Poet Writes Super Bowl Ad, Melville and Poe on Coney Island, 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 Financial Post reports Amazon may be in the process of opening a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

If you watched the Super Bowl, you may recall the moving Chrysler commercial featuring Clint Eastwood. One of the three credited copywriters for the powerful ad is Matthew Dickman, an award-winning poet and Tin House magazine's poetry editor. (Los Angeles Times)

There are indications Barnes & Noble may win a patent-infringement case levied by Microsoft. Losing the suit would ban imports of the bookseller’s Nook e-reader made outside the United States. The judge in the case, Theodore Essex, will announce his decision in April. (Bloomberg)

Today is Charles Dickens bicentenary birthday. NPR has more on the worldwide celebration, including interviews with Claire Tomalin and Jennifer Egan; and CNN takes a tour of Dickensian London.

GalleyCat explains how to save digital copies of handwriting using Evernote, an App many writers use for organizing notes.

There's no known record of Herman Melville ever meeting Edgar Allan Poe. Yet, the Brooklyn Public Library reveals on a September day in 1849, a literary group called Young America met at Coney Island's first hotel, Coney Island House. Listed in the guest registry are the signatures of Fitz Greene Halleck, William Gilmore Simms, Herman Melville, and E. A. Poe. (Brooklynology)

The New York Review of Books looks at the life and work of the last Pre-Raphaelite painter, Edward Burne-Jones, a central figure of the Aesthetic Movement, which emphasized beauty over social themes. In literature, Oscar Wilde is its most noted practitioner.

In tragic news, a homeless man, Anthony Horton, died in an underground fire in an abandoned section of the New York City subway system. In 2008, Horton co-authored Pitch Black, a book about living underground. He wrote of his life, "I was born to people who didn’t want me and so they gave me away. But I guess the people they gave me to didn’t want me either. No one wanted me. That’s why I ended up on the streets alone and uneducated." (Gothamist)