Jonathan Ames to Adapt Bernard Malamud Stories, Reasons Poetry is Far From Dead, 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:

Bestselling author Stephen King has released an Amazon Kindle Single. The topical essay concerns gun violence. (GalleyCat)

Robert Polito, poet, critic, and director of the writing program at The New School in New York City, has been named the Poetry Foundation’s new president. Polito will begin his new job in Chicago this July. (Harriet)

Actor Joaquin Phoenix will star in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. (Guardian)

In other Hollywood news, novelist Jonathan Ames and actor Jason Schwartzman are working on a big screen adaptation of Pictures of Fidelman—a 1969 collection of Bernard Malamud short stories. (Hollywood Reporter)

Answering a recent blog feature titled "Is Poetry Dead?" that appeared in the Washington Post, Coldfront magazine's John Deming responds, "Nonsense." (Salon)

Meanwhile, Emily Temple gives ten reasons poetry is not, in fact, dead. (Flavorwire)

Kevin McFarland answers a Gawker contributor's criticism that George Saunders should write a novel. (AV Club)

This evening is traditionally Burns Night, when friends gather to toast the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns, who was born in the Ayrshire village of Alloway in 1759. However, the BBC reports another town is staking a claim.

Brazil's government intends to give its workers a monthly stipend to spend on cultural entertainment, such as books. (Art Daily)

Rebecca Joines Schinsky showcases her favorite literary coffee mugs, including mugs from Malaprop's Books, in Asheville, North Carolina, and one featuring advice from Dear Sugar at the Rumpus. (Book Riot)