Portraits of protesters, digital poetry, and more

February 28, 2014
Protesters in Kiev
Barricade with the protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 26, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo Sasha Maksymenko/Flickr

It was an exciting week for both World Literature Today and world literature. In magazine news, we launched the March issue, celebrating international humor and the 2012 Puterbaugh Fellow, Maaza Mengiste. In world lit news, new plays, new books, and new essays kept us on our literary toes. Enjoy!

News, Reviews, and Interviews

If you’re interested in learning more about Karl Ove Knausgaard, the author of the My Struggle book series, the New York Times interviewed him alongside a new short story.

Just because short stories are short doesn’t mean their messages are small. In a new series at the Atlantic, Kyle Minor explains why Alice Munro’s stories are gifts to literature.

Cuban writer Leonardo Padura is currently on tour in the U.S. and will be visiting Miami, New York, and Chicago. Before you go, make sure to read his short story and speech from our May 2013 issue.

The Lebanese play “Bto2ta3 aw ma Bto2ta2?” (“Is It Permitted or Not?”) was recently censored in Lebanon and is looking for a stage. You can read more about it as well as a translated excerpt at the Arabic Fiction (in English) blog.

How have screens—computers, tablets, e-readers, etc.—changed the way we read and discover new books? Chad W. Post, the publisher at Open Letter Books, discusses this in a recent speech given to the 8th International Nonfiction Conference.

Is digital the future of poetry? One poet is encouraging others to take his lead and create hybrid forms of poetry.

Some might argue that poetry is dead. And then there are those people who maintain poetry is a living, breathing, creative outlet humans simply can’t do without.

As the protests in Kiev’s Independence Square rage on, the New Yorker captured stunning photographs of the people there, demonstrating the humanity and unique personalities of individual protestors. (For more information on the protests in Kiev, read Yuri Andrukhovych’s open letter and Michael M. Naydan’s explanatory essay on the WLT blog.)

For Your Calendar

Words Without Borders is currently looking for a part-time volunteer Poetry Editor who is New York-based.

Modern Poetry in Translation is hosting an Indiegogo fundraiser for a unique poetry and art collaboration and could use your support!

Next week marks the seventh anniversary of the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. If you’ll be in London on March 5, join Banipal for a series of poetry readings and remembrances. (To learn more about the incident, read Persis M. Karim’s essay from the May 2012 issue.)

Fun Finds and Inspiration

Citing a brief history of the author interview, this New Yorker article probes why interviews can never truly capture the essence of an author.

You might have heard that what you read shapes who you are. Well, a new study finds that this might just be true: reading changes brain connectivity for days after you set your book or paper down.