September 29, 2015

Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner

The latest MacArthur “genius grants” have been announced, and the twenty-four new fellows include the writers Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ben Lerner, who told a reporter that getting the no-strings award, which pays out $625,000 over the course of five years, “takes away all your excuses to not be doing the most ambitious work.”

The New York Times mourns the end of “tabloid culture”: After massive layoffs, which came on September 16 “with the swiftness of a Soviet-era purge” the Daily News is completing its transformation from, as former News columnist Michael Daly put it, “a New York paper for New York people” to a mostly digital creature that will “read the same from Brooklyn to Bahrain.” One longtime reporter told the Times: “I can’t remember the last time someone on the staff sent a note saying, ‘Hey, good piece.’ What they say now is, ‘Hey, we broke the March record for page views!’”

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen received another honor in the form of the £10,000 Forward Poetry Prize.

As his “blazing blue streak of a literary memoir” I Can Give You Anything But Love appears, and some of his out-of-print novels are due to be republished, the New Republic asks if this will be “Gary Indiana’s year.”

Some are asking if we still need Banned Books Week (that’s this week, so feel free to skip straight to Friday if you’d like).

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