World Poetry Day, the First E-book Library, Appiah Reelected at PEN, and More

by Staff

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:

Today is World Poetry Day. It's also the fifth anniversary of the founding of Twitter, and the New York Times conflated the two occasions to report on the state of literature in the Twitterverse.

Kwame Anthony Appiah has been reelected as president of the PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world's oldest literary and human rights organization. "We want to go on doing what we can for Liu Xiaobo, in particular, and China more generally, Appiah said in a press release. "And, of course we’ll continue to keep our eye on our own government, pressing, among other things, for necessary reform of the Patriot Act.”

The world's first e-book library opened in the Taiwan Airport in China. (Aviation Record)

The Brazilian Culture Ministry has paid a pop singer, Maria Bethania, a fee of nearly eight hundred thousand dollars to start a poetry blog where she interprets verse in daily videos. (Forbes)

Former C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame Wilson, who has already published a memoir of her spy days called Fair Game, has signed a deal with Penguin Group to write a series of international suspense novels with a female secret agent protagonist. (New York Times)

Portland State University's Ooligan Press is facing an uncertain future after the university's fiscal challenges have stopped it from seeking a replacement for retiring director Dennis Stovall. (Publishers Weekly)

The man behind the expurgated versions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which are scrubbed of the N-word in a new single-volume edition from NewSouth Books, was on 60 Minutes last night to discuss the controversy around the censored versions. (Jacket Copy)

With the ongoing violent conflicts in the Middle East and Japan's continuing earthquake-tsunami-nuclear crisis, the world seems to be particularly plagued by catastrophic headlines at the moment. As the New York Times reports, its times like these when people turn to poetry and literature as a way to help "chase our fears out of the shadows and into the sunlight."


I wish I was paid 800k to

I wish I was paid 800k to re-interpret poetry! Sheesh! It's exciting though that there is a push to introduce people to poetry in new I dig it :)