David Goodwillie on Nuclear Diving, Faulkner Beats Hemingway, 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:

After a chance encounter at a barbershop, novelist David Goodwillie investigates the hazardous job of nuclear diving—commercial divers employed to maintain the underwater intake systems in the radiated water at nuclear power plants. (Popular Science)

Faulkner trumps Hemingway; Whitman beats Dickinson; and all four flatten Mark Twain. Using the MLA International Bibliography as a guide, Commentary ranks American writers by respective scholarship.

Wolcott Gibbs, an early editor and theater critic for the New Yorker, noted in an in-house editing guide for the magazine, "Writers always use too damn many adverbs." (Lapham's Quarterly)

Publishers Weekly reports on how Copper Canyon Press is addressing a problem e-books have long had with poetry—displaying the proper line break.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Walt Whitman, who died in 1892 at his home in Camden, New Jersey. No ceremonies marked the occasion in the city where Whitman spent his last years, yet the Asbury Park Press set out to find the world-renowned poet's local legacy.

Meanwhile, in an effort to preserve the surviving locations where Beat poets, musicians, and artists once thrived, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation hopes to extend the neighborhood's historic district by thirty-five blocks. (New York Times)

Author Maura Kelly argues for a Slow Books Movement: "Literature doesn't just make us smarter, however; it makes us us, shaping our consciences and our identities." (Atlantic)

On his blog, John Green, the best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, explains why checking a book out of a library is vastly preferable to online piracy.