Rent Emily Dickinson’s Bedroom, Buy a Trove of French Letters, 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 Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, rents out the poet’s bedroom—where she wrote a majority of her poems—for two hundred dollars an hour. Anya Jaremko-Greenwold describes her experience of writing in the room and explores the enduring appeal of the famously introverted poet. (Jezebel)

A collector of French literature is selling a trove of letters, diaries, and books estimated to be worth more than €3 million. The collection includes a letter from Gustave Flaubert to his publisher defending Madame Bovary against obscenity charges, a journal of Victor Hugo’s in which he describes his fascination with table-spinning séances, and a letter from Marcel Proust to his landlord’s son complaining about his neighbors having loud sex. (Guardian)

Kory Stamper, a lexicographer and associate editor at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, talks with NPR’s Fresh Air about the criteria for inclusion in the dictionary, the origins of the word “f-bomb,” and the “wild lexical goose chase” of tracking down a word’s first-known usage.

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, will publish a picture book with Puffin Books, a Penguin imprint. Malala’s Magic Pencil will be released in fall. (Bookseller)

Macmillan imprint Henry Holt stated it will continue to publish the books of conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly, who was fired yesterday from Fox News amidst allegations of sexual harassment. The imprint has published a number of bestselling books by O’Reilly, including his most recent book, Old School: Life in the Sane Lane, in March, and plans to release another title, which O’Reilly cowrote with frequent collaborator Martin Dugard, in September. (Publishers Weekly)

Not all political books sell well—Andrew Cuomo only sold 3,200 copies of his 2014 memoir, All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life. His tax returns from the past four years, however, state that the New York governor made $783,000 from the book—approximately $245 per book. (Buffalo News)

Jeff VanderMeer reviews Edmund Gordon’s biography of British writer and second-wave feminist Angela Carter and considers Carter’s tumultuous personal life and transgressive writing. (Atlantic)