Kathleen Blanco, the governor of Louisiana, recently vetoed a bill to designate “I Love My Louisiana” as the state poem. The twenty-three-line poem was written by seventy-two-year-old Prairieville resident James Ellis Richardson.
Daily News from Poets & Writers
South African fiction writer Mary Watson was recently named the winner of the 2006 Caine Prize for her short story "Jungfrau.” She received £10,000 (approximately $18,200).
The true identity of the authors of Believeniks!, a nonfiction account of the New York Mets 2005 baseball season, published in April by Doubleday, was recently reported by New York Magazine. The pseudonymous authors, Harry Conklin and Ivan Felt, were revealed to be novelists Jonathan Lethem (Conklin) and Christopher Sorrentino (Felt).
Jim Guigli, a retired mechanical designer who lives in Carmichael, California, recently won the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest—a distinction that many writers would just as soon avoid. The award, sponsored by the English department at San Jose State University, is given annually for the worst opening sentence of a novel.
The social networking Web site Gather.com recently launched a contest that offers creative writers a chance to sell their submissions through Amazon Shorts, a program developed by Amazon.com that sells short stories and essays in a digital format for forty-nine cents each.
In addition to the standard venues for literary readings—bookstores, bars, libraries, and coffee shops—casinos are becoming attractive locations for authors who want to take a gamble on scheduling nontraditional appearances while on book tours.
Three independent bookstores in the San Francisco Bay area have recently closed due to declining sales.
Four poets were recently named winners of the 32nd annual "Discovery"/the Nation Poetry Prizes.
The winners of the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Awards (the IPPYs) were recently announced. Given in sixty-five categories, the annual awards are intended to bring increased recognition to books published in the past year by independent and university presses as well as self-published titles.
On Thursday, June 22, the Madison Square Park Conservancy launched a free series of summer readings in Madison Square Park, located between 23rd and 26th streets and Fifth and Madison avenues in New York City.
The 2006 Guggenheim Fellowships were recently awarded to twenty-seven poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers.
Paul Auster, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody, Gary Shteyngart, and Colson Whitehead are among the authors who have participated in a reading series to raise money for a new library at Public School 107, an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York.
The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis recently announced the winners of the 2006 McKnight Artist Fellowships. The $25,000 fellowships are given in alternating years to Minnesota poets and writers of fiction and literary nonfiction.
Novelist Paul Auster recently won Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Letters. He received 50,000 euros (approximately $62,850).
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today that Donald Hall will be the next U.S. poet laureate. He will succeed Ted Kooser, who has held the position since 2004.
The publishing and movie rights to John Steinbeck's early novels, previously held by Penguin and heirs of Steinbeck's widow Elaine, who died in 2003 at the age of 88, were recently awarded to the author's son and granddaughter by a federal judge in New York.
To celebrate its tenth anniversary, AbeBooks recently compiled a list of the ten most expensive used books that have been sold on its Web site since 1996. The list includes a first edition of The Hobbit, published in 1937. The book, one of only 1,500 copies printed, sold for $65,000. A copy of the first collection of John Donne’s poems, published in 1633, sold for $60,000. And an inscribed copy of George Orwell’s 1984 sold for $26,500.
The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and Small Press Distribution (SPD) have "entered into a formal strategic partnership" to "maximize limited resources," Jeffrey Lependorf, the executive director of CLMP, recently announced. Lependorf has assumed the directorship...
Random House recently announced that it will raise the amount of recycled paper it uses to print its books from 3 percent to 30 percent over the next four years.
Best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver recently announced that Hillary Jordan won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction for her unpublished novel “Mudbound.”
Playboy recently named the twenty-five sexiest novels ever written. The list of works “famous for being dirty books for decades” includes Norman Mailer’s An American Dream (Dial Press, 1965).
Toni Morrison’s Beloved (Knopf, 1987) was recently named “the single best work of American fiction published in the last twenty-five years,” according to a survey of several hundred writers, critics, and editors conducted by New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus.
Book production in the U.S. last year totaled 172,000 titles, a decrease from 2004 of 18,000 titles, or nearly ten percent, according to a recent study by R. R. Bowker, the publisher of the Books in Print database and the official agency for assigning ISBNs in the United States.
The Litblog Co-op, an online cooperative of twenty-one literary blogs created in 2005 to promote books of contemporary fiction, recently chose Television (Dalkey Archive Press, 2004), a novel by French writer Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated by Jordan Stump, as the Spring 2006 selection for its Read This! program.