Eighty-Eight Books That Helped Shape America, Roxane Gay on How to Be a Writer, 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:

Author Porochista Khakpour has been diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease, and needs assistance covering substantial medical bills and affording treatment. (GoFundMe)

This week, Evan Williams, a founder of Twitter, announced a new venture called Medium. Adweek suggests Medium "is essentially looking to upend the current Web publishing model."

On her blog, writer and editor Roxane Gay offers thoughts on how to be a writer in today's world. Number eight: "Be nice. The community is small and everyone talks. Being nice does not mean eating shit. Being nice does not mean kissing ass. Being nice just means treating others the way you would prefer to be treated. If you’re comfortable being treated like an asshole, then by all means."

Meanwhile, on the personal blog of editor Cheryl Klein, she lists "six reasons why everything in publishing takes so long."

Reservations are open for George Mason University's Fall for the Book, which takes place September 26–30, 2012 in Fairfax, Virginia. Some of the authors taking part in the festival are Alice Walker, Michael Chabon, and Neil Gaiman.

If you're in the Boston area this weekend, check out Dog Day Poetry Marathoon, which features over eighty poets, including Jim Behrle, Eileen Myles, and Jen Benka.

The Library of Congress exhibit Books That Shaped America, which runs through September 29, features eighty-eight books, and NPR delves into how this exhibit came into being.

Maria Popova reveals her favorite Charles Bukowski passage, which begins, "If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start." Today marks the late poet's ninety-second birthday. (Brain Pickings)

The famous Apollo Theater in New York City will soon feature Ask Your Mama!, a show based on the Langston Hughes’s collection, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz. (New York Daily News)

Flavorpill lists its most anticipated books coming out this fall, including Zadie Smith's NW, Junot Díaz's This is How You Lose Her, and The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg.