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Judy Platt Celebrates 35 Years at AAP

plattrushdie

Judy Platt with Salman Rushdie, Sept 2004

Judy Platt is celebrating her 35th anniversary at The Association of American Publishers. The organization honored Platt with a lunch in DC today. As Director, Free Expression Advocacy, Platt heads up the AAP’s Freedom to Read Committee and the AAP’s International Freedom to Publish Committee.

In her tenure with the group, Platt has led the AAP’s advocacy work against book censorship since before Banned Books Week started 32 years ago. She has been the AAP’s liaison with Banned Books Weeks since the movement began. During that time, Platt has seen book censorship movements evolve.

“I’d say that  in my early years at AAP the majority of censorship was focused on sexually explicit materials, or ‘pornography’ and efforts were  made to keep such materials away from adults as well as minors on the questionable assumption that access to such materials resulted in anti-social behavior,” she told GalleyCat via email. Read more

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Comics Take Center Stage For This Year’s Banned Books Week Celebration

banned-comicsThe American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will celebrate Banned Books Week from September 21st to September 27th.

The organization plans to shine a spotlight on graphic novels and comics. Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee, had this statement in a press release: “This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship.”

The American Library Association recently revealed the top ten list of most frequently challenged books for this year. Jeff Smith’s comic series, Bone, occupies the #10 spot. Earlier this year, Smith designed the cover for Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Banned Books Week Handbook. Follow this link to access a free digital copy. Check out the entire list after the jump.

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Free Samples of the NBA’s Poetry Longlist

nbaThe National Book Foundation has revealed its Longlist for the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry for the National Book Award (NBA).

Below, we’ve collected free samples of all the books on the longlist for your reading pleasure. The finalists will be announced on October 15. Here’s more from the release:

The Longlisted books range in style and content: from a single elegiac narrative poem to a provocative examination of race relations told in an experimental fusion of lyric, prose poems, and image. Among the poets on this year’s Longlist are two former National Book Award Finalists, two former Poets Laureate of the United States, a Pulitzer Prize winner, two Bollingen recipients, a Los Angeles Times Book Award winner, and a Whiting Writers’ Award winner.

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Publishers Events During Banned Books Week

fafabuttonNext week is Banned Books Week and to help you celebrate, the Associate of American Publishers has put together a list of ways to participate in the celebration of censored book titles. AAP members Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster have each created a way to help readers engage in the event, whose goal it is to promote the freedom to read.

Hachette is calling readers to share how a banned book has impacted their lives on the HBG Facebook page. HarperCollins is supporting online discussion forums on Epic Reads which will encourage discussions around banned books. Macmillan has created a website dedicated to The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander and Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, two previously banned books. Penguin Young Readers Group is encouraging readers to share selfies of themselves holding up a sign that reads, “I celebrate #BannedBooksWeek because …” and will give away prizes to participants. The publisher will also join in several #BannedBooksWeekTwitter chats during the week. Read more

Stephen King is Going on a Book Tour

stephenkingAuthor Stephen King is going on a six-city book tour to promote his new work Revival.

King hits the road November 11th and will make stops in New York, Washington DC, Kansas City, Wichita, Austin and South Portland. Follow this link for more details.

Revival will be the second novel that King publishes this year. His novel Mr. Mercedes came out in June. The new book is already generating a lot of excitement. The author revealed the cover for the new book as part of a Facebook game that required readers to like, comment and share a Facebook page in order to find out more about the story.

Shakespeare’s Works To Be Translated Into Mandarin

shakespeareThe British government plans to give £1.5 million (approximately $2.4 million) to the Royal Shakespeare Company. The organization has agreed to translate all of William Shakespeare’s writings into Mandarin.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “The grant, announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, will finance a company tour of China in 2016 and allow for select Chinese dramatic works to be translated into English. In bringing Shakespeare’s canon of plays to readers, directors and actors in China, the government hopes to forge ‘stronger links with China,’ according to a statement by Sajid Javid, the British culture secretary.”

Throughout the last four hundred years, Shakespeare’s works have been translated into more than 80 different languages. What do you think?

‘The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People’ Takes on Malcolm Gladwell: VIDEO

Thingstarter, a popular Kickstarter parody series from online comedy video network Above Average, has created a humorous video series called, “The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People.”

The series is a satirical animation about “smart people.” The latest episode is on author Malcolm Gladwell. We’ve embedded the video above for your entertainment.

Scholastic Publishes the ‘Open a World of Possible’ Anthology as a Free eBook

scholasticlogo082310Scholastic has published a free eBook entitled Open a World of Possible: Real Stories About the Joy and Power of Reading to celebrate the launch of its new literacy initiative.

This anthology contains over 100 stories and essays written by literacy experts and authors. The dedication in this book honors the late Walter Dean Myers and features his quote: “Once I began to read, I began to exist.”

Some of the contributors include bestselling author James Patterson, former National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieska, and education expert Karen L. MappFollow this link to download the digital book.

New Episode of ‘Elders React’ Features ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Movie Trailer

How did you feel after watching the Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer? Fine Brothers Entertainment (a.k.a. TheFineBros) has captured a hilarious panel of reactions in the latest episode of their YouTube series, “Elders React.”

The video embedded above features ten people watching a short clip with Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson starring as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. This film adaptation will hit theaters on February 14, 2015.

John Ashbery Overcomes eBook Poetry Issues

johnashberyEver since eBooks have come out, authors have been concerned about how their work is is represented in the digital format. This is an especially pertinent issue for poets, whose use of the line on the page is part of the work itself.

But as digital continues to evolve, eBook developers are better preserving line breaks and stanza spacing. Just ask John Ashbery. Just a few years back the poet demanded that four eBook collections of his poetry be pulled after the format mutilated the work. But the 87 year-old has not given up on the digital format and in conjunction with digital publishing house Open Road, has published 17 digital collections of his work. This time, the technology is much better than his first time out.  Read more

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