Penguin Hotline, Good and Bad Readers, 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:

Just in time for the holidays, Penguin Random House has relaunched Penguin Hotline, a holiday book recommendation service now in its fourth year. Customers can submit a request through Penguin’s website and receive personalized recommendations for everyone on their gift lists.

Meanwhile, Paste provides a holiday gift guide for book lovers, which includes unique tee shirts and totes, literary rocks glasses, and more.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Review of Books announced that Les Figues Press, a nonprofit publisher of feminist experimental work, will now be an imprint of LARB Books.  

“The task of making all these bad readers visible is to reconstruct the role that literature has played—and continues to play—in the international public sphere.” Merve Emre considers what makes a “good reader” and the factors in postwar America that have contributed to creating “bad readers.” (Boston Review)

Galway Kinnell’s Collected Poems, Caitlin Bailey’s Solve for Desire, and Kiki Petrosino’s Witch Wife are just a few of Nick Ripatrazone’s picks for the must-read poetry books coming out in December. (Millions)

Former students of University of Virginia creative writing professor John Casey have accused the National Book Award–winning author of sexual harassment and creating a hostile environment for female students. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

“I only care about doing the work. I have zero other ambitions.” New York Times book critic Parul Sehgal speaks with SSENSE about expertise, writing profiles, and plans for future projects. Read Michael Taeckens’s interview with Sehgal in the May/June 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

More effort is involved in creating restaurant menus than one would think. From the font to the language to the placement of each item, menu design involves psychological marketing tools that influence customer orders. (BBC Future)