This year’s PW poetry feature, just out today, focuses on poetry e-books. The big development in that arena is a forthcoming app and storefront called Ampersand, developed by book distribution and production house BookMobile. The video above was produced by BookMobile essentially to show interested publishers what the app would look like and do. To supplement the feature, we thought we’d show it to you.
The biggest PW Poetry drop ever: 16 reviews! Also stay tuned for the 3/28 issue, our annual poetry month issue, with mini-profiles of four poets and poetry critics, a feature on poetry e-books, and a Why-I-Write essay.
Life on Mars by T.K. Smith (Graywolf)
Devotions by Bruce Smith (Univ. of Chicago)
The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry edited by Ilan Stavans (FSG)
Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud, trans. from the French by John Ashbery (Norton)
In A Beautiful Country by Kevin Prufer (Four Way)
The Bigger World by Noelle Kocot (Wave)
The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa (FSG)
Torn by C. Dale Young (Four Way)
Early/ Late: New and Selected Poems by Philip Fried (Salmon)
Mount Lebannon by Karl Kirchwey (Putnam)
Metropole by Geoffrey G. O’Brien (Univ. of California)
Cloud of Ink by L.S. Klatt (Univ. of Iowa)
Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems by Mark Jarman (Sarabande)
The Politics by Benjamin Paloff (Carnegie Mellon)
Red Clay Weather by Reginald Shepherd (Univ. of Pittsburgh)
Head Off & Split by Nikki Finney (Northwestern Univ)
Ready for a little Monday pick-me-up? Charlie Sheen has been much in the news of late. Turns out in the early 90s, he self-published a very bad book of poetry, which he distributed to his friends. Somehow, GQ got its hands on a copy of said book (that’s the cover above) and done the world the very great service of publishing some excerpts here and on its tumblr blog. I’ll start you off with the poem bel0w, but I strongly urge you to head over to GQ for more. Eeesh. So bad it’s really, really good.
By Charlie Sheen
“Excuse me, aren’t you…?”
“Hey, you look just like…”
“Oh my God, that’s…”
“Sorry to interrupt your dinner, but aren’t you…”
“Look, I never do this, but, my wife thinks you’re…”
“My friend is so convinced that you’re…”
“I’m so embarrassed, but, aren’t you…?”
“I know you must be tired of this, but…”
All eyes held in stare, all mouths locked open in shock, as he pulled the latex Charlie Sheen mask from his head, revealing the rotted skull of President Lincoln.
To be fair, this isn’t really a book trailer at all, but it is being used to promote an upcoming book. Noelle Kocot, a beloved poet who was the subject of PW’s poetry profile two years ago, is about to publish her new collection of poems, The Bigger World (PW review forthcoming) with Wave Books. Kocot’s friend Liz Whiteside filmed Kocot tearing open the FedEx package containing the first advance copy of the book. Click through to watch the whole happy moment caught on tape. This is what all author videos should be–no more ridiculous things that look like snippets from cheesy horror movies, just happiness about books!
Here are this month’s PW Poetry Reviews. Exciting stuff: major new editions of Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry and prose, and a new collection from Nick Flynn, his first since he’s been writing memoirs. If you want just the reviews and nothing else, follow PW Poetry Reviews on Tumblr: pwpoetry.tumblr.com.
Poems by Elizabeth Bishop (FSG)
Prose by Elizabeth Bishop (FSG)
Flies by Michael Dickman (Copper Canyon)
Double Shadow by Carl Phillips (FSG)
All of Us by Elisabeth Frost (White Pine)
The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands by Nick Flynn (Graywolf)
Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels by Kevin Young (Knopf)
World Tree by David Wojahn (Pitt)
Dark Archive by Laura Mullen (New California Poetry)
Faulkner’s Rosary by Sarah Vap (Saturnalia)
That This by Susan Howe (New Directions)
Penetralia by Richard Foerster (Texas Review)
Color E-Ink: The first color E-Ink e-reader was unveiled at CES. From PC Magazine.
America’s Third All-Poetry Bookstore: Take a tour of Boulder’s Innisfree Poetry Bookstore. From Daily Camera.
What Will You Be Reading?: The Daily Beast lists 21 of 2011′s most anticipated books.
The Most Literate US Cities: USA Today ranks ‘em.
Borders’ Effect on Indies: A look at how Borders’ collapse would cast a shadow over indie booksellers. From the East Valley Tribune.
Huck Finn Remembered: The Millions recalls reading, and not being corrupted by, the un-cleansed Huck Finn as a child.
Musician and songwriter Tom Waits will publish his first collection of poems in March 2011, reports the Guardian, in collaboration with photographer Michael O’Brien. Called Hard Ground, the book will combine Waits words with O’Brien’s photographs of homeless people. Waits has always been the bard of the down-and-out, and O’Brien is a veteran photojournalist who has photographed the homeless throughout his career. O’Brien also shot the cover of Waits’ recent “Glitter and Doom” album (above). With Waits’ considerable fan base, this is sure to be a big seller for publisher University of Texas Press.
A few weeks ago on this blog and then in the pages of PW, we had some discussion about the issues facing poetry publishers as they move into the digital arena. Since then, this blogger talked to Alizah Salario at the Poetry Foundation–she also talked to a host of other poetry folks, including folks at publishers BOA Editions, Copper Canyon Press, Coffee House, as well as distributor Consortium. She also checked in with Bud Parr, one of the techies we spoke to for our article. In the resulting story, Salario goes into great depth and includes some helpful illustrations that explain why poetry is so hard to turn into e-books, and also lets publishers and poets sound off on why it’s worth doing anyway.
Here’s a little excerpt, and then you should go read the whole article:
All the aspects of the poem—including irregular line breaks, indentations, and spaces (essentially, all the nuances that make a poem a poem)—must be described in a language the e-reader understands. So the markup language describes what the text is—the title, the epigraph, the text body of the poem, and so on—and the cascading style sheet (otherwise known as the CSS) tells the e-reader how to display what the markup language describes. The problem for ePub, the Kindle, and poetry is that the markup language doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe the minutiae of poetry.
We’ve got eight new poetry reviews in this week’s PW. Here are the links, so they’re easy as pie to find:
First Fire, Then Birds: Obsessionals 1985-2010 by H.L. Hix (Etruscan)
Anterooms: New Poems and Translations by Richard Wilbur (HMH)
The Book of Things by Ales Steger, trans. from the Slovenian by Brian Henry (BOA)
Canti by Giacomo Leopardi, trans. from the Italian by Jonathan Galassi, (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Stories That Listen by Priscilla Becker (Four Way)
New Selected Poems and Translations by Ezra Pound, edited by Richard Sieburth (New Directions)
The Poets Laureate Anthology edited by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt (Norton)
Pretty, Rooster by Clay Matthews (Cooper Dillon)
And in case you didn’t see it the other week, we also had a story about the challenges of poetry e-books in PW the week before last. And don’t forget to follow PW Poetry Reviews on Tumblr for more frequent updates.
A little while ago, PW did a Q&A with poet Timothy Donnelly about his new book, The Cloud Corporation. Since then, the book has his the streets and been a pick for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club. Just now, the Rumpus posted its Book Club discussion with Donnelly–any author whose book is read by the poetry or fiction clubs does a live Q&A with Rumpus editors and book club members–and we’d like to point your attention to it. This is the full, uncut version of the conversation, using a fancy widget, and you’ll have to scroll down a bit to get to the talk about the book, but it’s worth it.
Here, by the way, is our writeup of the Rumpus book club.