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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Galassi’

Jonathan Galassi: ‘Don’t be afraid to listen to constructive criticism’

Happy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with poet Jonathan Galassi.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux publisher Galassi has written three poetry collections including the 2012 title, Left-Handed. In the past, he served as the poetry editor at The Paris Review.

Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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Stephen Morrison Named Picador Publisher

Penguin Books associate publisher Stephen Morrison will serve as the new publisher at Macmillan’s Picador Books. He starts on April 30th.

Henry Holt publisher Stephen Rubin and FSG publisher Jonathan Galassi welcomed the new editor in a memo: “Stephen brings exactly the right combination of enthusiasm, fortitude, resourcefulness and experience to grow Picador into a dynamic division committed to publishing a wide range of paperback reprints, paperback originals , hardcover works of fiction and nonfiction and digital-only publications.  Stephen’s mandate is to make Picador one of the industry’s most undaunted, aggressive marketing machines, culling books from all of Macmillan’s divisions, including St. Martins, FSG and Holt.”

Picador publisher Frances Coady departed last month in a company restructuring. Previously, Morrison served as executive editor at Bloomsbury, a senior editor at Penguin and a senior scout at Maria B. Campbell Associates.

Susan Sontag Was Once a Struggling Author

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Today Farrar, Straus and Giroux launched its new multimedia Work in Progress newsletter with a feature on the late Susan Sontag–including the letter (pictured) that publicists sent to literary critics and authors to promote her first book.

It should cheer up all the aspiring authors in the audience–even Sontag was a struggling writer once. The entry also contains an audio clip from 2000, as Sontag spoke with Robert Stone and William Styron.

The newsletter features a conversation between publisher Jonathan Galassi and author Jeffrey Eugenides, as the publisher struggles to uncover the title of his next novel.

Here’s more from the post: “FSG has published Susan Sontag since her debut novel The Benefactor. Here are a few selections from an archive of almost fifty years of material. Note the pitch-perfect location for the Volcano Lover publication party, and the lines from the teenage Sontag’s diary on the back of At the Same Time.”

Ingram CEO at BEA 2010: ‘Digital Versions Didn’t Cause Piracy’

bealogo23.jpgFarrar, Straus, and Giroux president Jonathan Galassi opened BEA 2010 with a contentious conversation between industry leaders–generating plenty of fireworks, but few conclusions. His publishing CEO panel focused on the themes of Galassi’s controversial NY Times op-ed.

Panelists included: Authors Guild president Scott Turow, Ingram CEO David ‘Skip’ Prichard, ICM executive VP Esther Newberg, Penguin CEO David Shanks, and ABA CEO Oren Teicher.

The panel skimmed over a number of sticky publishing issues, everything from Amazon price scales to enhanced eBooks to piracy. Agent Newberg came out swinging, addressing the fact that she was the only woman on the seven-person panel. “This group is worse than the Supreme Court,” she quipped.

“Digital versions didn’t cause piracy,” Prichard said, reminding the panel that the majority of pirated books are scanned, not eReader editons. “If you don’t have a digital book, you can scan the print version in five minutes.”

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Poetry Slams Slammed

CPSPcoversmall.jpgDespite the fact 80 cities have joined the national poetry slam competition and President Barack Obama threw an exclusive White House slam, the “originator” of the poetry slam is worried about the health of the genre.

Poet and slam founder Marc Kelly Smith told the NY Times: “Now there’s an audience, and people just want to write what the last guy wrote so they can get their face on TV … We’ve got too much of that. This show wasn’t started to crank out that kind of thing.”

In addition, the article rounds up other famous attacks against poetry slams. Harold Bloom once labeled the popular form “the death of art,” and poet Jonathan Galassi called it “kind of karaoke of the written word.” For supporters, the essay points to Susan B. A. Somers-Willett‘s scholarly take on the genre, “The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry.”

