Occupy Writers, Salinger the Cruise Director, 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:

Last week the website occupywriters.com launched with a brief statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement at the top of its sparse page signed by dozens of editors and writers, including Billy Collins, Michael Cunningham, and Jennifer Egan. Just as the Occupy movement spread across the globe this past weekend, the number of names listed on the site has increased at a rapid pace; the site now includes prose and poetry written by the signers. (Observer)

The Appalachian Prison Book Project, which intends to rehabilitate the incarcerated by giving them free books to read, has lost its funding and is asking for donated books. (GalleyCat)

In our culture poetry is often turned to in times of sorrow. After the tragic loss of race car driver Dan Wheldon, his friend Ashley Judd shared a John Donne poem with a grieving community. (USA Today)

Last month, as part of the national 100,000 Poets for Change event, MFA poetry students at the University of Mississippi focused their energy on a local public school to promote social change. (Daily Mississippian)

Columbia professor James Shapiro has some choice words to say about of the new Roland Emmerich film, Anonymous—which promotes the view that Shakespeare's plays were actually written by the 17th Earl of Oxford. Shapiro writes, "Not a shred of documentary evidence has ever been found that connects de Vere to any of the plays or poems…. In dramatizing this conspiracy, Mr. Emmerich has made a film for our time, in which claims based on conviction are as valid as those based on hard evidence." (Harriet)

Novelist Colson Whitehead's latest, Zone One, is out today, which "imagines a lower Manhattan colonized by the lumbering undead." To mark the occasion, the author speaks with Time about his favorite zombie movies.

The Huffington Post has published a roundup of eight short reviews of recent books of poetry.

Did you know before he wrote The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger was the entertainment director on a Swedish luxury liner? Neither did we. Flavorwire lists the many odd jobs of several writers before they were famous.