Daily News from Poets & Writers

Goodbye Warner Books; Hello Grand Central Publishing

by Staff

The Warner Books imprint of Hachette Book Group USA announced today that it will change its name to Grand Central Publishing. The imprint was formerly part of Time Warner Book Group, which was acquired last February for $537.5 million by the Hachette Livre division of the French conglomerate Lagardère.

Beckett's British Publisher to Retire and Sell Rights

by Staff

John Calder, the namesake and owner of the British publisher Calder Publications, recently announced that he plans to retire and sell the rights to publish the company’s books, which include the British copyrights to many of Samuel Beckett’s novels.

AbeBooks Creates Book Recommendation System

by Staff

The used book Web site AbeBooks recently launched a book recommendation system that draws titles from personal collections compiled on LibraryThing, a book cataloging Web site created by Tim Spalding in 2005. Whenever an AbeBooks user searches for one of the ten million books listed in the databases of both AbeBooks and LibraryThing, the new BookHints system will generate a list of three to six other books that the user might enjoy.

PEN American Center Elects Prose as New President

by Staff
During its annual meeting last night, the PEN American Center elected Francine Prose to succeed biographer Ron Chernow as its president. Chernow had served a one-year term and could have run for reelection, but declined for personal reasons.

Poetry Café Wins $100,000 Small Business Competition

by Staff

On March 13, a group of three poets won the $100,000 Microsoft "Ultimate Challenge" small business competition for their proposal of establishing a poetry café. The Mayhem Poets—Mason Granger, Kyle Sutton, and Scott Tarazevits, three friends who met at Rutgers University in New Jersey—entered the contest with an idea for a full-service restaurant that holds daily poetry workshops and nightly poetry performances.

AAP Honors "The View"

by Staff
At a ceremony last Tuesday during its annual meeting, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) presented the ABC daytime television show The View with its AAP Honors award. The show—hosted by Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Rosie O’Donnell, and Barbara Walters—will donate the award’s five thousand dollar prize to the literacy organization First Book, which provides books to children from low-income families.

Roth Wins Third PEN/Faulkner

by Staff
The PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced yesterday that Philip Roth is the winner of the 2007 Award for Fiction for his novel Everyman (Houghton Mifflin).

Harpercollins to Publish Slimmed-down War And Peace

by Staff

In April, the Harper Perennial imprint of HarperCollins will publish a shorter, happier version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. The book, which HarperCollins calls the "original version," is an unpublished first draft completed by Tolstoy in 1866.

Perseus to Take Over PGW

by Staff

On February 16, a Delaware bankruptcy court approved a proposal by Perseus Books to take over the distribution contracts of over one hundred independent presses formerly distributed by Publishers Group West.

Elie Wiesel Attacked In San Francisco Hotel

by Staff

On February 1, novelist and political activist Elie Wiesel was attacked and dragged out of an elevator in a San Francisco hotel. Wiesel, the author of the Holocaust memoir Night (Hill and Wang, 1960) and the recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, was a participant in a conference on religion taking place at the hotel. Accord

Fiction Writer From El Salvador Finds Asylum in Pittsburgh

by Staff

The Pittsburgh branch of the North American Network of Cities of Asylum (NANCA), an organization that hosts persecuted and exiled writers from around the world in five American cities, recently announced that fiction writer Horacio Castellanos Moya from El Salvador will be its second writer-in-residence...

Indie Bookstore in Aspen Sold to Dallas Billionaire

by Staff

Sam Wyly, a Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist whose net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion by Forbes magazine, recently agreed to purchase Explore Booksellers, an independent bookstore in Aspen, Colorado, for $5.2 million.

Anselm Berrigan to Step Down as Poetry Project Director

by Staff

Poet Anselm Berrigan recently announced that he will be stepping down as artistic director of the St. Mark's Poetry Project in New York City. "June 30 of this year will be my last day," Berrigan wrote in a letter to readers of the February/March 2007 issue of the Poetry Project Newsletter.

Bertelsmann Names New CEO

by Staff

Last Friday, Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate that owns Random House, announced that Hartmut Ostrowski will be its new chief executive officer starting in 2008. Ostrowski has been a member of Bertelsmann’s executive board for the past six years. He will succeed the current CEO, Gunter Thielen, who will become chairman of the company’s supervisory board.

After Sobol Award Controversy, Touchstone Finds Another Contest

by Staff

Touchstone/Fireside, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, recently announced that it will publish the winning manuscript in the Gather.com First Chapters contest. Gather.com, a social networking site with 175,000 registered members, was founded in 2005. The publisher’s announcement comes less than two weeks after the Sobol Award, which offered $100,000 and publication by Touchstone, was cancelled because of an insufficient number of submissions.