Elizabeth Gilbert on Poet Jack Gilbert, Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal, 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:

Amazon has created a service called Amazon Source to entice independent booksellers to offer e-books and the Kindle on commission. (Shelf Awareness)

Internet juggernaut BuzzFeed has hired the Rumpus co-founder Isaac Fitzgerald as its first books editor. (Poynter)

Marian Ryan considers the newly published A Prayer Journal, which traces author Flannery O’Connor’s thoughts over the course of two years in O’Connor’s early twenties. (Slate)

Elizabeth Gilbert (who is profiled in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine) reflects on the life and work of poet Jack Gilbert, whom she discovered in 2006 while teaching creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. (Atlantic)

Lee Siegel considers two recent studies that indicate literary fiction encourages empathy. Siegel writes, “Though empathy has become something like the celebrity trait of emotional intelligence, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the sensitivity and gentleness popularly attributed to it.” (New Yorker)

Brain Pickings highlights the friendship between author Albert Camus and scientist Jacques Monod in Occupied France during World War II.

Thessaly La Force reports from the New York Public Library’s annual Library Lions Gala. (Vogue)

Nicole Cliffe tracks down every headline that plays on the overused Raymond Carver title What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. (Toast)