Natasha Trethewey Named United States Poet Laureate, Smashwords Profile, 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 Library of Congress announced Emory University creative writing professor Natasha Trethewey is the nineteenth United States Poet Laureate. (NPR)

Barnes & Noble sent a letter to the Department of Justice warning that its antitrust suit over e-book pricing endangers the culture and the "future of copyrighted expression." (paidContent)

Now that we're in the lazy days of summer beach reads, the New York Times asked several writers to discuss if fiction is changing for the better or worse.

Author Dean Bakopoulos parses the recent recall election in Wisconsin. (Salon)

Taking a cue from the annual VIDA count of gender disparity in major publications, Roxane Gay graphs New York Times book reviews by author ethnicity. (Rumpus)

Forbes looks at the business of e-publisher Smashwords, which expects to double its revenue this year, projecting twelve million dollars, and earnings before taxes approaching one million. Mark Coker, who founded the business in 2008 when he and his wife could not find an agent for their satirical novel, said, “It costs essentially the same to pump ten thousand new books a month through our network as it will cost to do one hundred thousand a month."

Author and reviewer Lev Grossman offers a guide to reading while walking. (Time)

The announcement of the revival of Oprah's Book Club this past Friday caused the Amazon sales rank of its first selection, Cheryl Strayed's Wild, to jump to the number sixteen spot. (Hollywood Reporter)