The MacArthur Foundation recently announced that novelist Jonathan Lethem is among the 25 recipients of this year's "genius" fellowships. Each award is worth $500,000.
Daily News from Poets & Writers
A group of sixteen authors, including Michael Chabon, Andrew Sean Greer, Jonathan Lethem, Stephen King, and ZZ Packer, have joined together to auction opportunities to name characters in their forthcoming books on eBay.
Six authors were recently shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize. The prize, sponsored by the Man Group investment company, is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.
The 2005 Booker Prize longlist of 17 semi-finalists was recently announced. The £50,000 (approximately $90,600) prize, sponsored by the Man Group investment company, is given for the best novel of the year by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or Ireland.
The Washington Post recently published an Editor’s Note apologizing for its negative review of John Irving’s novel Until I Find You (Random House).
Six fiction writers were recently named to the 2005 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize shortlist.
Total U.S. book production reached an all-time high of 195,000 titles in 2004, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year, 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 Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) recently announced that it will join the newly formed Literary Ventures Fund (LVF) to support small presses with both funding and marketing expertise. The organizations hope the merger will raise the profile of literary works published by independent presses.
Cliff Becker, the director of literature at the National Endowment of the Arts, died on May 17 of a heart attack. He was 40 years old.
The papers of Norman Mailer were recently purchased by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. Nearly five hundred boxes, weighing more than twenty-thousand pounds, filled with unpublished stories, journals, essays, and screenplays, as well as manuscripts of nearly all of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's forty books, will be shipped to the Ransom Center early in the summer.
The University of Iowa recently named fiction writer Lan Samantha Chang as the new director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Chang, who currently teaches creative writing at Harvard, will begin at Iowa in January 2006.
The finalists for several literary awards were recently announced.
Fiction writers Richard Bausch, Lan Samantha Chang, Ben Marcus, and Jim Shepard have been chosen as finalists for the directorship of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Each has been asked to present a public reading at the University of Iowa.
Apart from brief interludes on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NBC’s Today, books don’t often end up on U.S. television. The recent launch of the Quill Awards—a new national book award program sponsored by Reed Business Information and NBC that will include a televised ceremony in October—may have authors feeling like celebrities, but an entire network show devoted to the written word is still a rarity. Not so in the United Kingdom, where several programs are proving that literature can make compelling television.
The National Book Critics Circle, a nonprofit organization composed of 600 book critics and reviewers from across the country, recently announced the finalists for the 2004 book awards.
Jean Valentine won the 2004 National Book Award in poetry for Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003 (Wesleyan University Press).
Six women writers recently received Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards. Poets Dana Levin, Tracy Smith, and Sharon Strange, fiction writers Carin Clevidence and Ann Harleman, and creative nonfiction writer Michele Morano each received $10,000.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced that fiction writers Edward P. Jones and Aleksandar Hemon and poet C.D. Wright are among 23 recipients of this year's $500,000 "genius" fellowships.
Brian Lamb, the host of Booknotes, an author interview program on the cable television network C-SPAN, recently announced that the weekly program will cease production in December.
Frank Conroy, the fourth director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the oldest academic writing program in the country, will step down in December. A successor has not yet been announced.
Brian Chikwava, a fiction writer who was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, won the 2004 Caine Prize for African writing for his story "Seventh Street Alchemy."
This year marks the centennial of the births of several renowned literary writers, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Pablo Neruda, Louis Zukofsky, and Graham Greene.