Daily News from Poets & Writers

Stanley Plumly and Andrew O'Hagan Win Big in LA

by Staff

Last Friday Stanley Plumly was awarded a 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for his tenth poetry collection, Old Heart (Norton), at a ceremony at Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Master of ceremonies Gay Talese presided at the annual event, during which awards were given in nine categories. Andrew O'Hagan won the award in fiction for his third novel Be Near Me (Harcourt), and Dinaw Mengestu won the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction for The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead Books). Each winner received a thousand dollars.

Nine Authors Shift Gears to Write Collaborative Novella for Lexus

by Staff

Lexus Magazine, a quarterly for owners of the luxury cars, recently launched the first installment of its 2008 Lexus Original Fiction Series, which will feature the work of nine notable authors, including Arthur Phillips, Richard McCann, and Curtis Sittenfeld. The series amounts to a collaborative novella titled In the Belly of the Beast. (The main characters of the story lovingly refer to—and constantly comment on—their Lexus IS F as "Beast” as they travel across country.)

First Found in Translation Award Goes to Bill Johnston

by Staff

Bill Johnston, one of the leading translators of Polish literature in the country, was recently named the winner of the inaugural Found in Translation Award, established last year by the Polish Book Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute in London and New York, and the W.A.B. Publishing House in Warsaw.

The NEA Launches the Big Read in Egypt

by Staff

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today the launch of the Big Read Egypt/U.S., the second international component of the organization's community-based literary program.

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 Mount.jpg

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).