Kobo to Launch Publishing Arm, Rita Dove Bluffs Amy Tan, 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:

Canadian-based e-bookseller Kobo will follow Amazon's lead and create a publishing division. (CBC News)

Meanwhile, charging them with discriminatory shipping practices, the Puerto Rican government may sue Amazon. (Shelf Awareness)

Reversing the national trend of staffing cuts and diminishing books coverage in newspapers, the Chicago Tribune is planning a standalone books section, at an extra charge. (Crain's)

A few nights ago a host of leading writers—including Walter Kirn, Steve Martin, Rita Dove, and Amy Tan—gathered at a Chinese restaurant in New York City, not for a reading or panel discussion, but for a poker tournament. (Paris Review)

At the New York Public Library, e-book lending increased 81 percent last year. (Los Angeles Times)

With the recent paperback release of Letters to Monica, the poet Philip Larkin's correspondence with his companion Monica Jones, Standpoint Magazine gleans what's to be learned from the poet's letters: "Every now & then I open the little trap door in my head & look in to see if the hideous roaring panic & misery has died down. It hasn't, & I don't see why it should."

University of California computer scientist Kevin Knight, together with colleagues in Sweden, used modern translation software to decipher a German text written in secret code, the Copiale Cipher, which has baffled scientists since its discovery. (Wired)

USA Today reports profanity in best-selling book titles is a growing trend. And they're not f&*%$ing kidding.