Hurricane Literature, James Frey Says He's Done Writing Books, 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:

With Irene's stormy weather approaching, the New Yorker offers six shorts to read during a hurricane, including work by Sylvia Plath and Joseph Conrad.

Excited about his new business venture Booktrack, author James Frey says, "I'm done writing books." (Wall Street Journal)

The end of September marks the beginning of the annual New Yorker Festival, and the Observer scored an advance look at the paired lineups of writers with celebrities, including writer Ariel Levy with Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler, and humorist Andy Borowitz with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis.

Former Soft Skull editor Richard Nash spoke with the Boston Review about the literary social network he created, Cursor, its imprint Red Lemonade, and the current state of publishing. "What we have witnessed over the last fifty years is the progressive shittification of the book as an object," Nash says.

Speaking of books, the Atlantic writes that too many of them are being published: "Amazon, Apple, and Google, with their various devices and imprints, seem to be lowering the entry bar because these corporate behemoths see new publishing ventures as a source of revenue, pretty much regardless of quality."

The state of Montana has a new poet laureate, Sheryl Noethe, and as cofounder of the Missoula Writing Collaborative, which trains professional writers to teach creative writing to children, she is keenly aware that poetry can improve lives. (Great Falls Tribune)

The Huffington Post offers ten relatively recent books of poetry everyone should read, and also a corrective to criticism launched from its own pages: "Don't believe it; the poetry scene in America is the largest, most diverse, and most vibrant it has ever been."

Following the success of the 1998 movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp will star in a second Hunter S. Thompson adaptation, Rum Diary, which has been in the works for over a decade. (New York via Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

Using their book, Man with a Pan, an intern at Algonquin Books made Stephen King's recipe for "Pretty Good Cake." It does indeed look pretty good.