Thanks to Stephen Elliot‘s Letters in the Mail project, LARB senior editor Matthew Specktor finds himself admiring the gorgeous handwriting of strangers, feeling tickled and gobsmacked, and reflecting on letter writing as something “beautifully useless to do.”
Speaking of festivals, recaps of last weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books are up at Jacket Copy. Rafael Yglesias took home the top fiction prize for his novel, A Happy Marriage.
It’s been a year since Nobel laureate and Irish poet Seamus Heaney passed away. His publishers are releasing a final collection of his poetry in November. In The Irish Independent, a brief retrospective on Heaney’s legacy, which includes his wife’s unique way of expressing her gratitude to his friends. You could also read Trent Morris’s tribute to Heaney for The Millions.
Recommended Reading: Lydia Davis’s new short story, “Old Men Around Town,” in the New Statesman. “He stops to tell us that he must be up early in the morning – to get down to the factory. The factory is gone, his men are gone, but he still seems to be in charge of something.” For more Davis, check out her new collection.
When restauranteur Elaine Kaufman was alive, she gave writers a refuge at her favorite spot, Table 4. Even though the restaurant and Kaufman are long gone, her memory and devotion to writers live on with the Table 4 Writers Foundation. The foundation gives out $2,500 grants to writers at a gala at the New York Athletic Club on March 27. The 2013 winners include, “Bound” by Karen Yin, “Gotham Mexico” by Danny Thiemann, “Kim of Noho” by Kurt Pitzer, “Parkside” by Jennie Yabroff, and “Rent Control” by Matthew Perron. Additionally, several of Elaine’s regulars will be honored, including Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Stuart Woods, Chazz Palminteri, and Richard Dreyfuss.