“It should go without saying that no one goes into poetry for money.”—Americans genuinely love poetry. In a new piece on The Millions, Kate Angus explores the struggles of poets and publishers to translate that appreciation into sales.
“I read selections from my Intro to Philosophy textbook in the basement of my dorm in between loads of laundry, which I had to wring out over a drain in the floor before tossing them in the dryer. I remember rushing through my assigned chapters of Moby-Dick every Sunday night before class, when I would meet with three other students and a professor to discuss symbolism. And I remember my horror when I realized exactly how long “Song of Myself” was at two in the morning. But somehow that horror is gone now, and all that’s left is the quiet joy that came from spending so much time interacting with books I otherwise might never have opened.”—Kaulie Lewis reviews her “Degree in Books.”
“Q: Does putting a series of covers together offer more or less challenges?
A: I think a series of covers is much easier. Turd Theory (one of The Twenty Irrefutable Theories of Cover Design, written by myself and Jon Gray) works on the idea that in a scary world of disorder and chaos people are programmed to seek out repetition and order. So even the worst cover in the world, repeated 20 times in different colours of the rainbow will get you an award or two.”—Jamie Keenan
“As a teacher, and occasional perpetrator, of writing, I decided it would be fun to ask some of my favorite people how they deal with The Block. These bits of testimony will not work for all writers, but I believe a sense of the options (while remembering that one does not struggle alone) is of great practical value in staving off madness.
“What I love about opening sentences is the complete lack of rules, how each writer gets to decide how best to guide a reader into their narrative. A writer, after all, is the instructor for the experience of their own work, and the opening sentence––after the book design, title, and epigraph––is among the reader’s first impressions. Opening sentences are not to be written lightly.”—Jonathan Russell Clark on “The Art of the Opening Sentence.”
“When the narrator was a boy, cold titanic masses appeared in the skies above London: Icebergs. As explorers both official and amateur try to climb the snowy pekas, packs of children follow in their frigid shadows.”—This is the teaser for China Miéville’s newest short story, “Polynia.”
“That errant spot of ink, she believes, makes a difference, contributing to what she calls a ‘routine but serious misunderstanding’ of the document.”—Oh, great. There’s a “typo” in the Declaration of Independence.
“Like characters in a somewhat less swashbuckling Jack London novel, these are all characters, and writers, who are grappling with their environments.”—Our own Lydia Kieslingwrites for Salon about the recent flood of Brooklyn writers and the novels they’re producing, particularly the just-released-yesterdayFriendship by Emily Gould.