Poetic Pilgrimages, Nobel Prize Betting Breakdown, 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:

“The point is this: Murakami, Oates, Adonis, and Ngugi have led the Ladbrokes field for years not because they are contenders necessarily, but because people bet on them.” At the New Republic, Alex Shepard breaks down the betting pool—and its faults—for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

At the Slate Book Review, more than thirty funny writers, including Maria Semple, David Sedaris, and Junot Díaz, recommend the funniest books by living authors.

A piece at the Guardian looks at the history of poetry and the urban experience. “There is this energy and aggression and speed in a city that lends itself to poetry,” says poet Tom Chivers. “Cities are built with language.”

In the latest installment of Flavorwire’s Sweetest Debut series, fiction writer Dent Zobal discusses writing twenty-five drafts of his debut novel, The People of the Broken Neck, out this month from Unbridled Books. 

A new law in California that prohibits selling autographed memorabilia without a certificate of authenticity—intended to crack down on sales of fraudulent autographs—may unintentionally end up hurting booksellers in the state. (Melville House)

“Literary fame has us traveling back to the place where an author lived and worked, or awaiting the arrival of an old book whose basic contents we can easily and fully access any number of ways.” Maia Silber writes about William Shakespeare’s and Emily Dickinson’s opposite paths to literary fame, and the poetic pilgrimages they continue to inspire. (Public Books)

Fiction writer Michael Deagler examines the common phenomenon of mislabeling story collections as novels, due to the difficult marketability of short fiction. “It is far easier to publish a novel these days than a collection of short stories, so much so that many pragmatic writers have essentially abandoned the form.” (Millions)