Subway Ticket Books, Written on Remains, 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:

Here’s one way to encourage reading on the go: In São Paulo, Brazil’s largest pocket-book publisher, L&PM Editores, sells Ticket Books, classic literature and comics that double as subway tickets. Each book has a chip embedded in its back cover that readers scan at subway turnstiles. The promotion began as part of World Book Day last April, and was so successful that the publisher has decided to make it a permanent fixture, having already expanded the program to other Brazilian cities. (Melville House)  

Ben Griffin, one of the editors of the Autobiography of Mark Twain, discusses how the project came together over the course of ten years, and the various discoveries he made during his archival research. (Signature)

“A large part of our written inheritance survives as a great mass of animal remains.” Yes, much of the written history of the West is preserved in parchment—in, well, beast skin—and you can browse digitized versions of these membrane manuscripts through free specialized databases, including Irish Scripts on Screen and the Bodleian Library. (New York review of Books)

Poet Brian Teare interviews poet Jean Valentine about her latest collection Shirt in Heaven, which centers on her childhood in the 1940s, and how the “familial dynamics that arose from the war and from the gendered nature of military and civilian lives at that time…would become crucial for her education as a poet.” (Los Angeles Review of Books)

PBS NewsHour features a profile of poet Franny Choi, whose work explores “the ways that power, specifically in the realms of race, class, and gender, operate in U.S. systems and institutions.” The text and audio of her poem “Field Trip to the Museum of Human History,” which imagines a future in which police brutality and class inequality no longer exist, are also up at the site.

Need an inspiration boost this season? This infographic from Electric Literature featuring writing tips from nine great writers might help.

Happy December, happy year-end-list month. Perhaps you didn’t know about these books, but luckily there’s still time to love them: Here are twenty-seven overlooked books of 2015, recommended by Slate’s critics.