"Ode to a Bookstore Death," Anonymous Shakespeare, 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 past weekend, the last remaining Borders closed its doors forever. As an epitaph, former employees left this list posted in one of the stores, "Ode to a Bookstore Death." (GalleyCat)

Meanwhile, Michigan's Horizon Books celebrates its fiftieth birthday. (Shelf Awareness)

Also turning fifty this week is the children's adventure novel Phantom Tollbooth. Its author, Norton Juster, and illustrator, Jules Feiffer, spoke to a packed house at this weekend's Brooklyn Book Festival. Feiffer later authored books, plays, and screenplays, but in 1961, when approached by Juster, his neighbor at the time, Feiffer was known for his political cartoons published in the Village Voice. "You never told me it was a children's book," Feiffer said. "You told me it was a political satire on the Cold War." (Los Angeles Times)

The iconic, prolific, and outspoken science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison is suing the makers of the film, In Time, starring Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy, and Amanda Seyfried, which is scheduled to appear in theaters next month. Ellison is demanding an injunction to stop the film's October release, claiming it's based on his famous story, "Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman." (Hollywood Reporter)

In other film news, Roland Emmerich's new movie, Anonymous, attempts to cast doubt on the authorship of Shakespeare's work. "Part of the issue in the authorship debate is that of the snobbery directed at a man of modest background rising to become one of the greatest authors the world has ever seen." (PopMatters)

Promoting his new memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense, the performer Common recounts to the Daily Show's Jon Stewart how he felt about the storm of controversy that arose after Michelle Obama invited Common to read poems at the White House. (Harriet)

If you're interested in owning a piece of Elaine's, the venerable New York City restaurant where celebrities, literary stars, and regulars mingled, part of the famed restaurateur Elaine Kaufman's estate will be offered by Doyle's auction house today, including Table One. (Fine Books)

Two acclaimed novelists are making use of social media today: Salman Rushdie is a new Twitter enthusiast (Guardian). And Jeffrey Eugenides is fielding questions on Facebook, which he'll answer tomorrow via video.