Philip Levine Speaks His Mind, Scott Rudin Options Eugenides, 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:

This morning Barnes & Noble unveiled its Nook Tablet in New York City. (eBookNewser)

Meanwhile, Amazon has launched its new Kindle e-book lending library. (Los Angeles Times)

Taking a look at digital sales at major publishers, paidContent breaks down percentages of total revenue derived from e-books, with Random House listing over 20 percent in the United States.

Poet laureate Philip Levine discusses in this past weekend's New York Times Magazine his least favorite jobs, an early dislike of the wealthy, and Poetry Foundation president John Barr, who is attempting to boost interest in poetry by encouraging the writing of more positive poems. Levine says, "I can’t believe this guy Barr is a poet, because I don’t think a real poet would think in that way."

Scott Rudin's taste in literature has long been evident—in the past he's optioned screen rights to novels by Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Safran Foer, among numerous other literary heavyweights. Most recently, the prolific producer acquired the film rights to Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot. (Deadline)

RiverRun Bookstore, a New Hampshire shop in danger of closing, is looking to its local community for support to save it from shuttering. (Seacoast Online)

The 2011 New York City Marathon was yesterday—one of the forty-seven thousand who raced, Rob Vassilarakis, spent fifteen years homeless, addicted to methamphetamine, and is now a spoken-word poet and avid runner. (NBC)


Write the truth, not what "sells"

Love that Philip Levine interview. Good point about the "upbeat poems," too. I wonder if short story writers would receive the same absurd instruction on how to improve their market shares? Write the truth, not what somebody else tells you will sell.