Daily News from Poets & Writers
Five hours of color video footage featuring fiction writer Eudora Welty was recently discovered in the media archives of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The Academy of American Poets recently announced the finalists for the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. The $25,000 award is given annually for a book of poems published during the previous year.
The White House press office recently released a list of books that President George W. Bush is reading this summer. Kenneth T. Walsh, in an article in U.S. News and World Reports, writes that White House staffers have said the president is engaged in an informal contest with senior adviser Karl Rove to see who can read more books this year.
LibreDigital, the company currently digitizing books and audiobooks published by HarperCollins, recently announced that it will offer its service to other book publishers as well.
Noreen Tomassi, the executive director of the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction, announced on August 23 that Gary Fisketjon, the vice president and editor-at-large of Knopf, is the winner of the second annual Maxwell Perkins Award for his work as an editor at Random House, Vintage, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Knopf.
On August 14 the judges of the 2006 Booker Prize announced a list of nineteen semifinalists. The annual prize, worth £50,000 (approximately $94,900), is sponsored by the Man Group investment company and is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.
Nobel Prize-winning novelist Günter Grass recently revealed that he served in the Waffen Schutzstaffel (SS), the elite military combat wing of the Nazi party.
Five authors are among this year's Celebrity 100, a ranking of the highest earning and most popular celebrities in the world, published annually by Forbes magazine.
Poet James Arthur recently received the $47,000 Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship.
Amazon.com recently optioned screen rights to Keith Donohue's best-selling debut novel The Stolen Child (Nan A. Talese, 2006). It is the online retailer's first venture into feature films and the creation of content not limited to its Web site.
HarperCollins Publishers today introduced a program on its Web site called "Browse Inside," which allows readers to view the first three pages of most chapters in over a hundred HarperCollins titles, including books by Isabel Allende, Michael Crichton, and C. S. Lewis.
Perseus Books Group announced yesterday that it had acquired Consortium Books Sales and Distribution, Inc., the company that provides distribution, sales, and marketing services to independent publishers such as Akashic Books, Copper Canyon Press, and Seven Stories Press.
Novelists Salman Rushdie, Hari Kunzru, and Lisa Appignanesi recently spoke out against protests of the filming in London of the movie adaptation of Monica Ali's debut novel Brick Lane, published by Scribner in 2003.
Poet David Rivard recently won the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2006 O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize. Rivard, whose most recent collection is Sugartown (Graywolf Press, 2006), received $10,000 and an invitation to read at the library in Washington, D.C.
Production of the movie based on Monica Ali's debut novel Brick Lane, published by Scribner in 2003, was halted on July 26 after protesters threatened to blockade London streets where scenes were scheduled to be filmed.
The longlist of finalists for the first Dylan Thomas Prize, to be awarded biennially for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction by a writer under thirty, was recently announced in the late poet's hometown of Swansea, England.
Borders Group, Inc., the company that operates the Borders and Waldenbooks chains of bookstores, recently named George Jones as its new CEO. Jones, the former head of the Saks Department Store Group, succeeds Greg Josefowicz, who announced his retirement in January.
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.
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.