The Making of Cloud Atlas, Holiday Gifts for Writers, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

Two prominent law professors claim the tax arrangements made between online giant Amazon and the states of South Carolina and Tennessee are a violation of the Constitution’s commerce clause. (Forbes)

Art Works, the blog of the National Endowment of the Arts, interviewed its new director of literature Ira Silverberg. Yesterday marked the former editor, publisher, and agent's first day in his new position.

The New York Times details the international financing behind one of the most anticipated literary adaptations of the decade, the film version of David Mitchell's third novel Cloud Atlas. The process began when Natalie Portman gave a copy of the novel to Lana Wachowski on the set of V for Vendetta.

A new blog has been created to showcase journalistic pride. "We are tired of bad press about the press…. We are terrified of more layoffs and pay cuts. We would like to produce quality work without ‘obamasux99' posting some non-sequitur rant at the end of it." (GalleyCat)

The release of Michael Chabon's new novel, Telegraph Avenue, was confirmed for Fall 2012 via Twitter. (Huffington Post)

The Millions lists several holiday gifts for the writers in your life that they'll actually use.

A possible Jane Austen portrait has been discovered, which would increase the number of known portraits of the British novelist to three. (BBC News)

Almost fifty years ago, a young student wrote prominent authors a set of literary questions, including Jack Kerouac and Norman Mailer. Several responses are posted online, and the Atlantic Wire reports "Ayn Rand was meaner than you think."

InDigest has launched its Poem of the Day Podcast. Now on its second day, it features Rachel Zucker reading “Please Alice Notley Tell Me How to be Old.”