Writers Denounce Oakland's Actions, Philip K. Dick Estate Sues, 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:

Writers from the San Francisco Bay area, including Michael Pollan, Dave Eggers, and Matthew Zapruder, have signed a petition denouncing Oakland's recent actions toward Occupy protestors. "Dear Mayor Jean Quan: The violent crackdown on peaceful, nonviolent Occupy Oakland protesters by your city police department is an outrage and a disgrace." (Bay Citizen)

Agent Ira Silverberg has been tapped as the new literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts. Silverberg, a twenty-six year veteran of the publishing industry, will leave Sterling Lord Literistic at the end of November, and begin his new job in December. (Los Angeles Times)

England’s phone hacking scandal has spread to the literary world—Scotland Yard recently notified a publisher and a literary agent that they had been "targeted by illegal surveillance" by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. (Melville House)

Just in time for Halloween, literary magazine Granta has released a horror issue.

The Philip K. Dick estate has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the film The Adjustment Bureau, which starred Matt Damon. The estate charges that despite paying purchase agreement fees for Dick's story, and asking the Philip K. Dick estate for help promoting the film, the filmmakers are attempting to avoid $500,000 in payments by claiming Mr. Dick’s original story, "Adjustment Team," was in the public domain. (New York Times)

Poet James Longenbach looks at the complicated history and art of the celebrated American poet, William Carlos Williams, in a review of Herbert Leibowitz's new biography, Something Urgent I Have to Say to You: The Life and Works of William Carlos Williams, due out November 8. (Nation)

If you're planning to visit the literary haunts of New York City, go soon, as the Algonquin hotel will close for a major renovation from the first of January to the end of April 2012. Known as the daily gathering place for Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and their famous Round Table, the hotel had numerous acclaimed visitors, including Gertrude Stein and William Faulkner. (USA Today)

Have a seat at your desk, pen and paper in hand, Edith Wharton is about to school you. (HTML Giant)