Walt Whitman’s Birthday, Bill Clinton’s Reading Habits, 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:

To celebrate Walt Whitman’s 199th birthday today, Signature features an excerpt of Nathan Gelgud’s illustrated version of Whitman’s poem “The Sleepers.”

Bill Clinton shares what books he’s reading, the poetry he’s reread throughout his career, and the book he’s never been able to finish. Clinton recently cowrote a thriller with James Patterson, The President Is Missing. (New York Times)

Amazon Originals has launched a new line of digital collections of short works of fiction and nonfiction by a single author or a group of writers. Yesterday the imprint released its inaugural title, The Real Thing, which features love stories by W. Kamau Bell, Eddie Huang, and Wednesday Martin. (Publishers Weekly)

Director Zack Snyder, who has made many popular superhero films, is adapting Ayn Rand’s 1943 novel, The Fountainhead, for the screen. (Los Angeles Times)

“You’re not just the narrator. You’re the director, you’re the scenic artist, you’re the set designer, you’re the choreographer.” Audiobook narrator Grover Gardner, whose voice has been described as sounding like “sandpaper and velvet,” talks to the Village Voice about his work.

A new study has shown that people over the age of sixty-five may be less likely to develop dementia if they read books and engage in other “intellectual activities” such as playing board games. (TIME)

Sam Huber reads Muriel Rukeyser’s “Poem,” which has seen renewed popularity since Trump was elected president, and argues that Rukeyser’s work and career challenges conventional narratives of feminism and twentieth-century literary history. (Paris Review)

“Let’s be honest: You are not ‘well-read’ if you don’t read women. You cannot consider yourself a man of letters if you leave the women of letters on the bookshop shelf.” Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett makes a case for what it means to be well-read. (Guardian)