Banned Books Week

September 18, 2022

This week, September 18-24, 2022, is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and highlighting the value of free and open access to information.

Earlier this year, in support of the work of PEN America, Sotheby’s auctioned a specially created fireproof edition of Margaret Atwood’s bestseller and often banned book The Handmaid’s Tale. The book sold through an online auction for $130,000 and a short video captures Atwood torching her book.

More on author/poet/activist Margaret Atwood. Most-challenged book lists from the American Library Association. Poetry’s Place in the History of Banned Books from the Academy of American Poets. A long list of resources for Banned Books Week.

poetry in your ears

November 30, 2020

If recent publications are any indication, poetry readers are also eager to listen. Several poets have issued audio versions of their latest books at the same time as the books themselves. For example,
Margaret Atwood, Dearly
Jericho Brown, The Tradition
Barbara Kingsolver, How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)
Aimee Nezhukumatathil, World of Wonders

In addition, here are some other places to find audio poetry:

Happy listening!

Tonight, Friday, August 28, 2020, 5:00pm Pacific, the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets, presents a free online poetry showcase: Hot Nights. Cool Poets. The program is just an hour long, so don’t be late. Registration is required for Zoom link.

Poet/presenters include Margaret Atwood, Cicely Belle Blain, Sadiqa de Meijer, Mathew Henderson, Julie Joosten, Canisia Lubrin, Randy Lundy, A. F. Moritz, Tyler Pennock, Rasiqra Revulva, Kevin Spenst, John Steffler, and Lily Wang.

poems for posterity

August 22, 2020

Writers may wonder whether anybody will be reading their words a hundred years from now, but thanks to artist Katie Paterson, some writers can be certain that their manuscript will reach a 22nd-century audience.

Paterson’s ambitious project, Future Library, started to take shape in 2014 when she worked with local foresters to plant one thousand Norwegian spruce trees in Nordmarka, north of Oslo, Norway. Conceived as a one-hundred year project, the Future Library forest she has planted will supply paper for a special collection of books to be published in 2114. The authors, selected one per year, will have their manuscripts held in trust and unread in a specially designed room in Oslo’s New Deichmanske Library.

Explore the Future Library website and read more in The Guardian about the authors selected to date.

coming in November

February 3, 2020

Lest you think that Margaret Atwood has been goofing off (novels, short fiction, children’s books, graphic novels, poetry, non-fiction, television scripts, radio scripts, recordings, editing, and theater), the prolific author announced last week that her new poetry collection, DEARLY, will be published on November 10, 2020, by HarperCollins. Read more in The Bookseller.

on writing…

November 18, 2013

Margaret Atwood, 2013, photo by Jean Malek“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.”
Margaret Atwood
(b. November 18, 1939)
. . . . .
photo by Jean Malek

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