French Coach Reads Poetry to Rally Players, A. S. Byatt's Sibling Rivalry, 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:

Bruno Bini, the French women's soccer coach, prefers not to lecture his team, or attempt to inspire them with clichéd slogans. As his team gears up to compete in the Women’s World Cup semifinals, Bini, instead, reads them poetry. “That’s my way of life, of working,” Bini said. “Literature and poetry and music are my instruments to convey my messages to the team.” (New York Times)

British writer Margaret Drabble, who is currently promoting her new book, A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman, speaks candidly to the Telegraph about her strained life-long competition with her sister, fellow writer A. S. Byatt. Drabble says, "It’s sad, but our feud is beyond repair."

In the upcoming issue of Time, Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (a popular book series and film franchise) admits, "The truth is, I didn't set out to write for kids. I fancied my book as an epic coming-of-age story aimed squarely at adults who were feeling nostalgic for their middle-school days. But when I pitched my 1,300-page brick of a manuscript to a publisher, I was informed that I had, in fact, written a children's series."

According to papers filed recently in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Borders is at odds with twenty of its landlords, who want more guarantees that new owners will make the rent. (Reuters)

The publication of a book written (with Google's permission) by former Google employee Paul Adams titled Social Circles is currently being blocked by the media giant. (Think Outside In)

A Scotland-based company called TernTV is adapting John Buchan’s spy thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps into something not quite a video game, nor is it simply an interactive e-book, but rather a reimagining of the story in a “digital adaptation.” (GalleyCat)

Blogger Mike Shatzkin, of the Shatzkin Files—a blog that offers "ongoing commentaries on digital change in trade publishing"—offers his two-cents on a dynamic-pricing model for the publishing industry.

The Book Bench dishes on the current state of reading in our culture, with an overview of a new column on reading and technology at the New York Times, called “The Mechanic Muse,” and former Soft Skull Press publisher Richard Nash's venture into social-media driven publishing. (New Yorker)

Novelist Colson Whitehead, sent to play in the World Series of Poker by the literary sports website Grantland, has lost.