An email from Knopf beginning: Poetry Month is almost here. Ugh. Yes, I hate poetry month, both because it implies the rest of the year is NOT poetry time and because it erupts with a relentless stream of poetry events, emails and general frenetic activity which is impossible to absorb or even catch as it flies past. And yes, it does some good, no doubt, pushing poetry out to people who might otherwise have no truck, or not realize how much there is to love.
A colleague posted this Occupy Corporatism article, CIA Partners With Amazon for Cloud Surveillance & RFID Locators. The gist is that the CIA just contracted Amazon to flip them data on their users’ cloud accounts–whilst at the same time, those users are encouraged to do absolutely everything but their bathroom business “in the cloud.” Raise your hand if you think this bodes well for privacy, citizen activism, democracy.
In the book biz, the shifting sands have left one of the big publishing houses scrambling for traction as Barnes & Noble leans on the contract with Simon & Schuster. This sort of pressure tactic is not new in the publishing/distribution/sales world of book marketing (see: Amazon, recent history) but this particular dispute pushes the question of whether our last brick and mortar big box bookseller will survive, and what it would mean to publishers (specifically, the big ones) if they do not.
What can we say on the passing of Chinua Achebe? From his oft-quoted 1994 Paris Review interview:
until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter
Latest in-love-with book: Rick Moody’s 2012 offering on the relationship between literature and music, On Celestial Music, and Other Adventures in Listening. I had to read the first couple pages aloud to wompus staff (yes, I had to, it was completely irresistible), who paused in stitching hand-bound chapbooks to listen. The killer opening left us all wanting a copy.