Penn State to Cut Top-Ranked MFA Program, Proposing Marriage by Back Matter, 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:

Pennsylvania State University is effectively shutting down its MFA in creative writing, one of the top-ranked programs in the country, with the announcement that "the [English] department will no longer have the funds to admit new candidates into the program," according to the Daily Collegian. (via Seth Abramson at Huffington Post)

What was it like to piece together David Foster Wallace's posthumous novel, The Pale King, from an unfinished manuscript and "sheaves of handwritten pages and notes"? Editor Michael Pietsch tells the tale. (Guardian)

After disruptions last year due to the Icelandic volcano ash cloud, this year's London Book fair has a record number of exhibitors, and the vibe ahead of the three-day event is "bouncy and optimistic," according to the Bookseller.

The house where Thomas Hardy lived for forty years in Dorchester, England, is now open for public viewing five days a week. (Telegraph)

Despite struggles for indie bookstores in the area, San Francisco's literary journal scene is thriving, according to the New York Times.

A two-hundred-page book with absolutely no writing inside it reached number forty-four on the Amazon best-seller list. The "author" of What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex, Shed Simove, felt the news "confirmed the world around me had gone totally and utterly, bone-fide, stark-raving, strait-jacket wearing, mad." (Real Business)

According to Knopf, Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has become what is believed to be the first e-book to sell more than one million copies. (ArtsBeat)

Despite his following up on her response with the query "Are you sure?" Christopher Currie's girlfriend accepted the marriage proposal he wrote to her in the acknowledgements section of his forthcoming novel, The Ottoman Hotel. (Guardian)