Nora Roberts Responds to Nora A. Roberts, Syrian Poet Faraj Bayrakdar on Assad's Regime, 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 State Department responded to press interest regarding its deal with Amazon. (paidContent)

GalleyCat's recent list of self-published best sellers included SpellBound Cafe by Nora A. Roberts—a pen name that attempts to fool readers into mistakenly believing the book is by best-selling author Nora Roberts. The real Nora Roberts responded, "It’s insulting to all parties, which includes readers. What they did, and may be continuing to do as far as I know with other established names, is deceptive and offensive. It’s also pretty damn pathetic.”

To an audience at the United Kingdom's Hay Festival, exiled Syrian poet Faraj Bayrakdar detailed the personal costs of opposing the Assad regime. (Reuters)

"The tweet is a literary form of Oulipian arbitrariness, and the straitjacket of the form has determined the schizophrenia of the content." The editors of n+1 examine the vagaries and pleasures of Twitter.

Book Riot rounded up the best covers of BookExpo America.

This Saturday is Bloomsday, a celebration of the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses—the novel is set on June 16, 1904—and lovers of Leopold Bloom across the globe mark the occasion, including New York City, with “Bloomsday on Broadway,” at Symphony Space. (New Yorker)

Meanwhile, on Sunday, performances of Stravinsky's Pulcinella will be held in support of Cedarmere, the former estate of poet William Cullen Bryant in Roslyn, New York. The house and grounds (designed by Frederick Law Olmstead) are open to the public.

Zaccheus Jackson, a formerly homeless spoken word artist based in Canada, tells the Times Colonist, "Poetry saved my life."