Recommended Reading: This important essay from Gayle Branedis at The Rumpus on our cultural obsession with women’s thighs.
Jonathan Franzen's 2011 Kenyon commencement speech, published this weekend in the New York Times, covers love, consumerism, and narcissism in the digital age. If you're concerned with critical reception, looks like you're not a creator of "serious art and literature," in Franzen's eyes.
BuzzFeed is launching an Emerging Writer's Fellowship, complete with $12,000 stipend, and Saeed Jones, whose poetry collection Prelude to Bruise was released last year, will be their new Literary Editor. Electric Literature talked to Jones about digital journalism, the need for diversity in writing and publishing, and what he's looking for in Fellowship applicants.
"Women writers who kill themselves—are somehow perpetually on display, or even on trial. They must answer for their art and their final act against the world and their husbands and children, born and unborn," Kevin Kanarek said in a Rumpus interview about his mother, Pamela Moore. Her 1956 novel, Chocolates For Breakfast, has just been reissued. Pair with: Alison Balaskovits' post on VICE's infamous fashion editorial on the suicides of famous women writers.
We thoroughly enjoyed the latest episode of David Naimon's Between the Covers podcast featuring Whiting-Award winner Tyehimba Jess. The conversation centers on Jess's latest book, Olio, a tour de force hybrid-genre exploration of African-American performers from the period just before the American Civil War through World War I. (Previously: We recommended Jess's Leadbelly as perfect reading for train travel.)
After winning The International Design Association's 2012 Library Interior Design Competition, MS&R won funding to convert an abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas into a sprawling 124,500 square foot library. McAllen now home to the United States' largest single-story library.
I’ve recommended a couple of articles in recent weeks about the new novel by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Unfortunately, as Liam O’Brien explains at the Melville House blog, it may not be a good idea to read it, especially if you’re impressionable. Why? The book contains a hidden trove of Satanic messages. (h/t The Rumpus)