Will Amazon Kill Publishers? Toni Morrison's Desdemona, 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:

Dennis Johnson, Melville House publisher and creator of the book blog, MobyLives.com, adds his voice to the ongoing debate concerning publishing's future in light of e-publishing's new business models. Johnson asks, "Will Amazon kill off publishers?" (New York Times)

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports Amazon's profits are down. Shunting revenue behind new product releases, the company is "sacrificing profit margins in search of sales volume and market-share gains."

Barbara Freethy, a romance novelist with thirty books to her credit, writes that after self-publishing her backlist of out-of-print titles as e-books, she's sold over one million copies in 2011. (Sacramento Bee)

The protest movement Occupy Wall Street has created a poetry anthology.

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, and Peter Sellars, an experimental director, in collaboration with singer/songwriter Rokia Traoré, have created a new play, Desdemona, that speaks to Shakespeare's Othello, told from the perspective of women. Desdemona has been performed recently in Paris, is currently in production at the University of California, Berkeley, and will come to New York City's Lincoln Center on November 2. (New York Times)

The Asian American Writers Workshop is celebrating its twentieth anniversary by hosting the third annual Page Turner literary festival, featuring Junot Díaz, Amitav Ghosh, Kimiko Hahn, Hari Kunzru, Suketu Mehta, and others. (GalleyCat)

The Swedish clothing company H&M has launched a clothing line based on Stieg Larsson's characters from his best-selling novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (Guardian)

In other book-to-film costume news, photographs have surfaced of Tobey Maguire dressed as character Nick Carraway from the currently-filming Baz Luhrmann production of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. (Cinema Blend via Largehearted Boy)