Daily News from Poets & Writers

World Trade Center Building to Feature Poetry in Lobby

The first building to be rebuilt at Ground Zero, 7 World Trade Center, will feature a scrolling display of poetry and other texts in its lobby. The words of poets Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman have been chosen for the display, and others may be added in the future. The piece was collaboratively designed by the artist Jenny Holzer and Klara Silverstein, the wife of World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein.

Publisher Drops James Frey

Lisa Kussell, a representative of writer James Frey, recently announced that Riverhead Books has canceled the author’s two-book contract. Riverhead, the imprint of Penguin Books that released Frey’s second memoir, My Friend Leonard, in June 2005, has declined to comment.

French Conglomerate Buys Time Warner Book Group


Time Warner Inc., the company that owns America Online, HBO, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, among other media and entertainment businesses, recently announced the sale of its book publishing division, Time Warner Book Group, to the French company Lagardère SCA for $537.5 million.

Academy of American Poets Elects Three New Chancellors

The Academy of American Poets recently announced the election of Rita Dove, Gerald Stern, and Kay Ryan to its board of chancellors. They will join current chancellors Frank Bidart, Robert Hass, Susan Howe, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Nathaniel Mackey, Robert Pinsky, Susan Stewart, Gary Snyder, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C.K. Williams.

Chicago Tribune Shrinks Sunday Book Section


The Chicago Tribune recently announced that its Sunday book section will switch to a tabloid format. The move provides less space for book review coverage, and is intended to lower costs by reducing the amount of newsprint used. 

Charges Against Orhan Pamuk Dropped


A Turkish court recently dropped charges against novelist Orhan Pamuk for insulting “Turkishness” in a comment on the country’s history. In February 2005 Pamuk told the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger that Turkey has yet to confront both the Armenian genocide during World War I and violence in the country’s Kurdish southeast in the 1980s and '90s

National Book Critics Circle Nominates Best Books Of 2005


The National Book Critics Circle, a nonprofit organization composed of 500 book critics and reviewers from across the country, recently announced the finalists for the 2005 book awards. The winners in each category—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, criticism, and biography—will be named on March 3.

Harper's Editor Lewis Lapham Will Step Down


Lewis Lapham recently announced that he will step down as editor in chief of Harper’s magazine in the spring of 2006. He will remain with the monthly magazine as editor in chief emeritus, and will continue to write his “Notebook” column.

Five Fiction Writers for Original Voices Award


Borders, Inc. recently announced the nominees for the 2005 Original Voices Award in fiction. The $5,000 prize is given annually for an “innovative and ambitious work from a new and emerging talent, or a title that represents a new direction for an established author.”

AAP Files Lawsuit Against Google

Kevin Canfield

In October the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a federal lawsuit against online search engine Google over its plans to digitally copy and distribute copyrighted works without permission of the copyright owners.

Another Editor in Chief Decides to Leave His Post


Michael Korda, the editor in chief of Simon & Schuster since 1968, recently announced that he will leave the publishing company in December. Korda joined Simon & Schuster as editorial assistant to Henry Simon, the brother of company cofounder Richard Simon, in 1958.

Adelphi University Launches MFA Program

Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, recently announced it will launch a graduate creative writing program in fall 2006. The MFA program will offer workshops in poetry, fiction, and playwriting; courses in literature and theory; and instruction for professional development.

John Banville Wins 2005 Booker Prize


Irish novelist John Banville recently won the 2005 Booker Prize for The Sea (Picador). He received £50,000 (approximately $87,300). The prize, sponsored by the Man Group investment company, is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.

T. S. Eliot's Letters Sold at Auction


A collection of T. S. Eliot’s unpublished correspondence with members of the Faber publishing family was recently sold at a London auction for $436,725. The collection included a set of 50 letters addressed to Tom Faber, the son of publisher Geoffrey Faber (and Eliot’s godson), which sold for $82,300.