Free verse, free podcasts, and donated books

August 17, 2012

The world of literature never rests. This busy week was filled with new podcast lectures, new author interviews, and a new translation of a very old publication. Stay tuned to find out what's new next week!

News, Reviews, and Interviews

The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Zheng Min, one of the poets of China's avant-garde "Nine Leaves" school.

Samar Yazbek wrote a moving personal account of the violence in Syria for The New York Times.

Mary Jo Bang's new translation of Dante's Inferno has a distinctly contemporary feel to it. She sat down to an interview with E. C. Belli about it.

Tour through Europe's darker side with some of its best crime novels, listed over at the San Diego City Beat

Fiction Uncovered offers free podcasts about literature and literary issues that can be listened to and enjoyed at any time.

Mary Hawthorne writes on the value of translation, with insight from Lydia Davis, Arthur Goldhammer, and David Bellos, over at the Page Turner blog.

Sometimes the life of a literary translator isn't at all what it seems, as this blogger recounts in a recent post.

Words Without Borders has a new review of the new Dalkey Archive translation of 1983 Puterbaugh Fellow Carlos Fuentes's Vlad.

Lizz Murphy interviews Australian poet and Pushcart nominee Mark Tredinnick over at her blog. (Tredinnick's poem "Nursery of Fire" was featured in the July 2008 issue of WLT.)

For Your Calendar

Free Verse: The Poetry Book Fair will be held early in September in London. Over 50 publishers will be participating!

The National Poetry Competition is one of the largest and most prestigious poetry competitions in the world. The competition is now open to submissions, and closes at the end of October.

Europa Editions is back with their Goodreads book giveaways! This time they are giving away 15 copies of Richard Beard's Lazarus Is Dead

Once Upon a Deadline in Translation is a writing marathon that began in 2005. This year, the marathon is taking place in two cities later this month.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

A book store based in San Franscisco, CA attempts to save customers' favorite science-fiction titles by transferring them to digital formats.

Slacktory has designed their own classic 8-bit-style covers of some of the most famous novels, including Nabokov's Lolita and J.R.R. Tolkein's The Two Towers.

Willis Barnstone shares the ABCs of translating poetry over at

The Guardian compiled a list of the 100 best-selling books of all time in the U.K. Where do your favorites rank?

Every year seems to be the year of "the death of the book." Now you can chart the history of this phrase at The New York Times.

We recently discovered a new blog called the PIP, or the Project for Innovative Poetry, which features the works of poets from around the world.

There is literally a Tumblr for anything you could imagine, including this one that we stumbled upon, featuring pictures of famous writers with cats.

According to Rochelle Spencer over at Poets & Writers, "poetry in unexpected places is one of life’s little pleasures. It reminds us of why we’re here."

Book Riot is now hosting a "Dear Abby"-esque column for book lovers called "Dear Book Maven."

For every book that is purchased from Better World Books, a book is donated to a child in need.