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After Heated Debate, Dr. Maya Angelou Has New Jersey School Named After Her

A new elementary school in New Jersey will be named for author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou. NJ.com reports that the school board spent three months arguing over the name of the new school. Asemblywoman Angela McKnight from Jersey City wanted the school named for President Barack Obama. But she ran into heavy opposition from faculty and administrators of the school in question who had planned for more than a year to rename the school after Dr. Angelou. The existing school is getting a new building, which is what prompted the discussion in the first place. Read more... June 22, 2016

Apple Distributes Settlement Money to Ebook Customers

Today is the day that Apple makes good on its $400 million settlement in the ebook price-fixing case brought by the Department of Justice against the tech giant and major New York book publishers. The refunds are now credited to customers' Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple accounts. The credit will be available for one year and expires after June 24, 2017, pursuant to court order. Read more... June 21, 2016

Judge Denies Led Zeppelin's Motion to End Stairway to Heaven Trial Early

The Stairway to Heaven copyright infringement trial continues in Los Angeles after a judge refused to grant Led Zeppelin's motion for summary judgment in their favor after the plaintiff presented its case. The band is being sued for allegedly stealing the famous intro to the 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven" from the 1967 instrumental song "Taurus" by the band Spirit. The lawsuit is being prosecuted by the estate of Randy Wolfe who wrote "Taurus." Read more... June 20, 2016

Israeli Author Etgar Keret Wins 2016 Charles Bronfman Prize

Israeli author Etgar Keret has won the 2016 Charles Bronfman Prize. He will receive a cash prize of $100,000. The award was given in "recognition of his work conveying Jewish values across cultures and imparting a humanitarian vision throughout the world." Keret, 48, writes short stories, graphic novels and television shows. His work is known worldwide, and has been published in 46 countries. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope and on National Public Radio. Read more... June 12, 2016

Australian Authors Speak Out Against Government Plan to Change Copyright Laws

The Australian Society of Authors has teamed up with The Australian Publishers Association and the Australian Booksellers Association to protest their government's plans to lift Australia's parallel importation rules (PIRs) on books. In Australia today the importation of books is regulated. Retailers may only buy books from the publisher that holds the Australian rights to the books. The publisher that holds those rights gets an exclusive period in which to sell the books before other publishers import foreign versions. The purpose of the regulation is to protect the territorial copyright of Australian authors and their publishers. Read more... June 10, 2016

Recently Discovered Beatrix Potter Book to be Published in September 2016

A recently discovered and previously unpublished Beatrix Potter book will be published on September 6, 2016. The book, The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots, will be published by Frederick Warne & Co., Beatrix Potter's original publisher and an imprint of Penguin Random House Children's. Potter is best known for her Peter Rabbit stories. Peter Rabbit does make an appearance in the new tale. Read more... June 2, 2016

Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu Teaming Up for Magnus Bane Series

Bestselling author Cassandra Clare has inked a deal for a new adult series starring Magnus Bane, the character from the YA Mortal Instruments series who has become a fan favorite. Magnus Bane has already gotten a series of his own in The Bane Chronicles, but fans wanted more. So Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will release an adult trilogy about the mysterious sorcerer and his past. Read more... May 30, 2016

Boston's Sidewalk Poetry Can Only Be Seen When it Rains

There are some poems hidden on the sidewalks of Boston. The poetry only shows up after it has rained. The poems are part of an art installation called "Raining Poetry." Read more... May 24, 2016

Ed Roberson Wins 2016 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

Ed Roberson has been named the winner of the 2016 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. The annual prize honors a U.S. poet for outstanding lifetime achievement. It carries a $100,000 cash prize. It was established in 1986 by Ruth Lilly. Read more... May 23, 2016

Jonathan Franzen Blows Two Shakespeare Questions on Jeopardy!

It's been Power Players Week on Jeopardy! this week and the best episode was on Monday when novelist Jonathan Franzen competed against journalist Chuck Todd of Meet the Press and conservative commentator S. E. Cupp. They all played for charity: Franzen's charity was The American Bird Conservancy. We won't leave you in suspense: S.E. Cupp won and Franzen came in second because he totally blew two questions about Shakespeare. Read more... May 20, 2016

Google's AI Writes Poetry After Reading Thousands of Romance Novels

Google has been developing an artificial intelligence with researchers at Stanford and the University of Massachusetts. The researchers have been feeding this neural network romance novels in an attempt to make it more conversational. Read more... May 19, 2016

Hamilton Author Lin-Manuel Miranda's Inspiring Commencement Speech at University of Pennsylvania

Lin-Manuel Miranda gave a fascinating commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania on May 16th, where he was also awarded a Doctor of Arts. The writer and star of the Broadway smash Hamilton talked to the graduates about how important stories are and how you approach your own story is crucial for creativity. Hamilton, the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton set to rap music, just picked up an unheard of 16 nominations for Tony Awards and was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Read more... May 18, 2016

Han Kang and Deborah Smith Win 2016 Man Booker International Prize

Han Kang's novel The Vegetarian is the winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. The novel was translated by Deborah Smith. Read more... May 16, 2016

Dead Writers Perfume Smells Like Old Books

Sweet Tea Apothecary has created a fragrance called Dead Writers Perfume. The fragrance has the scent of old books. The company says the fragrance "invokes the feeling of sitting in an old library chair paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe, and more." Read more... May 14, 2016

George R.R. Martin Releases New Chapter From The Winds of Winter

George R.R. Martin has released a new chapter from the sixth book in A Song of Fire and Ice, The Winds of Winter. The chapter is entitled "Arianne" and is told from the point of view of Dornish Princess Arianne Martell. Arianne is the daughter of Prince Doran Martell, and is next in line to the throne. The HBO series based on the books diverges quite a bit from the books in its treatment of Dorn and its inhabitants. Read more... May 12, 2016

Moist, Crevice and Slacks: Study Reveals the Most Repulsive English Words

Writers pay a great deal of attention to what words they use, whether they are writing fiction, nonfiction or poetry. But even the most skilled writer can alienate a reader if he uses a word that disgusts that reader just because of the way it sounds. A recent study on word aversion among Americans was published in the journal PLOS One. The study was conducted to discover why so many people have an aversion to words such as "moist." Read more... May 7, 2016

Walt Whitman's Manly Health Tips

Walt Whitman was one of the best known American poets. In addition to his famous poetry, he also contributed articles and stories to newspapers and other publications. His writing include articles published under the pseudonym Mose Velsor for the New York Atlas. A health guide published by Whitman was recently rediscovered. Read more... May 4, 2016

Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill Defends Doctor Strange Casting Decision

Doctor Strange screenwriter C. Robert Cargill has been getting a lot of grief over the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie. In the comics on which the film is based, The Ancient One is Tibetan. So casting Tilda Swinton really threw some fans for a loop. Other argue it's refreshing to rewrite the role as a woman and that no one does Otherworldly better than Tilda. Read more... April 25, 2016

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