Daily News from Poets & Writers

Imprisoned Writers Speak on Eve of Beijing Olympics

by Staff

Tonight, just hours before the Olympic Games open in Beijing on Friday, PEN American Center will host “Bringing Down the Great Firewall of China: Silenced Writers Speak on the Eve of the Olympics,” an event to honor the work—and call once again for the release—of more than forty writers and journalists imprisoned by the Chinese government for expressing dissenting views.


Author Sells Shares of Royalties for Unfinished Novel

by Staff

Tao Lin, the author of two poetry collections, a novel, and a story collection, last Thursday posted a rather unusual offer on his blog. For two thousand dollars, readers can purchase a 10-percent share of the royalties, including all U.S. serial, reprint, textbook, and film royalties, for his unfinished novel, which is tentatively scheduled for publication next year by Melville House, an independent press in Brooklyn, New York.

Amazon Acquires AbeBooks

by Staff

Amazon announced on Friday its plans to acquire AbeBooks, the Canada-based online marketplace showcasing the wares of over thirteen thousand booksellers specializing in used, rare, and out-of-print books.


Booker Judges Pick a Baker's Dozen

by Staff

The judges for this year's Man Booker Prize for Fiction yesterday announced the longlist of finalists. The list features thirteen books, including titles by five first-time authors as well as perennial favorite Salman Rushdie, who earlier this month was awarded the Best of the Booker Award for Midnight's Children (Jonathan Cape, 1981). 

Poland Celebrates the Work of Poet Zbigniew Herbert

by Staff

On Sunday, the eve of the tenth anniversary of the death of celebrated Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert, an open-air performance of the play The Reconstruction of a Poet was held in Warsaw. The play, originally written as a radio drama, is one of five the poet produced in his life. The event also featured a multimedia installation on three giant video screens, including a selection of poems from Herbert's 1974 book Mr. Cogito, Chris Niedenthal's photos of Poland in the 1970s, and a television interview the poet gave in 1972.

Elie Wiesel's Attacker Found Guilty of Felony Hate Crime

by Staff

The man who attacked Holocaust survivor and novelist Elie Wiesel in a hotel elevator last year was found guilty of a felony hate crime charge of false imprisonment by a San Francisco jury on Monday. Twenty-four-year-old Eric Hunt was also found guilty of misdemeanor battery and elder abuse; he was cleared of five other felony charges, including kidnapping.

Los Angeles Times to Kill Sunday Book Review Section

by Staff

The Los Angeles Times is laying off two of its book editors and ending its standalone Sunday book review section on July 27, Publishers Weekly reported yesterday. Although Nancy Sullivan, executive director of corporate communications at the newspaper would not comment on the future of its book coverage, four former editors of the section wrote a joint letter complaining about the cuts.


California Lit Mag Threatened by Wildfires

by Staff

The staff of Cadillac Cicatrix, a two-year-old literary magazine based in Carmel Valley, California, recently was forced to evacuate the magazine's office in the face of encroaching wildfires.


Poe's Bronx Cottage to Receive Major Facelift

by Staff

The historic final home of Edgar Allan Poe, located in the Bronx, New York, will receive its first full renovation beginning next spring, the Associated Press reported. The one-and-a-half story cottage, the last house remaining from the bucolic village of Fordham, will undergo a quarter-million-dollar facelift, including restoration of the shingles, shutters, paint, and plaster. The work is expected to last one year.


Welsh Poet Wins Prize for Memoir of Wife's Death

by Staff

After some initial confusion at an award ceremony on Tuesday evening, poet Dannie Abse was named winner of the Wales Book of the Year for his memoir The Presence (Hutchinson, 2007), which he wrote following his wife's death in 2005.