Reading Proficiency Stagnates Among America's Schoolchildren, DNA Poetry, and More

by Staff
3.25.10

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 New York Times reported yesterday that "the nation's schoolchildren have made little or no progress in reading proficiency in recent years," continuing a sluggish seventeen-year trend in nationwide reading test results.

The Kremlin has no plans to mark the centenary of Leo Tolstoy's death, a fact which has caused critics to accuse the country of "abandoning its literary past." In a related development, an acclaimed new film version of Anna Karenina, starring top Russian actors, has been unable to secure distribution. (Telegraph)

A Canadian poet is encoding his poetry directly into the DNA of "the hardy bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans." (Wired)

Mary Higgins Clark purchased a seat on the Chicago financial exchange. (Seattle Times)

Egypt is seeing "an unprecedented fiction explosion from a new generation." (Associated Press

A rare signed first edition of George Orwell's first full-length work just sold for a lot of money. (Telegraph)

The Scottish poet John Burnside makes an argument in favor of Ted Hughes's recent inclusion in Poets' Corner. (Guardian)

J-Woww and Ronnie from MTV's hit reality show Jersey Shore scored a book deal with St. Martin's Press. (Publishers Weekly)

Anyone care to make a haiku out of Vice President Biden's latest gaffe? (WNYC)