Daily News from Poets & Writers

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.

Actor Directs Adaptation of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men

by Staff

Fans of the television show The Office know him as the goofy character Jim Halpert, but actor John Krasinski (who has also appeared in the movies Kinsey, Jarhead, and Dreamgirls) will make his writing and directing debut with the film adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s short story collection, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.

Owner of Publishers Group West Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

by Staff

On December 29 Advanced Marketing Services (AMS), the owner of the independent press distributor Publishers Group West (PGW) and the primary supplier of books to the Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club chains of stores, filed for bankruptcy in a Delaware court.

Million-dollar Manuscripts Are Lost and Finally Found

by Staff

A rare book dealer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently reported that two handwritten manuscripts of short stories by the late Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges—valued at nearly one million dollars—had been lost, and possibly stolen, only to later find that the manuscripts had simply been misplaced.

Swashbuckling Depp Options Three Books

by Staff

Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp recently acquired the film rights to three books, including James Meek’s novel The People’s Act of Love (Canongate, 2005), Variety reported last week. 

Hejinian, Olds, and Phillips Join Academy's Chancellors

by Staff
The Academy of American Poets announced on December 14 the election of Lyn Hejinian, Sharon Olds, and Carl Phillips to its board of chancellors. They were chosen by current chancellors Frank Bidart, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, Susan Howe, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Nathaniel Mackey, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, Gary Snyder, Gerald Stern, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C. K. Williams.

Maureen Egen to Step Down as Hachette Publisher

by Staff

Maureen Egen, the publisher and deputy chairman of Hachette Book Group USA (formerly known as Time Warner Book Group), announced Tuesday that she will step down from "active management" of the company at the end of the year.

Dalkey Archive Will Still Move (but Not Very Far)

by Staff

Dalkey Archive Press has finally found a new home. Less than a month after the twenty-two-year-old nonprofit publisher abandoned its plans to move from its current location at Ilinois State University to the University of Rochester, Dalkey Archive announced on December 1 that it is moving to the University of Illinois...

Irish Software Publisher Acquires Houghton Mifflin

by Staff
Houghton Mifflin, the Boston-based publisher of books by Jhumpa Lahiri and Philip Roth, as well as the "Best American" series of anthologies, was recently acquired by the Irish educational software company Riverdeep Holdings.

Mailer Wins Posthumous Award for Bad Sex in Fiction

by Staff

The late Norman Mailer was awarded yesterday the fifteenth annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award for a passage in his last novel The Castle in the Forest (Random House, 2007). The award was established in 1993 by the London magazine the Literary Review "to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it."