John Ashbery’s Things, Rise of the Creativity Expert, 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:

The National Book Award short list has been announced, and GalleyCat gathered free e-book samples of the finalists.

An exhibition of poet John Ashbery’s possessions is on display in New York City. The gallery show is titled John Ashbery Collects: Poet Among Things, and runs until November 2nd at the Loretta Howard Gallery. (Melville House)

“Consider, then, the narrative daisy chain that makes up the literature of creativity. It is the story of brilliant people, often in the arts or humanities, who are studied by other brilliant people, often in the sciences, finance, or marketing.” Thomas Frank casts a gimlet eye on the rise of the creativity expert. (Salon)

Meanwhile, Maria Popova showcases Stephen King’s creative process. (Brain Pickings)

Michael Weiss looks at Andrea Pitzer’s new literary biography The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov, which posits that Nabokov’s Pale Fire was intended as a “sly commentary on the Cold War.” (Daily Beast)

One in ten people living in Iceland are authors. (BBC News)

The New York Review of Books considers three new translations of Dante, including poet Mary Jo Bang’s Inferno.

Eric Pomerance and Laurie Gwen Shapiro visit with impersonators who spend days as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott. (Los Angeles Review of Books)