Poet Kofi Awoonor Among Victims in Kenya, Banned Books Week, 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 Nairobi for a literary festival, Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor was among the victims of the ongoing siege by Islamic extremists at Westgate shopping mall in Kenya. (Guardian)

For Banned Books Week, this afternoon PEN American Center is hosting a live Google+ hangout with Sherman Alexie. (Alexie’s novel Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was recently pulled from a New York City school reading list.)

Clive Thompson looks at how the electronic landscape is shaping our thinking and creativity. (Wired)

 “I first read Middlemarch when I was seventeen, and have read it every five years or so since, my emotional and intellectual response evolving at each revisiting.” Rebecca Mead discusses her new book My Life in Middlemarch, which blends memoir, biography, and reporting. (Biographile)

The Australian has more on the plagiarism scandal that has shaken its poetry community.

Meanwhile, genre author Shey Stahl has been accused of plagiarism, and Amazon has removed the ability to purchase Stahl’s books. (Dear Author)

And a new plagiarism scandal involving poet C. J. Allen is underway in England. (Los Angeles Times)

Alexander McCall Smith explains why we should read W. H. Auden. (New Statesmen)

An eight-day Emily Dickinson poetry festival takes place this week in Amherst, Massachusetts. (Republican)

Indy publisher Two Dollar Radio has launched a fundraising campaign to create a film division.