The Bronx Loses its Last Bookstore, Joan Didion Documentary, 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:

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, a proposed documentary about iconic author Joan Didion, is currently being funded through Kickstarter. Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne is producing the film, which will piece together the author’s life and legacy through her memories, old footage, and interviews with over a dozen artists including Vanessa Redgrave and Patti Smith. (NPR)

Literature lovers in the Bronx will soon face the closing of the first and only general-interest bookstore in the borough. The Co-Op City Barnes & Noble, which opened in 1999, will shut its doors at the end of December, leaving the Bronx—which has a handful of shops selling comics, textbooks, and religious and foreign-language books—without a single general-interest shop. (New York Times)

The lack of specific details disclosed following Amazon’s recent sales deal with publishing house Simon & Schuster has sparked various speculations from different media outlets about who will benefit and who will suffer from the agreement. (Publishers Weekly)

Why do we love Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper? At the New Republic, Britt Peterson investigates our fascination with Victorian crime stories, and reviews three contemporary books on the subject. Peterson discusses how these books “to varying degrees…both indulge our own detective-fever, and seek to de-sensationalize the people who originally experienced it—sometimes a tricky juggling act.”

Alex Dimitrov, a poet who lives in New York City, and writer and performance artist Kate Durbin, who is based in Los Angeles, interview each other at the Rumpus about poetics, performance, and the importance of “place.”

Private Lives of Print, an exhibition of early books complete with stains, ink blots, and reader notes, is currently on display at Cambridge University Library. Contrary to the assumption that these stains and scribbles depreciate the value of the books, curator Ed Potten believes that they “offer rare and fascinating insights into the private lives of books—glimpses of many ways in which books were received and subsequently used by the first generations of printed book owners.” The publication dates of the books on display go as far back as the fifteenth century. Poet Carol Ann Duffy has also been commissioned to write a poem accompanying the exhibition, which will run through next April. (Guardian)

Take a journey through the literary landscape of James Joyce and William Butler Yeats with this literary atlas of Ireland. (Electric Literature)







So sad about the Bronx losing

So sad about the Bronx losing its bookstore.  When our (small) community lost its local bookstore, I lost a fun place to send a quiet afternoon.  I looked forward to trolling the bestseller lists, looking in the $5 bin, keeping an eye out for new releases from my favorite authors.  Now I shop almost exclusively on Amazon...which could be the reason for the bookstores closing in the first place.  I'd  hate for my buying habits to contribute to the problem, but with the stores closed, where else are we supposed to buy books?  Janelle