Caldecott winner Chris Raschka illustrated the collection. You can read the portfolio online as well. The portfolio includes work by Sherman Alexie, John Ashbery, Dorothea Lasky and Eileen Myles. Snicket (the pen-name of Daniel Handler) had this comment:
Some time ago I found myself locked in the basement of the Poetry Foundation building.… The basement is crammed with the efforts of poets living and dead, famed and forgotten, terrific and terrible.… By the time it was safe for me to emerge, blinking, onto the streets of Chicago, I had gathered together the poems you now find here.
Despite the cold snap yesterday, readers from all over New York City attended the sixth annual Brooklyn Book Festival. Reportedly, it is the largest book festival in the Northeast. In the video embedded above, you can meet some of the participating authors.
Pulitzer prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri won this year’s Best of Brooklyn, Inc. award (BoBi). Lahiri was born in London, but now calls Brooklyn home. Each year, the festival recognizes a literary figure whose work embraces and speaks to the Brooklyn spirit. Previous recipients of the BoBi award include John Ashbery (2010), Edwidge Danticat (2009), Walter Mosley (2008) and Paul Auster (2007).
Festival founder and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz commented: “It’s all about the written word and how important reading is for all of us. Whether we’re kids who use reading to make ourselves into what we’re going to be in our life or whether you’re an elder person, like myself. Knowledge doesn’t stop at a certain age; it continues for life.”
The New York Times’ Melena Ryzik reports that MtvU, the subsidiary of MTV Networks that is broadcast only on college campuses, will announce today that it has selected its first poet laureate: John Ashbery, the prolific 80-year-old poet and frequent award winner known for his dense, postmodern style and playful language. One of the most celebrated living poets, Ashbery has won MacArthur Foundation and Guggenheim fellowships and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection SELF-PORTRAIT IN A CONVEX MIRROR.
According to Stephen K. Friedman, the general manager of mtvU, which broadcasts at 750 campuses nationwide, was the No. 1 choice to inaugurate the position. “He resonates with college students that we’ve talked with,” said Friedman. And Ashber was immediately receptive. “It seemed like it would be a chance to broaden the audience for poetry.” But will droves of young people respond? “It’s our hope that we will interest college kids in poetry in a new way, make it hip for them,” said Daniel Halpern, the publisher of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins that has published Ashbery’s work. But, Halpern admitted, “it’ss very hard to tell what exactly is going to come of all this.”