Daily News from Poets & Writers

Winners of the Kiriyama Prize Announced

by Staff

Luis Alberto Urrea and Piers Vitebsky were recently named winners of the 2006 Kiriyama Prize. Urrea won in fiction for his novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter (Little, Brown) and Vitebsky won in creative nonfiction for his book The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia (Houghton Mifflin). The winners split the $30,000 award.

VQR and McSweeney's Among Finalists for Coveted National Magazine Awards

by Staff
The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) recently announced the finalists for the 2006 National Magazine Awards, which honor both print and online magazines for "superior execution of stated editorial objectives, innovative editorial techniques, noteworthy journalistic enterprise, and imagination and vigor in layout and design."

Los Angeles Named Best City For Artists

by Staff

Last month Businessweek, the Web site of the weekly business magazine, published a list of the ten best cities in the United States for artists, including creative writers. Los Angeles topped the list, followed by Santa Fe, New Mexico; Carson City, Nevada; New York City; Kingston, New York; Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura, California; Nashville; Boulder, Colorado; San Francisco; and Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.

Chernow Succeeds Rushdie as President of PEN American Center

by Staff
The PEN American Center recently named biographer Ron Chernow as its new president. He succeeds novelist Salman Rushdie, who served a two-year term. Chernow, who joined PEN in 1990, won the National Book Award for his biography of J.P. Morgan, The House of Morgan (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990). His biographies Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (Random House, 1998) and Alexander Hamilton (Penguin, 2004) were both nominees for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Kosotova's The Historian Named Book Sense Book of the Year

by Staff
The Historian (Little, Brown) by Elizabeth Kostova was recently named a Book Sense Book of the Year in the adult fiction category. The annual award, sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, is given for the book that independent bookstore owners and their staff most enjoyed selling in the previous year. The award is also given in the categories of adult nonfiction, children’s literature, and children’s illustrated.

World Trade Center Building to Feature Poetry in Lobby

by Staff
The first building to be rebuilt at Ground Zero, 7 World Trade Center, will feature a scrolling display of poetry and other texts in its lobby. The words of poets Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman have been chosen for the display, and others may be added in the future. The piece was collaboratively designed by the artist Jenny Holzer and Klara Silverstein, the wife of World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein.

Publisher Drops James Frey

by Staff
Lisa Kussell, a representative of writer James Frey, recently announced that Riverhead Books has canceled the author’s two-book contract. Riverhead, the imprint of Penguin Books that released Frey’s second memoir, My Friend Leonard, in June 2005, has declined to comment.

French Conglomerate Buys Time Warner Book Group

by Staff

Time Warner Inc., the company that owns America Online, HBO, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, among other media and entertainment businesses, recently announced the sale of its book publishing division, Time Warner Book Group, to the French company Lagardère SCA for $537.5 million.

Academy of American Poets Elects Three New Chancellors

by Staff
The Academy of American Poets recently announced the election of Rita Dove, Gerald Stern, and Kay Ryan to its board of chancellors. They will join current chancellors Frank Bidart, Robert Hass, Susan Howe, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Nathaniel Mackey, Robert Pinsky, Susan Stewart, Gary Snyder, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C.K. Williams.

Chicago Tribune Shrinks Sunday Book Section

by Staff

The Chicago Tribune recently announced that its Sunday book section will switch to a tabloid format. The move provides less space for book review coverage, and is intended to lower costs by reducing the amount of newsprint used. 

Charges Against Orhan Pamuk Dropped

by Staff

A Turkish court recently dropped charges against novelist Orhan Pamuk for insulting “Turkishness” in a comment on the country’s history. In February 2005 Pamuk told the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger that Turkey has yet to confront both the Armenian genocide during World War I and violence in the country’s Kurdish southeast in the 1980s and '90s