Here are five literary news stories in January that got me and other people buzzing on social media.
– Martin Ott
“Sponsored” by My Husband
Writer Ann Bauer touched a nerve from her article in Salon: “Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from. I read no fewer than a half dozen responses to this. Colette Sartor rounded up a number of different responses to this article along with her own response: Stolen time: writing while financially challenged.
Mark Strand: Living Gorgeously
This link made me teary-eyed. Maybe I’m a softie. Maybe I’m moved by Mark Strand’s recent death and love of his collected poems. Please take a moment and read Charles Simic’s moving article on his friendship with Mark Strand.
Would This Happen to a Male Author?
There was a wave of deserved outrage when celebrated author Colleen McCullough was described as ‘overweight’ and ‘plain’ in an obituary.
Arizona Education Officials Ban Multilingual Poem
In a letter stating that Tucson’s public schools are illegally promoting ethnic solidarity and the overthrow of the U.S. government, Arizona education officials say that it’s illegal to recite this poem in school.
Are You Being Watched While You Read?
In her article They’re Watching What Your Read, Francine Prose expands upon an article in the Guardian on how ebook platform Kobo is reporting statistics to publishers on when customers stop reading their books.
On the same day I mentioned to my fellow Writeliving bloggers that I thought we were giving too much love to poets (not possible I know), I saw a Facebook post from multi-talented writer Colette Sartor giving kudos to the short short story Asylum by Lisa Mecham in Juked. I have read the story a half dozen times and I am still amazed by it. The tone feels authentic and the subject matter is intense. The main characters in the story make you feel more than one way about them. And like many of the best pieces of flash fiction it hangs out there remarkably unresolved. Please check it out and share.
– Martin Ott
About the Author:
Lisa Mecham’s work has appeared in Carve, Barrelhouse Online, The Drum and other publications. She is a regular contributor to The Rumpus blog and a reader for Tin House. A midwesterner at heart, she currently lives in Los Angeles where she’s working on her first novel. More at lisamecham.com.
Lately, Facebook has become more and more a great source of writing inspiration as friends share articles, poems and stories. Yesterday, Colette Sartor posted a link for a short shory American Idle by Eugenio Volpe on Spork Press, which I have since read several times.
The story is a great example of an author using humor to lower the reader’s guard against a powerful dramatic storyline, as well as creating a lens – favorite songs – as a way to quickly create multi-dimensional characters. Please give American Idle a try, and let me know what you think.
– Martin Ott