Tom C. Hunley, over at Steel Toe Books, has an open reading period this month and next: order one of their titles direct from the press, and pay no submission fee for your full length manuscript.

Shivani Mehta’s strange, evocative prose poems from Press 53, Useful Information for the Soon-to-be Beheaded: the kind of work you can’t imagine the world without, the moment you read the poems.

It was August in September up here on the New England coast. I was sipping my tea from an old travel cup, struggling to wake up properly as I stumbled along the irregular brick sidewalks of Cambridge before the day’s heat encapsulated the city, and I thought, put your mind back into this morning’s dream. One of those dreams that broke open something I’d been chipping away at for years now, something that surfaced at last in the wake of a comment by Press 53 editor extraordinaire, Tom Lombardo.

Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out your own writing.

Chapbookapalooza Congrats to Leah Umansky.

Martin Amis’s new book The Zone of Interest was published to raves in England but has been rejected by his usual publishers in Germany and France. The topic is of course the holocaust, and the reasons given for refusing the book are, to say the least, suspect. While I’m not sure I can personally dive right into a satire set in a concentration camp in which the protagonist is a sympathetic SS officer, I certainly don’t want editors deciding for us whether or not it’s fair game, and effectively censoring a major literary voice. Hachette’s smaller publishing house has picked it up, so the book will nevertheless appear in France.

OverDrive, provider of e-books for libraries, is trying to cut out the middle man and force library clients to register directly with them. Libraries have reacted, charging this is a blatant marketing incursion which will erode the library-client relationship.

Jessica Lahey’s wonderful interview with Stephen King in The Atlantic, on his memoir On Writing and how to teach writing to high school students.

More on teaching: the case for face-to-face.

The Peoples Climate March is this weekend, as world leaders convene for the UN summit on the climate crisis. Avaaz calls this their most important petition, based on a statement by climate researcher Jason Box on the implications of “Dark Snow” in Greenland–Reader’s Digest version: “we are f***ed.”

What I’m not writing about: Ebola [thank you MSF for going in right, from the start; and Partners in Health (“Health is a Human Right”) for ramping up the call.] “Religious” zealots in the mideast and here at home. The continuous problem of how to live well in spite–or because of–how death haunts us by definition of being mortal. No, I am not even going to mention the NFL or the question of cultural norms re violence against children.

Thank goodness for Randall Monroe.

Matthew Inman, of The Oatmeal, speaks at WOOtstock: I am here to teach you about animals in space, and  offers a concise lesson on the use of “Literally.”

with love,