Unscrupulous Agents in India, Charles Bukowski to Sell Pants, 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:

Fiction is a booming market in India—with success stories such as Vikram Seth (author of the best-selling A Suitable Boy) and Chetan Bhagat (who sold over a million copies of his first two books combined)—spurring a wealth of eager young novelists to see their books in print. However, the literary agency model is a novelty in South Asia, and unscrupulous “agents” easily dupe many authors. (Publishing Perspectives)

Wired magazine contrasts features of Barnes & Noble's Nook Friends with the Amazon Kindle social network, and the disparate ways the two companies created the software's default social-media settings.

This past February, poet Elizabeth Bishop, who died in 1979, would have turned one hundred-years-old. To celebrate the occasion, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published three new volumes of her writing: Poems edited by Saskia Hamilton, Prose edited by Lloyd Schwartz, and Elizabeth Bishop and The "New Yorker": The Complete Correspondence edited by Joelle Biele. The Millions asks, "What would Bishop say about all the fuss?"

Slate explains how to be a faster writer.

In light of the news of the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore's struggle to maintain solvency, the New Yorker takes a look at some of Edgar Allan Poe's other homes.

It seems certain Facebook users do not like books or reading. (Galleycat)

If you've ever been curious what a contemporary New York City novelist's writing desk looks like, Jennifer Gilmore, author of Something Red, describes hers: "Here is my space. It’s also a closet." (Write Place, Write Time via Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

As a sequel to Levi's use of a Walt Whitman poem in one of its "Go Forth" commercials, the blue jeans company has licensed a Charles Bukowski poem to help sell its pants. (Harriet)