Blog Post

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A general blog post.

Who wouldn't want to be Woody Allen's favorite?

Over at the Guardian (love you!), Woody Allen shared a list of his favorite books. I'm not surprised that The Catcher in the Rye made it on there and that he describes it the way (of course) Woody Allen would describe such things (oh, you know what I mean):

When I was younger reading was something you did for school, something you did for obligation, something you did if you wanted to take out a certain kind of woman. It wasn't something I did for fun.

My favorite bit in the short article is the following anecdote about Machado de Assis's Epitaph of a Small Winner:

I just got this in the mail one day. Some stranger in Brazil sent it and wrote, "You'll like this". Because it's a thin book, I read it. If it had been a thick book, I would have discarded it.

P Fanatics Reading at Moe's Tavern 4/21/11

A few ACMers (myself included) went to the P Fanatics reading at Moe's last Thursday. P Fanatics is a themed monthly reading series hosted at Moe's organized by Mason Johnson and various other individuals. The theme for this particular reading was "hair." Mason and Natalie Hurtenbach made an accompanying hair guide zine for the event. Readers included Matt Rowan, Mary Hamiliton, Mairead Case, Ian Jones, Samantha Irby, Mark Schettler and Dan Shapiro. Things got a little distracting with people clapping for the muted Bulls game, making it a little hard to hear, but all in all it was a great reading.

Pulitzer Prizes announced

Columbia University announced the 2011 Pulitzer Prize recipients this afternoon. In the arts categories, Jennifer Egan won for fiction, Kay Ryan for poetry, Siddhartha Mukherjee for non-fiction, and Bruce Norris for drama.

Lit Psych 101

What does your favorite childhood book say about you? Let Flavorwire tell you with this list of novels and what they say about your soul. And while we're on the topic of psychology, check out this piece by Robert McCrum from The Guardian on the acquisition of John Fowles's desk. McCrum argues that as less paper is left behind in our increasingly digital world, there will be more focus on a writer's "non-literary artifacts" than on their manuscripts. While I see McCrum's point, I would bet that there is still insightful messiness to be found in the manuscripts of today, even if they aren't always handwritten. Does writing on a computer make that writing less interesting to future generations than writing by hand? Is it true that we're starting to turn to objects for insight rather than drafts? I'm still not entirely convinced.

Archiving David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace's posthumous novel, The Pale King, will become officially available next week. Check out This Recording's dissection of Wallace's archives, which were made public less than a year ago. Also check this piece on the psychology of Wallace's library, from The Awl.

Happy National Poetry Month!

It's April 1, which means it's the first day of National Poetry month. Want to celebrate by writing a poem every day? Check out Not Without Poetry's prompt-a-day campaign. Not really in the creative mood? The Academy of American Poets has lined up 30 poets to tweet about poetry each day. The Poetry Foundation also has a line up of talented writers who will be discussing poetry and writing on the Harriet blog. And, last but certainly not least, ACM's April Fool's Day Salon is tonight! We hope to see you all there!

Digitization for Dummies

So apparently all you need to digitize a book is a circular saw (oh, and a fancy scanner). Check out this how-to guide for the DIY, Kindle-owning reader.


So in case you haven't heard, the Oxford English Dictionary announced last week that its newest version will include LOL, OMG and ♥, among others. Ok ok, I know: " ♥ " isn't really a word. But, as I tell students, and as Ian Crouch from the New Yorker's Book Bench points out, a lot of words in the dictionary aren't exactly words. Do they make sense, have a definition, and could you technically use them in a sentence? Yes. But would you hear them in common conversation? Nope. Language evolves, and the dictionary is an anthropological tool, recording all these fluctuations of etymology for generations to look back on and think "why would anyone say that?" Because let's face it. We ♥  things. But in 100 years we probably won't.


We are pumped for Friday! Our April Fool's Day Salon is coming up soon with a beautiful round-up of talent. Remember, it's RSVP only. Take a look at the Facebook event page and if you need a visually stunning reminder, we have just the thing for you! Check out the lovely intro trailer Susie Kirkwood and Jill Summers made for us.

ACM: April Fools Show from susie kirkwood on Vimeo.

We'll be playing it on the big screen on Friday. It'll be more fun than you can believe.

@MayorEmanuel wins a book deal

Speaking of publishing and Twitterature, Dan Sinker, an assistant professor at Columbia College Chicago, has been offered a book deal by Scribner for his @MayorEmanuel Twitter feed, which kept followers entertained during the Chicago mayoral election this year. I'm not gonna lie, we're pretty excited for this over at ACM, and maybe even a little jealous that we didn't think of it first.