MFA Debate Continues, John Steinbeck Amplified, Glitter for Gingrich, and more


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:

In a startling development, one of the judges for this year's Man Booker International Prize has quit over the panel's decision to award the honor to Philip Roth. To explain her decision, Carmen Callil said that "he goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book. It's as though he's sitting on your face and you can't breathe." (Guardian)

Apple will make its first appearance at Book Expo America in New York City next week. (Jacket Copy)

To celebrate sixty-five years of Penguin Classics, the publisher is releasing suped-up new e-book versions of classic books starting with John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men: Amplified, which features supplementary content along with the text. (Publishers Weekly)

After a successful first run with over twelve thousand participants, One Book, One Twitter is back, this time hosted by the Atlantic with a plan to read a new book every month.

Who guitarist Pete Townshend is the latest rock star to sign a publishing deal; HarperCollins won the bidding deal for his memoir. Townshend says, " I know I am good at what I do as a performer and composer, but since my early teens I have been happiest when writing. Writing is my principal daily occupation. Rock ‘n’ roll is a tough career, however cynically or comically it is portrayed by its detractors. I am lucky to be alive and to have such a crazy story to tell, full of wild adventures and creative machinations." (Arts Beat)

An online poll revealed that 29 percent of e-reader owners admit to having downloaded a pirated e-book, while 36 percent of tablet owners admit to the same. (Telegraph)

Salon's Laura Miller weighs into the ongoing debate between Mark McGurl and Elif Batuman about whether MFA programs are the scourge of American fiction or not.

Someone threw glitter at Newt Gingrich at a book-signing in Minnesota on Tuesday, shouting "Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop the anti-gay politics!" (Huffington Post)