Meghan Daum Examines Online Hate, Slate on James Franco, 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 Wall Street Journal reports Barnes & Noble has put its Sterling Publishing business up for acquisition. The bookstore chain purchased Sterling in 2003 for around $115 million.

Novelist and essayist Meghan Daum recalls her first foray into the public spotlight, and examines the roots of hateful comment-laden Internet culture, including some choice comments the author has received: "You are a vile, loathsome, despicable pig. Your stench permeates through the web." (Believer)

Poet and critic Geoffrey Hill, who in 2010 was given the distinguished position of Oxford’s Professor of Poetry, has received a knighthood. (Cherwell)

A newly opened archive reveals certain decisions regarding the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1961, J.R.R. Tolkien was rejected because the Nobel Committee believed his prose had "not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality." Robert Frost was turned down because of "advanced age." (Guardian)

The news of the sale of James Franco's first novel to Amazon Publishing has resulted in considerable ire, and Slate responds with a list of reasons the book may be good.

A new app from Honeybee Labs brings Japanese haiku to the iPad. (GalleyCat)

The New York Times Poetry Pairing is a learning tool that pairs poems with similar-themed media to provoke discussion. Today’s Poetry Pairing matches Jill Alexander Essbaum’s “Precipice” with a painting by Giovanni di Paolo and prose by philosopher Espen Hammer.

HarperCollins has acquired the rights to a three-book series co-authored by novelist Ned Vizzini and filmmaker Chris Columbus—who directed the first two Harry Potter films. Vizzini wrote a column for alternative weekly New York Press while still a teen, and in 2010, a film based on his novel, It's Kind of a Funny Story, was released starring Zach Galifianakis. (Entertainment Weekly)