Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:50 pm
The recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached. That made some of us wonder what past MacArthur fellows have done with their money, a question that led us to 1992 winner Amy Clampitt.
Clampitt, a poet, was on vacation when she heard from her friend, writer Karen Chase, that she had been named a MacArthur genius.
"She was furious with me because she thought I was teasing her," Chase recalls. "And by the end of the conversation she said, 'I'm gonna buy a house in Lenox!' "
Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:24 pm
This week we've been exploring the question of diversity in the publishing industry.
From the classrooms of M.F.A. writing programs to the corporate offices of the big Manhattan publishers, NPR's Lynn Neary has reported on why there is an absence of people of color across the industry. Publishers agree that as the country's readers become more diverse, reflecting a diverse readership is increasingly becoming smart business for those who make and sell books.
Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 9:25 am
There's a running joke in Los Angeles that everybody — from your dog walker to your dry cleaner — is writing a screenplay. Curt Neill is one of those aspiring screenwriters — a sketch comedian who has tried to write screenplays, but never finished one. "I've never even gotten close," he admits in Caffe Vita, an LA coffee shop where he writes.
Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 7:03 pm
Lies! Deceit and rank mendacity! Eleanor Davis promises what current pop music insists is perfectly possible — that you can be happy — and then she doesn't deliver. Instead she draws comics full of hilarious surrealism, gut-tugging tropes and eloquent despair. How dare she?
Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:54 am
For months now the Ebola virus has been wreaking havoc in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. More than 700 people have died, and it seems that doctors are near-powerless to help. With the threat of the disease tearing communities apart, it's hard not to think of a legendary novel from almost 70 years ago.
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 10:58 am
Nearly two dozen diaries and notebooks of Siegfried Sassoon — among a handful of prominent soldier-poets whose artistic sensibilities were forged in the trenches of World War I — are being published online for the first time by the Cambridge University Library.
Sassoon, who served in the British Army, was a "gifted diarist [who] ... kept a journal for most of his life," the library says.