In response to the Deep-water Horizon oil spill, writers Heidi Lynn Staples and Amy King created Poets for Living Waters, an online poetry forum featuring works written in response to the disaster, spurring a host of nationwide events that give poets not only an opportunity to take action against the catastrophe but also to speak out in support of our natural environment.
Despite the financial challenges of their vocation, writers have long found accessible, inventive ways to get work into the world. Among the benefit readings and bake sales, a new fund-raising option allows writers to tap into the fertile social networking landscape to find individuals who may be willing to donate the cost of a cupcake to give a project a boost.
Before it was possible to read a novel on a Kindle, before there were text messages and Twitter, Gertrude Stein said, "I like the feeling of words doing as they want to do and as they have to do." As innovative as Stein was, it might have been hard for her to imagine today's digital landscape of language and the growing number of online dictionary and language sites, such as Urban Dictionary, Save the Words, and the recently launched Wordnik.
Two of the country’s most prominent newspapers announced significant changes to their book coverage last week. The Chicago Tribune not only reformatted its Saturday books page but officially launched Printers Row, a literary blog featuring expanded content and contributions from readers. The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, scrapped its usual best-seller list on Sunday in favor of lists provided by the Northern California Independent Bookseller Association.
Online book club LibraryThing announced yesterday that it will revamp its site to comply with new requirements from Amazon. The retailer, which supplies LibraryThing and countless other affiliates with valuable book data, has begun insisting that its partners’ primary pages link solely to Amazon.
Online writing community Protagonize—a platform for collaborative, interactive fiction—announced last week that it will begin implementing an optional subscription system. While core services will remain free, paid accounts are set to include, among other features, ad-free browsing, personal blogs, and reader statistics.
Cultural theorist Joshua Glenn and journalist Rob Walker last week kicked off an experiment that will test the literary significance of otherwise useless objects. As curators of the "Significant Objects" project, the duo are pairing writers with knickknacks picked up for a pittance at thrift stores and flea markets, and asking the scribes to feature the objects in short works of fiction.
A childhood bike trip leads Whitman impersonator Darrel Blaine Ford to a lifelong dedication to the legendary poet.
Five years ago, in the early morning of July 24, 1998, Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home in Asheville, North Carolina, was nearly destroyed by fire. Since then, conservation specialists and staff at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial have worked to reconstruct the museum and hope to reopen it this fall.