Category Archives: News

Poetry Slam: North Carolina’s Poet Laureate Drama

The more job listings I read, the more efficient I get at parsing them. First, of course, comes the position description, to make sure it’s something I can actually do and might even want to. The list of requirements takes a little longer to weigh: which are the slam-dunks (grasp of basic grammar, proficiency in […]

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Better Late Than Never Dept.: The PEN 2014 Literary Award Shortlist

Sometimes I’m late in keeping current with literary competition news here, and then sometimes I’m criminally late. My lack of commentary on the PEN 2014 Literary Awards would fall into that last category, unfortunately. So I’m going to do my best to catch us all up, starting with the fact that PEN America announced the […]

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The Great Debate: Should We Let Poirot Rest in Peace?

For those of you who haven’t heard, the Agatha Christie estate is commissioning Sophie Hannah to write a new novel featuring the Queen of Crime’s master Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Among many other qualifications, Hannah’s most recent novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year award at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards. […]

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Don’t Mess with Patience or Fortitude: The Demise of the Central Library Plan

In an interesting and surprising turnaround last week, the New York Public Library decided to scrap its controversial Central Library Plan. The proposed renovation, originally presented in 2008, would have sold off two of NYPL’s properties and opened up space in its iconic central building by relocating three million of the books in its stacks—half […]

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Good Chemistry at The Story Prize

Wednesday night’s Story Prize event was, as always, entertaining and edifying. There’s something about the chemistry of getting three very disparate short story writers together to read their work and talk about it—the distillery that goes into short fiction makes for some good, concentrated conversation among its practitioners, and three is a reasonable number for […]

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The Daphne Awards: Bookslut’s 50-Year Do-Over

1963: To borrow a line from Frank Sinatra, it was a very good year. Many fine works saw the light of day in 1963, some celebrated and some unsung—but to get to the point, a lot of good books were published. (I bet you thought you knew where I was going with that, didn’t you?) […]

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Book Award Bingo?

If I had a little more time on my hands, or at least a little more patience, this would be the time to make up some cards for Book Award Bingo. Short lists are out this week from the National Book Critics Circle, The Tournament of Books, and my perennial favorite award ceremony, The Story […]

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Heeeere Comes the Rooster: The Tournament of Books Longlist

The long list for the 2014 Tournament of Books is up; let the opining begin. Out of the 90-odd novels listed I’ve read eight, own another four, and have six or so more either on library hold or vaguely wishlisted. That means I stand a half decent shot of being able to hold forth in […]

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All’s Well That Ends Well? Thinking About the Hogarth Shakespeare Project

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Hogarth Shakespeare project. The idea was announced a few months ago, but this week, for some reason, I’ve been progressing through a veritable Kübler-Ross model of literary ambivalence. The series looked like fun at first light. In anticipation of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016, Vintage […]

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Man Booker Prize Extends a Hand to U.S. Authors

Apologies to whatever readers I may have left; I’m very much in the weeds these days and the expectations of academia are doing their best to separate me from the fun and spontaneity that are necessary for blogging. But I’m fighting the good fight. For starters, there’s been interesting news in the literary competition world […]

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