Self-Published Poetry Book Sells 1.5 Million Copies, Nabokov's Butterflies, 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:

A ninety-nine-year-old Japanese woman who only started writing poetry when she was ninety-two has sold over 1.5 million copies—you read that right—of her self-published collection of poems, Don't Lose Heart. "I've lived to this age thanks to support from my family, friends, caregivers and doctors, and am transforming my gratitude into poetry to tell them, 'Thank you, I am really happy,'" Toyo Shibata told Reuters. (Guardian)

According to Digital Daily, over one hundred tablet devices debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show this month.

Novelist Colm Tóibín, who currently teaches at Princeton University, will replace Martin Amis, who is moving to New York City, as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester in England. (Guardian)

According to the Miami Herald, a California lawmaker is only the latest politician to misrepresent the poetry of Samuel Coleridge in political rhetoric.

Scientists have proved that a theory of butterfly evolution posited by Vladimir Nabokov was "absolutely right." (New York Times)

For the second year in a row, no one showed up at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe with three roses and a half bottle of cognac, as some person or persons had done on the anniversary of his birthday for over sixty years. (Star)

According to Publishing Perspectives, half the publishers surveyed in a new study expect e-books to be the dominant format by 2014.

The Guardian has a slideshow tour of the newly opened Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Scotland, which celebrates the Ploughman Poet's life and work. In a related story, a flash mob sang to honor the poet outside Saint Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh yesterday.