X-Rays Reveal Ancient Texts on Book Spines, Lit Hub’s Rotten Tomatoes for Books, 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:

Literary Hub has introduced a new branch of its site called Book Marks, the “Rotten Tomatoes” for books. The project aggregates critical reviews of books from more than seventy sources—including newspapers, magazines, and websites—and averages a letter grade for each book, while linking back to the original reviews.

At Guernica, literary translator Adam Morris discusses the importance of translation in recognizing quality writers outside of the English-speaking world, as well as his work translating the fiction of contemporary Brazilian writer João Gilberto Noll.

A new X-ray technology has allowed Dutch researchers to uncover ancient “hidden” texts on the spines of bound books. The hidden texts are fragments of handwritten manuscripts that bookbinders in the fifteenth century used to reinforce the spines of printed books. (Smithsonian)

In an interview at Divedapper, poet Ocean Vuong shares his poetic concerns and discusses his acclaimed debut collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds. “I’m also interested in the voyeurism of the ‘damned’ viewer. Which is, you know—what does it look like to be the child of war? A product of war? What does it look like to be a queer child from a very traditional Confucian family? How does one feel to pay homage to a family but to also, in a way, betray those familial values?"

The Wall Street Journal has created an interactive graphic to explain the algorithm used to write the song lyrics to the musical Hamilton. The algorithm “breaks down words into their component sounds and then groups similar-sounding syllables into rhyme families.”

The winners of the twenty-eighth annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) were announced last night at a ceremony in New York City. The awards recognize excellence in LGBT poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Poet Eileen Myles received Lambda’s Pioneer Award for lifetime achievement. Stay tuned to the Grants & Awards Blog for more details about last night’s winners. 

What do Thomas Wolfe’s novel Look Homeward, Angel and Terrence Malick’s film The Tree of Life have in common? Find out with Flavorwire’s list of eight book and film pairings that complement one another in unexpected, inspiring ways.