Publishing's Power 100, Franco Teaches Poetry to Film Students, 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:

Another literary agency has joined the growing ranks of those servicing e-books for their authors. Trident Media Group, which represents Russell Banks, Eric Bogosian, and Louis Sachar, among many other authors, has created Trident E-Book Operations. According to Trident's chair Robert Gottlieb, the agency will “create, manage and implement innovative e-book strategies including the distribution of a variety of e-books directly to a large number of e-tailers in North America and internationally.” (GalleyCat)

The Guardian has published an interactive list of the most influential people in publishing, those "exercising the greatest influence over the United Kingdom's reading habits—right now."

Banned Books Week officially began this past Saturday, featuring numerous events across the country celebrating freedom of expression. However, Jacket Copy's Carolyn Kellogg wonders if there are certain books that should indeed be banned? She quotes a 2008 essay by David Ulin, "Why would anyone ban books when literature is such a positive and ennobling force? Yet while I agree with that, I also believe that some books truly are dangerous, and to ignore that is simply disingenuous."

A relatively new professor at New York University's graduate film program has envisioned a unique assignment based on poetry. Actor, director, and writer James Franco, asked each of his students to conceive a short film inspired by a C. K. Williams poem, and in November, the class will journey to Detroit to create a movie based on their collective work. (Harriet)

This past weekend, a Bangladeshi hacker disrupted over seven hundred thousand websites housed on the Inmotion Hosting Server network, including those of many literary magazines, such as Third Coast and La Petite Zine. (HTML Giant)

In e-reader news: A leaked presentation slide may indicate Barnes & Noble is soon to launch new offerings in its Nook product line (Digital Reader), and anticipation is mounting over the expected Amazon Tablet and the coming battle with Apple's iPad (New York Times).

National Public Radio has published an excerpt of The Astonishing Secret Of Awesome Man, a new children's book written by novelist Michael Chabon and illustrated by Jake Parker.

Jason Boog, writer and editor of GalleyCat, reminds us how out-of-work writers earned a living during the Great Depression—they wrote under the auspices of the Federal Writers' Project. For his blog, Sad Men, Boog tracked down John Cheever's introduction to the FWP New York City Guide, and a downloadable copy of the guide itself.