Curiosities

August 1, 2014

Poet Laureate Sans Laurels 0

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The recently (and controversially) appointed poet laureate of North Carolina has resigned from the post, but the upset generated by her short-lived laureateship can be interpreted as a sign of just how important poet laureates are. If you’re unconvinced, or simply confused about what exactly poet laureates do, we have just the links for you.

August 1, 2014

Indie in the Age of Amazon 0

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“Independent bookstores are intellectual centers of a city.” Our own Bill Morris, who’s currently on tour for his latest book, Motor City Burning, writes for The Daily Beast about the importance and continued relevance of bookstores in the age of Amazon.

July 31, 2014

Fantasy Authors game 0

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If Fantasy Football is football for people who don’t like dirt or concussions, here’s a Fantasy Football for people who don’t like football. Book Riot has the details, which involve tracking your favorite authors’ career highlights much like an athlete’s: “publishes a book,” sure, but also “appears in another author’s book trailer,” “fatwa issued against author,” and “dies.” Our […]

July 31, 2014

The memories of very small readers 2

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Although children’s earliest memories often don’t stay with them, as this new article on Aeon describes, babies form emotional connections and intellectual attitudes that last the rest of their lives. So read to your newborn, according to Jason Boog (Born Reading), even if she doesn’t yet know the words.

July 31, 2014

#workingonmynovelaboutyournovel 1

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Cory Arcangel‘s Working on My Novel is composed solely of tweets from people who (one is led to assume) are engaged in the singularly tragic enterprise of writing books that, unlike Working on My Novel, will take years to complete, yet won’t be published by Penguin or noticed by The Paris Review. Oh, the meta-irony. And now I’ve just honored it with a Curiosities post.

July 31, 2014

“How like a prison is my cubicle…” 0

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In May, poet David Lehman wrote the first line of a sonnet about cubicle anomie and began crowdsourcing the rest. The completed 12-week project at The American Scholar is not merely a pretty great piece on its own, but a lesson in how to write one, line by line: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8/9, 10, 11, 12, […]

July 31, 2014

Go on, judge these books by their covers 0

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Book Cover Roundup, Item #1: Each year The Millions publishes a high stakes face-off between the UK and US covers of books featured in The Morning News’ Tournament of Books (2014, 2013, 2012). Now, for Sarah Hemfrey’s research on book covers in the publishing industry, it’s your turn to be the judge. Item #2: if Harry Potter is more your style, that […]

July 30, 2014

The Unwritten Novel 0

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Recently, we featured five writers’ reminisces about the novels they ultimately shelved. Here a sixth, Elmo Keep, explains what led her to throw away her first novel, quite outside considerations of craft:”I could not resolve the conflict of a story that was not mine.”

July 30, 2014

“She’s such a Hermione” 0

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You probably knew a Lothario was a character before his name grew into a generic euphemism for “Guy You Don’t Want Your Daughter Dating,” but what about “brainiac,” “mentor,” and “pamphlet”? It turns out character names have been making their way into everyday vocabulary for thousands of years.

July 30, 2014

Grant Snider’s muse-inspiring cartoons 0

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The work of literary cartoonist Grant Snider has been featured in such places as the New York Times and Electric Literature (part 2, part 3). We also love this comic on poetry. But don’t wait for the curators to endorse your dose of comic cheer–every one of these pieces can be seen on Snider’s Tumblr page.