Doubleday Executive Editor Wins 2009 Maxwell E. Perkins Award

geraldhoward.jpgDoubleday executive editor and VP Gerald Howard has won the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction’s 2009 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.

Howard will receive his award at the Library’s November 9 annual dinner in New York City. This is the fifth year the award has been given out, and past recipients included Harcourt editor Drenka Willen and Farrar, Straus & Giroux president Jonathan Galassi. To find out more about the winner, check out this GalleyCat interview with Howard.

Here’s an excerpt from the release: “Mr. Howard has been with Doubleday since 1998. In his tenure at Doubleday, he has worked with Kate Christensen, Pat Barker, Walter Kirn, Chuck Palahniuk, Bill Bryson, Muriel Spark, Robert Bingham and Gore Vidal.”

Scott Turow Jumps to Grand Central

index.jpgBestselling novelist Scott Turow will publish the hardcover sequel to “Presumed Innocent” with Grand Central Publishing rather with than his original hardcover publisher, Farrar Straus & Giroux.

The sequel to the 20-year-old novel about a young attorney accused of murder will be published in 2010. According to the NY Times, Turow’s old editor Jonathan Galassi said the split was amicable. The new novel catches up with the hero of “Presumed Innocent” as a older judge struggling to uncover who murdered his wife.

Here’s more from the article: “Mr. Turow said in an interview that it no longer made sense to have one house publishing his books in hardcover and another releasing them in paperback. Such arrangements were common when he first sold the rights to “Presumed Innocent” in 1986 but are much rarer now, especially for a bestselling author. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.”

Finally, FSG Gets a New Home

Unlike the rest of its Holtzbrinck-owned publishing siblings housed at the Flatiron, Farrar, Straus and Giroux has called Union Square home since 1961. But, as PW’s Dermot McEvoy reports, the literary house will move to 18 West 18th Street – a few stones’ throw from the Flatiron – by the end of the year. “We’ve been talking about it for probably a year and a half or so,” FSG president Jonathan Galassi told PW. “When leases loom, you have to start thinking.”

Moving to the Flatiron was never in the cards, even if there had been space to work with. “It was never contemplated that we were going to be in the Flatiron Building,” said Galassi. “We’ve always had our own address.” And the new address will come with more space. “Now we’re on three floors; we’ll be on two larger floors. We’re taking raw space and creating our own offices out of it so we’ll be able to organize the relationships of the departments better, to have more communication flow, more efficient use of space. So it should be a much more livable and comfortable environment.”

Several Figures Directly Included in Speech

One wouldn’t necessarily think that essayist and thinker Susan Sontag could generate fresh news – what with her having died recently – but as the Observer’s Michael Calderone reports, a 2004 speech just published in a posthumous collection by FSG has sparked some controversy for the discovery that a section on hyperfiction owes a great debt (almost word for word) to a New York Times Book Review piece by Laura Miller in 1998. The similarities were discovered by John Lavagnino, a senior lecturer in humanities and computing at King’s College London, who wrote a short letter to the editor published in the Times Literary Supplement:

“Shortly after personal computers and word-processing programs became commonplace tools for writers, a brave new future for fiction was trumpeted,” Miller had written in the lead of her New York Times Book Review piece.

“Ever since word-processing programs became commonplace tools for most writers-including me-there have been those who assert that there is now a brave new future for fiction,” were the words Sontag delivered in the 2004 lecture.

Miller also wrote: “Hypertext is sometimes said to mimic real life, with its myriad opportunities and surprising outcomes…”

Sontag wrote: “Hyperfiction is sometimes said to mimic real life, with its myriad opportunities and surprising outcomes…”

FSG publisher Jonathan Galassi said that Sontag “didn’t prepare the speech for publication” but that if the allegations prove true, a correction will be added in future printings. Meanwhile, Miller said to Calderone that she initially thought that Sontag “lifted my research” – committing what might amount to a literary misdemeanor. “When I actually sat down and read it,” she said, “it was more than that. The kind of irony is that it was in a lecture on morality and literature.”