This gift has suddenly turned Poetry from a struggling journal little known outside literary circles to one of the world’s richest publications. [Editor Joseph] Parisi said it was by far the largest single donation ever made to an institution devoted to poetry. ‘There just isn’t anything to compare it to. We will be the largest foundation in the world devoted to poetry. It’s a huge responsibility, as I’m realizing every day more and more.”
Zines are a publishing phenomenon. They’re self-published little magazines usually “written and self-published by one or two obsessed souls in places like Hoboken and Topeka, then sent out into an unsuspecting world bearing such wonderfully loopy titles as Brain Thong, and Murder Can Be Fun, and The World Would Be a Much Better Place if Everybody Wore Tight Pants.” Zines are what result “when the citizens of a great nation are granted an inalienable constitutional right to publish anything they darn well please – then also granted easy access to computers and copy machines.”
Enough with stories about the woes of independent bookstores. Here’s a success story, in a southern suburb of Miami: “At a time when book lovers are mourning the disappearance of the independent bookstore, Books & Books has become a beacon of hope for independent booksellers. It is one of the few stores in the country that have succeeded in showing that individuality, personality and a passion for books can go a long way in competing against retail giants.”
“A survey of 471 covers from 31 magazines published in 2002 — an array of men’s and women’s magazines, entertainment publications and teenagers’ magazines — conducted two weeks ago by The New York Times found that about one in five depicted minority members. Five years ago, according to the survey, which examined all the covers of those 31 magazines back through 1998, the figure was only 12.7 percent. And fashion magazines have more than doubled their use of nonwhite cover subjects. But in a country with a nonwhite population of almost 30 percent, the incremental progress leaves some people unimpressed.”
Organizers of the Booker Prize say that they have decided not to open up the award to American writers. Earlier this year the Booker, which is given annually to an author who writes in English somewhere in the Commonwealth, toyed with the idea of including Americans in the competition. Critics complained the move would damage the tone of the award.
Dave Eggers has a way of polarizing opinions about him. Is he a brilliant writer, a lone wolf who has gone his own way and eschewed Big Publishing? Or is he a shrewd PR guy who’s figured out how to play the fame game? “Eggers can’t lose: he will either be remembered as one of the leading American writers of the twenty-first century, or as someone who discovered, nurtured and galvanised those who are.”
Seattle may be home to Amazon. But any Northwesterner will tell you the best bookstore is Portland-based Powell’s. The independent bookstore is in no danger of going out of business. Indeed, in spite of the general corporatization of the industry, Powell’s has flourished, making major expansions to its store in recent years. Now it’s bought a 60,000 square-foot warehouse about two miles from its downtown location to handle its expanding online business. The new building will store one million used books.
“The U.S. Department of Justice has begun what some legal experts believe is a serious investigation into whether the country’s two largest alternative newspaper chains violated federal antitrust laws when they closed competing weeklies in Los Angeles and Cleveland, thereby dividing the markets between them.”