Why the Flurry about Frost’s Poem?
Jennifer Howard asks, “Why the hoopla about an unpublished Robert Frost poem?” In the past few weeks, bloggers and the media have made noise about the Virginia Quarterly Review publishing an unpublished Frost poem. The publication has an essay by Robert Stilling, who discovered the poem, and another by poet Glyn Maxwell. Howard notes that several scholars know the whereabouts of several unpublished Frost poems.

Google’s Literacy Project
Reuters reports that Google Inc. has a Web site dedicated to literacy. Google hopes that it will combat global illiteracy and bolster its own educational credentials. Meanwhile Google released the top 10 most viewed tests in English for a week in September. They include Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers by Peter K. Endress, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms, Measuring and Controlling Interest Rate and Credit Risk by Farnk J. Fabozzi, Steven Mann, and Moorad Choudhry, Ultimate Healing: The Power of Compassion by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, The Holy Qur’an as translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Peterson’s Study Abroad 2006 by Thomson Peterson, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense by Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, and Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot by Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan.

Who Needs Poetry?
“It’s just what people need right now–a high dosage, intensive injection of lyricism, beauty, and passion.” So says
John Burnside, poet, writer, and chair of the Forward prize for poetry. That’s the lead of Greig Watson report for the BBC.

Then Jeff Gordinier writes for the poetryfoundation.org: “This poetry thing—it’s starting to worry me. The way some people talk about it, you’d think reading a poem every morning was like swallowing a capsule of cod liver oil: it sharpens your vision, expands your lungs, wards off the plague. It’s a psychic antitoxin. It reconnects you with the world around you. It’s good for you.”

Fitch Talks
Andrea Hoag interviews Janet Fitch about how she wrote White Oleander and her new novel Paint It Black.

Politics & Poetry
“Young poets today are casting aside the dreamy ‘hello trees, hello flowers’ bardic stereotype and choosing instead to tackle the hot political issues of the day–or so found the judges of the 2006 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award,” writes
Michelle Pauli.


Can Creative Writing Be Taught?
It’s an ancient question. In a recent posting by Atlantic Unbound (the online publication of Atlantic magazine), the writer recalls the advice of Wallace Stegner, Francine Prose, John Galbraith, and others.

Why Fiction Matters
In a
New York Sun essay, “Matters of Imagination,” Eric Ormsby explores the practicality of literary fiction, despite the pressure of literary theorists efforts to rob it of such. Ormsby focuses on Edward Mendelson’s The Things that Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say about the Stages of Life.

Keillor Reads Skloot
Garrison Keillor is reading from Floyd Skloot’s newest collection of poems,
The End of Dreams. He’s doing it on Writers Almanac, a public radio program. Today the reading is “Brahms” by Robert Bly.

Brooklyn—A Literary Mecca
For me, Brooklyn has and will always represent something special. I great up in the borough, and on September 16 Borough President Marty Markowitz will host Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Jonathan Lethem, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rick Moody, Colson Whitehead, and many others. Between 5000 and 15,000 people will celegrate Brooklyn’s literary stars. It’s nothing new for Brooklyn, it being the home for writings for centuries, such as Walt Whitman and Thomas Wolfe of
Look Homeward Angel.

Howling with Praise
Celebrating his teacher’s and mentor’s most famous work, poet Jason Shinder put together a collection of essays about Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl.” The book is entitled The Poem that Changed America: ‘Howl’ 50 Years Later. It includes a CD with a recording of the poem’s first reading. Read more.

Samuel Beckett: Millennium Poet Laureate?
“Samuel Beckett would have turned 100 this year, but in a sense he was always 100. One is almost tempted to say he was always 1,000. …No writer better deserves the title of Millennium Poet Laureate.” That’s the claim of Robert Brustein in his essay “Samuel Beckett: Millennium Poet Laureate” in the Chronicle Review.

Jersey Shore Literary?
During this month, I’m going to the Jersey Shore to witness the christening of my niece. It will be warm. Hopefully sunny. And a breeze will come off the Atlantic. All features I have associated with the Jersey shore. Literary is not one of them. Yet Suzy Hansen makes the point in her Slate essay about Richard Ford and Frederick Reiken.

Stupid Is as Stupid Does
Four days before her due date (Sept. 25), Turkish novelist Elif Shafak will go on trial for “insulting Turkishness”–a real charge under the country’s criminal code. Novelists Orhan Pamuk and Perihan Magden were also charged in separate cases. The charges in the case of these men were dropped. Shafak’s offense? Her Armenian character says: “I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives in the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915.” The genocide is not fiction. It happened.
Other related
: Turkish court acquits author Perihan Magden, Interview: Elif Shafak, and Extract from The Flea Palace by Elif Shafak.

25 Books at a Time
Joe Queehan discusses his reading habits in his essay “Why I Can’t Stop Starting Books.” He wonders if he has “too long” an attention span.

The Google Revolution
The media has feared the advances of the Internet on their territory for years. It started with MP3 files and the music industry. It has progressed to DVDs. Lately Google has been digitizing books. Publishers are angry and frightened of its economic consequences. In a wonder essay for Guardian, Richard Wray and Dan Milmo take a careful look at theses consequences. What they don’t investigate is the question that has plagued music and movie producers for a decade: Why haven’t the individuals responsible for traditional media find out how to exploit the Net? If you have not already done so, you might want to read John Updike’s take on the topic, which appeared a while back in the New York Times.

iPoding of Books
“The iPod comes along and suddenly digitally downloaded audio becomes a much bigger marketing [for book publishers]….It is one of the first areas of the digital world that, rather than just talking about it, we are actually earning money from it,” says Peter Bowron, group managing director at Random House, in an article by Dan Milmo. The ideas of this article tie in with those of Motoko Rich‘s essay about how authors are changing the face of audio books. The intent of audio books confuses me. Aren’t stories read aloud actually plays or screenplays, such as Pinter’s. Read the next item.

