James Salter on the Life of Hemingway, How to Write a Love Poem, 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:

This morning, eBookNewser reported live from Amazon's press conference as the company unveiled its new line of Kindle e-readers.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch boldly predicts the inevitable demise of print publishing by 2025. "The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear—hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books—but generally all publishing will exist digitally."

Mark Melvin, a prisoner serving a life sentence, filed a federal lawsuit claiming prison officials have unjustly denied him a book given to him by his attorney. The book in question is a work of history, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans From the Civil War to World War II, by Wall Street Journal correspondent Douglas A. Blackmon. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Prison officials deem the book a security threat. (New York Times)

James Salter, novelist and former Air Force pilot, examines the life and work of Ernest Hemingway in his review of Paul Hendrickson's Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934–1961. Salter writes, "He had boxed almost all his life—Morley Callaghan, Mike Strater, and Harold Loeb in Paris. He even taught Ezra Pound to box. In Bimini he’d issued an island-wide challenge, a hundred dollars to anyone who could go three rounds with him. No one, it’s said, managed to." (New York Review of Books)

"Poetry occupies a cultural space in Contemporary American Society somewhere between Tap Dancing and Ventriloquism," poet Jim Behrle states in his handy guide on how to properly compose a love poem. (Awl)

In light of Tim Blanning's book The Romantic Revolution, the Daily Beast discusses the influence and cultural birth of figures such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. "These literary monarchs of the Romantic age did not have a very high opinion of public opinion. But ironically, it was the advent of the public sphere that made the Romantic revolution possible."

Scrutinizing the boom in MFA writing programs and its effect on publishing, the online intellectual forum Big Think asks, "If print books are limping toward extinction, why do so many writers—even the youngest, Web-savviest writers—still fight to publish them?"

For Banned Book Week, to draw attention to books that have been censored in the past, Flavorwire lists its favorite banned books that talk about sex.