reuters)

According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, publishers are losing faith in the tablet device market. James L. McQuivey, PhD, who conducted the survey, offered, “If you have an iPad and fifteen minutes to kill, are you going to do something more cognitively difficult like reading, or something brain-dead simple like going on Facebook or watching a YouTube video?” (Digital Book World)

Citing modest sales of his story collection, Palo Alto, and with his first novel forthcoming from Amazon Publishing, Melville House asks, "Can James Franco be a bestseller?"

For about a week the famously reclusive Cormac McCarthy was on Twitter, building followers and exchanging tweets with fellow authors like Amy Tan, Neil Gaiman, and Margaret Atwood. Of course, it wasn't McCarthy, but Michael Crossan, an unpublished writer in Scotland. Still, many were fooled. The Atlantic Wire tracked down Crossan to ask why.

GalleyCat reports Occupy Wall Street Library is sending books to Occupy Tucson in response to an Arizona bill forbidding literature in the Tucson Unified School District “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.”

World Book Night 2012 is approaching on April 23, and to learn more about this international event, podcast host David Wilk interviews Carl Lennertz, the Director of World Book Night in the United States. (WritersCast)

Poet Mark Strand launched the Michener Center for Writer’s Spring 2012 Reading Series last week, and CultureMap Austin plumbs the fifty-year career of the prize-winning poet.

"We have our Arts so we won't die of Truth." –Ray Bradbury. The Atlantic rounds up quotes of famous writers on truth and fiction.

Eighteen days before he died in 1994, Charles Bukowski bought a fax machine, and immediately faxed this poem to his publisher. (Open Culture)