The Legacy of Harold Pinter
“Full of adultery, alcohol and menace, Harold Pinter’s screenplays have given actors their best roles—and directors the opportunity of a lifetime.” That’s the thoughts of David Hare in his essay about Pinter’s gift to cinema.

And Here’s Larry!
He lit up American poetry. He opened the City Lights Bookstore and its publishing arm City Lights Books, which published Ginsberg “Howl” and subsequently published the works of Rebecca Brown, whom novelist/reviewer Dale Peck has called one of the nation’s greatest novelists. The person is Lawrence Ferlinghetti and he talks with Nicholas Wroe.

What to Read on Vacation?\
If that question troubles you, give Alex Clark a check. He talked with critics, booksellers, and novelists about their picks for summer reading. You might get an idea or two.

What to Read this Summer?
Read the latest releases of Roth and Updike or the award winners of Smith or McEwan. Or ask writers what they will read this summer. The Guardian did number three. It asked Monica Ali, John Banville, Julian Barnes, Alain de Botton, William Boyd, A.S. Byatt, Carmen Callil, Simon Callow, Ariel Dorhman, Dave Eggers, Antonia Fraser, Christopher Frayling, Mariella Frostrup, Francis Fukuyama, Timothy Garton Ash, John Gray, David Hare, Alan Hollinghurst, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Lodge, Alison Lurie, Gerard McBurney, Hilary Mantel, Pankaj Mishra, Deborah Moggach, George Monbiot, Blake Morrison, Audrey Niffenegger, Orhan Pamuk, Don Paterson, Tom Pauliln, Jeremy Paxman, Craig Raine, Ian Rankin, Frederic Raphael, Simon Schama, Helen Simpson, Iain Sinclair, Jon Snow, Hilary Spurling, Joanna Trollope, Alan Warner, Sarah Waters, and Jacqueline Wilson.

Creativity Growing Market Segment
I don't know the bearing on writers but Richard Florida notes in his CATO Unbound essay that “the U.S. Is at the forefront of this global creative economy. Over the next decade, it's projected to add 10 million more creative sector jobs, according to the newest number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” He also notes that soon there will be more people working in the creative sector than in manufacturing. “The rise of this global creative economy changes the rules of international competition in four crucial ways.” Read more.

Take Your GPS Device on Tour
Kathleen Craig writes for Wired: “Author J.A. Konrath sold his first book to Hyperion as part of a three-book deal for his Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels thriller series. To promote the first book, Konrath's publisher sent him out on an 11-bookstore tour. But by utilizing the GPS device in his rental car, he ended up visiting 106 bookstores…” Read how is now getting ready for a 500-store tour.

Poetry on Your iPod
57 Productions has launched the first poetry video-jukebox at www.poetryvideojukebox.com and iPoems at www.ipoems.org.uk. Featured poets include John Hegley, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Kamau Brathwaite, Ian McMillan, Tom Leonard, Jane Draycott, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Cooper Clarke, Michael Donaghy, Sarah Maguire, Liz Lochhead, Moniza Alvi, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kwame Dawes, Roger McGough, Choman Hardi, Peter Finch, Brian Patten, Zena Edwards, Neil Rollinson, Adrian Mitchell, Rita Ann Higgins, Levi Tafari, Jackie Kay, Michael Rosen, Imtiaz Dharker, Jayne Cortez, Christopher Logue, Matthew Sweeney, Francesca Beard, Salena ‘Saliva’ Godden, Dorothea Smartt, Courttia Newland, Mark Gwynne Jones, Nick Toczek, Attila the Stockbroker, Joolz Denby, Mahmood Jamal, Patience Agbabi, Neil Sparkes.

ZS's Husband Wins Prize
Poet Nick Laird has established a solid reputation, but when his “lad-lit” novel Utterly Monkey won the Betty Trask award, given by the Society of Authors, the Guardian wrote this for a headline: Zadie Smith's Husband Adds to Family Fortunes. In case you have forgotten, Smith won the Orange prize for On Beauty last week.

Shakespeare Goes Digital and From Movies to Book
Google has a new site: www.google.com/shakespeare. If you ever want to browse any one of the dramatist's 37 plays, you can at this site. Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, the Samuel Johnson non-fiction prize went to James Shapiro's 1599:A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, which he admits was inspired by the movie Shakespeare in Love.

Learning from Literature
In The East African Standard Egara Kabaji postulates that “literature, as I know it, has a way of presenting to us images and characters that will always illuminate the hidden reality in political matters.” He speculates that the politicians of Kenya should read more.

Independents Doing Better
Richard Thompson for the Boston Globe reports that sales for independent bookstores increased in revenue and volume in 2004, thereby improving their market share by 50 percent.

Museum to Literature
I would assume that a museum to literature would be called a library. Apparently I think too small. This week in the hometown of German writer Friedrich Schiller Germany opened a 41,000-square-foot, $15-million Museum of Modern Literature. It includes original manuscripts of The Trial and Berlin Alexanderplatz. It's Web site: http://www.dla-marbach.de.