Last Bronx Indy to Close, Rita Dove Responds to Helen Vendler, 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 only independent bookstore in the Bronx, New York, Books in the Hood, will close this month. The Bronx is the northernmost of New York City's five boroughs, and according to the 2008 census, has a population of 1,391,903. (New York Daily News)

Acclaimed poet Rita Dove responds to critic Helen Vendler's review of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry, which Dove edited. (New York Review of Books)

Flavorwire lists the most "Criminally Overlooked Books of 2011," including Vanessa Veselka's Zazen and Paul La Farge's Luminous Airplanes.

A survey conducted in October concluded that 39 percent of Amazon book purchasers said they had looked at the book in a bookstore before buying it online. (New York Times)

Peter Winkler, who has rheumatoid arthritis, found an agent, then wrote and published a biography of the actor Dennis Hopper, without ever leaving his home. Nor did he tell his agent that he typed his manuscript by tapping one key at a time with a red plastic chopstick. (Los Angeles Times)

The San Jose Mercury News discovers many software programmers in Silicon Valley use their free time to compose poetry, such as Freeman Ng, who set about writing one haiku each day, and now has over five hundred.

The Chronicle of Higher Education weighs the expense and benefit of literary scholarship.

Essayist John Jeremiah Sullivan writes of accompanying the author Denis Johnson on several excursions in North Carolina, including one to a flytrap preserve. (Paris Review Daily)