Daily News from Poets & Writers

McSweeney's Books Signs U.K. Distribution Deal

by Staff

McSweeney's Books, the imprint of Dave Eggers's ten-year-old literary magazine McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, recently signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Books in London, the Bookseller reported yesterday. Under the new deal, which was brokered by agents Scott Moyers in New York City and Sarah Chalfont in London, Atlantic Books will distribute six McSweeney's titles per year in the U.K. and the Commonwealth. The first title is Lemony Snicket's The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story.

Protest Poem Follows Olympic Torch

by Staff

International PEN, the parent organization of PEN American Center, recently launched a "virtual demonstration" to raise awareness about freedom of expression in China as protests continue during the twenty-one-nation Olympic torch relay leading up to the Beijing games in August. The international association of writers arranged to have the poem "June" by imprisoned Chinese poet and journalist Shi Tao translated into over sixty languages. The poem is being sent electronically to cities around the world to correspond to the different destinations of the Olympic torch.


Reginald Shepherd, Lan Samantha Chang Among This Year's Guggenheim Fellows

by Staff

On Tuesday, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the winners of the 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship Awards. Ten poets and seven fiction writers from the United States and Canada who demonstrate "distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment" each received grants averaging $43,157.


President of Edith Wharton Restoration Quits Amid Financial Trouble

by Staff

The president of Edith Wharton Restoration, the organization that owns and maintains the Mount, the author's landmark estate in Lenox, Massachusetts, has stepped down, the New York Times reports. Stephanie Copeland, who served as president since 1993, led the restoration of the Mount, which began in 2001 and has received awards for preservation. The site is now on the register of National Historic Landmarks.


Lloyd Jones Wins Kiriyama Prize in Fiction

by Staff
Pacific Rim Voices announced yesterday the winners of the twelfth annual Kiriyama Prize. New Zealand author Lloyd Jones won in fiction for his novel Mister Pip (Knopf Canada). Julia Whitty, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and lives in California, won in nonfiction for her book The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific (Houghton Mifflin). Each received fifteen thousand dollars.

Writing Workshop Documentary to Air on PBS

by Staff
A half-hour documentary on a local writing workshop that began in southern New Hampshire in 1974 is being aired on public television stations across the country during National Poetry Month. Mondays at Skimmilk: 30 Years of Writers at Work, directed by Ken Browne, originally aired last April on New Hampshire Public Television, but has since been picked up by American Public Television and is being presented on nearly fifty PBS stations in more than two dozen states.

Francine Prose to Condoleezza Rice: Let Banned British Memoirist In

by Staff

Two weeks after customs officials detained British memoirist Sebastian Horsley and prevented him from entering the United States, the PEN American Center has issued a letter of appeal to the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to review the case and allow the author to return to the country. Horsley, who flew back to the U.K. after the incident at Newark Liberty International Airport on March 18, has been invited to paricipate in PEN's World Voices Festival of International Literature at the end of this month.


Hosseini Beats Bloom, Chabon, Patchett, and Russo for Book Sense Book of the Year

by Staff
Khaled Hosseini's novel A Thousand Splendid Suns (Riverhead) was recently named the winner of the 2008 Book Sense Book of the Year Award in the category of fiction by the American Booksellers Association. Barbara Kingsolver, along with coauthors Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver, won in nonfiction for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (HarperCollins).

U.S. Borders Closed to British Memoirist

by Staff
British author Sebastian Horsley, whose memoir, Dandy in the Underworld (Sceptre, 2007), depicts a lifestyle of copious drug use and exploitation of prostitutes, was denied entry into the United States last Tuesday. U.S. customs officials at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport detained Horsley, adorned in top hat and three-piece suit; after eight hours of questioning about his drug addiction and sexual exploits, he was deported.

Literary Magazines in the Running for 2008 Ellies

by Staff
The American Society of Magazine Editors announced yesterday the finalists for the 2008 National Magazine Awards. The annual awards, also known as the Ellies, honor print and online magazines "that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative editorial techniques, noteworthy journalistic enterprise, and imaginative design." Among the 128 finalists in twenty-five categories were the usual titles—the New Yorker led the finalists with twelve nominations—but a number of literary magazines are also in the running.

Paris Book Fair Opens Under Cloud of Controversy

by Staff
The Salon du Livre, an international book fair in Paris, opened today despite the protests of several Arab nations over the selection of Israel as the festival's guest of honor. The Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization encouraged its fifty member nations to boycott because of "crimes against humanity that Israel is perpetrating in the Palestinian territories." Many publishers, booksellers, and authors from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, and Algeria withdrew from the festival, though some participants from those countries may still attend.

New Report Reveals Book Publishing Industry's Carbon Footprint

by Staff

The Green Press Initiative (GPI) and the Book Industry Study Group released on Monday a landmark study measuring the environmental impact of the U.S. book publishing industry. Monitoring publishing activity in 2006, which saw 4.15 billion books produced, the study found the industry's annual carbon footprint to be 12.4 million metric tons (or 8.85 pounds of carbon per book).