Allan Gurganus Remembers John Cheever, Millionaire Poet Felix Dennis, 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:

Author Allan Gurganus writes of first meeting his teacher and friend John Cheever, who would be one hundred years old this year. (New York Review of Books)

David Carr profiles millionaire magazine publisher Felix Dennis, who is also a best-selling poet. Carr reports Dennis's "latest project is a room-size rock weighing thirty tons inscribed with one of his poems." (New York Times)

Speaking of best-selling poetry, Harriet lists last week's contemporary top sellers, led by Mary Oliver’s A Thousand Mornings.

The Guardian reports Amazon is forcing publishers in the United Kingdom to pay a 20 percent value added tax (VAT) charge on all e-book purchases.

Amanda Katz has more on Amazon's new Author Rank. (NPR)

Author Jeremy Duns details the spurious work of Harriet Klausner, who has reviewed over twenty-eight thousand books on Amazon. (More Intelligent Life)

Brain Pickings features musician Christine Tobin's new album based on the poems of W. B. Yeats.

Boris Kachka visits with legendary author Tom Wolfe at his New York City apartment to discuss Wolfe's new novel, Back to Blood. (Vulture)

"Poetry is different from fiction. Poetry is not a lie that tells the truth. A poem must burn with a truth-seeking flame and be a little symphony of language, too." Henri Cole delivers his second dispatch from Paris for the New Yorker.

Actor Andy Serkis will direct and perform in an adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm. (GalleyCat)