Inaugural Winners of Kirkus Prize Announced, Dylan Thomas Centennial Celebrations, and More


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:

Booklovers to the rescue! After yesterday’s announcement that the Bronx’s only full-service bookstore was set to close by the end of the year, borough residents and Bronx president Ruben Diaz Jr. have successfully campaigned to save the Co-op City Barnes & Noble. Diaz negotiated terms between the bookseller and its property owner, and the store will remain open for at least two more years. (New York Times)

The inaugural winners of the Kirkus Prize for fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature were announced yesterday. Read more on the Grants & Awards blog.

Celebrations have begun for the centennial of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas's birth. Festivities include the Dylan Thomas Festival in Wales, the Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia festival in London, and a featured exhibition at the Unterberg Poetry Center in New York City, titled “Dylan Thomas in America: A Centennial Exhibition.” Thomas was born on October 27, 1914, in Swansea, Wales. (New York Times)

Is “Transrealism” the first major literary movement of the twenty-first century? As genre boundaries continue to blur in contemporary literature, Damien Walter suggests Rudy Rucker’s 1983 essay “A Transrealist Manifesto” is now “reaching its fruition,” with work by authors like Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, and Stephen King. In his manifesto, Rucker—a mathematician, writer, and critic—wrote, “Any literature which is not about actual reality is weak and enervated. But the genre of straight realism is all burnt out….The tools of fantasy and science fiction offer a means to thicken and intensify realistic fiction.” (Guardian)

Travelers, if you happen to pass through the San Antonio International Airport, make sure to pick up a temporary library card and check out a book or two! San Antonio is the first library in the country to install an “airport e-book branch,” where travelers can digitally browse the library’s collection and check out items onto an e-reader or phone. (Melville House)

Amazon has suffered a large financial operating loss this quarter—$544 million compared to $25 million in 2013—and slow revenue growth in its media segment, which has caused some analysts and investors to question the company’s fourth quarter forecast. (Publishers Weekly)

The Museum of London is currently hosting an exhibit on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die” will explore how Doyle’s character “has transcended literature onto stage and screen and continues to attract huge audiences to this day.” (GalleyCat)

The Los Angeles Review of Books interviews John Darnielle, author and lead singer of folk band The Mountain Goats, about his debut novel, Wolf in White Van. Darnielle, whose novel was longlisted for the National Book Award for fiction, talks about the difference between songwriting and prose, the power of the imagination, and how much a book tour (unsurprisingly) differs from a band tour.