Neil Gaiman Gets an Apology, Mexican Poet Javier Sicilia's Silent March, 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:

After his son was brutally killed in March, Mexican poet Javier Sicilia has transformed into an impassioned activist demanding action from the government over the country's epidemic of drug-related violence. Last Thursday, he began a three-day silent march from Cuernavaca to the nation's capitol, as reported by CNN, after declaring at his son's memorial, "The world is no longer dignified enough for words." He concluded the eulogy by saying, "This is my last poem. I cannot write more poetry. Poetry no longer exists inside me." (via Harriet)

The shortlist of short stories for the sixteen-thousand-dollar Caine Prize for African Writing, known as the "African Booker," has been announced, with finalists hailing from South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. (Guardian)

Publishing Perspectives has a report on the state of digital publishing in sub-Saharan Africa, and the news is decidedly mixed.

Minnesota Congressperson Matt Dean has apologized to author Neil Gaiman after the legislator's mother took offense at Dean calling the science fiction writer "a pencil-neck weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota," in reference to a speaker's fee paid to Gaiman by the Washington County Library. (ArtsBeat

A signed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee sold for twenty-five thousand dollars at last week, according to Jacket Copy

Libraries had a good day in Ohio last week after voters approved sixteen of seventeen library issues on Tuesday's ballot. "I think it again demonstrates the overwhelming support these communities have for their local libraries, and they recognize the need for funding to be in place in order to continue providing the level of service they have become accustomed to," said Ohio Library Council executive director Douglas S. Evans. (Library Journal)

Target has a new direct mailer with coupons that are also haiku, called, er, "Haiku-pons." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)