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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

How Well Do You Know Your Celebrity Poets?

9780061073625.jpgCelebrity book deals have always stoked passionate opinions among GalleyCat readers and one magazine has taken a special look at a particular sub-genre of this polarizing literary trend: celebrity poetry.

Over at Details magazine, a short poetry quiz urges discerning readers to connect celebrities with their enigmatic verses. The wide-range of styles includes work by popular poets like Jewel (pictured, via), Michael Jackson, Suzanne Somers, and William Butler Yeats.

Here’s more from the site: “Celebrity Poetry [is] a much-maligned and misunderstood American literary genre that’s enjoying a bit of extra attention right now, thanks to the rediscovered cosmic versifications of Michael Jackson. (Alas, yes, ’twas the late King of Pop who composed sweetly sublime lines such as “Planet Earth, my home, my place/ A capricious anomaly in the sea of space.”) Lyrical musings have put MJ in the company of poetic luminaries like Leonard Cohen, Rosie O’Donnell, Billy Corgan, Jewel, Mr. Spock, and Suzanne Somers. But how well, dear scholar, do you really know their work?”

TMZ and Twitter Spread False Maya Angelou News

ma23.jpgOver the weekend, the gossip site TMZ erroneously reported that Maya Angelou had been sent to the hospital, spawning an avalanche of Twitter posts.

Since then, TMZ has retracted the report, noting that the poet is “alive and well in St. Louis.” The site blames event organizers for telling a photographer that the poet had been hospitalized. This is Angelou’s second bad experience with Twitter this year–in February she exposed a fake Angelou Twitter page with thousands of followers.

A Reuters‘ report gleefully listed all the celebrity missteps created by online journalists: “TMZ got the worldwide scoop on the death of Michael Jackson in June, but wrongly reported the following month that former UFC superstar Kimo Leopoldo had died. Last month, gossip columnist Perez Hilton claimed that former Charlie’s Angels star Jaclyn Smith had tried to commit suicide. It appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. Hilton also suggested in 2007 that Fidel Castro had died.”

Drawing Thomas Pynchon

pynchonvice.jpgAs Thomas Pynchon fans count the days until the August 4th release of “Inherent Vice,” Entertainment Weekly dusted off an artist’s time-aged drawing of the reclusive and practically un-photographed novelist.

Click here to see the drawing by Stephen Mancusi–a sketch artist who has completed image modification illustrations of many celebrities, including Michael Jackson to David Letterman. In addition, the magazine’s critic gave the private detective novel high marks.

Here’s more from the article: “His drawing was based on Pynchon’s 1955 high school yearbook photo, one of the last known snapshots of the Gravity’s Rainbow scribe … Yes, the artist’s Pynchon looks a little like John Ratzenberger from Cheers.”

Michael Jackson and “The Little Prince”

little prince.jpgIn her tribute to Michael Jackson this afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Brooke Shields explained that she saw the singer like the titular character in “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Her tearful speech generated a stream of spontaneous tributes to the book and Jackson. “What moves me so deeply about this sleeping prince is his loyalty to a flower,” explained the actress, telling the audience to remember Jackson not as the king of pop, but the little prince. In the book, the prince lives on a barren asteroid, caring for a little rose.

Shields quoted one famous line about the fragile, beautiful side of life we often overlook, taken here from Wikiquote: “Here is my secret. It is very simple: one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes.”

Maya Angelou Writes Michael Jackson Poem

angelou.jpgAt today’s memorial service for Michael Jackson at Staples Center in Los Angeles, actress and musician Queen Latifah read “We Had Him,” a poem by Maya Angelou about the pop icon. Here’s one YouTube link to the poem.

The poem initiated a cascade of Twitter posts, as the author of the classic book, “I Know why the Caged Bird Sings,” shared her admiration for Jackson. Until a full clip of the poem is posted online, GalleyCat has collected a few Twitter-ed excerpts from the tribute poem. “He was ours and we are his,” wrote Angelou.

“We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given,” she continued. “We do know we had him and we are the world,” the poem concluded.

Michael Jackson Bio to be Reprinted in U.S.

51YrOp1YyXL._SS500_.jpgFollowing the pop star’s tragic death last week, Hachette Book Group’s Grand Central Publishing will reprint J. Randy Taraborrelli‘s out-of-print biography on Michael Jackson.

The U.S. edition will include updates about the last five years of the singer’s life, and carry an updated title: “Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, the Whole Story, 1958-2009.” Publication is set for July, and Macmillan UK will reprint the book in the UK.

Here’s a statement from Jamie Raab, Executive VP and Publisher of Grand Central Publishing: “If anyone should have the final word on Michael Jackson, it should be Randy, who has documented accurately his career almost from day one. This book stands as the classic biography on Jackson, and readers have been requesting this updated edition.”

Inside Michael Jackson’s Library

moonwalk1.jpgThe late pop singer Michael Jackson published three books during his lifetime, and read like a writer–he reportedly owned 10,000 books and shopped at Los Angeles bookstores throughout his career.

According to an LA Times interview with the former owners of Dutton’s Books, Jackson would occasionally visit the Brentwood bookstore. He gravitated towards the poetry section, and his favorite poet was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The article also quoted Bob Sanger, Jackson’s lawyer: “We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues … But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature . . . Freud and Jung — go down the street and try and find five people who can talk about Freud and Jung.”

Literary Internet Reacts to Alice Hoffman’s Tweet

As GalleyCat editor Ron Hogan explained so well this morning, novelist Alice Hoffman made waves in the Twitter-stream yesterday when she published critic Roberta Silman‘s telephone number and email address on Twitter–urging her fans to respond to a review in The Boston Globe.

The Twitter page with the post in question has disappeared but Hoffman still uses this Twitter page. The post generated a long stream of responses about the heightened interaction between authors, critics, and readers in the 21st Century.

This morning, three MediaBistro editors (no strangers to reader criticism themselves) debated this Twitter-versy during the Morning Media Menu. In addition, Afterward, Edward Champion, Literary Saloon, and Gawker analyzed the tweet read ’round the literary world.

Reprinting Michael Jackson

Moonwalker-The-Storybook-cover.jpgIn the wake of Michael Jackson‘s tragic death last week, Macmillan decided to reprint 85,000 copies of Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness–a biography by J. Randy Taraborrelli.

According to Bookseller, the book has jumped to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, and is currently listed out-of-stock in the UK. Last week GalleyCat collected the books Jackson wrote during his lifetime, and we wonder if any reprints are scheduled for these long out-of-print titles.

Here’s more from the article: “However, no new book on Jackson appears to have been commissioned since Taraborrelli’s book, and this is the only title on the singer in Amazon.co.uk’s top 100 list.”

Michael Jackson Jokes Cut

How will Michael Jackson‘s tragic death affect the way people write about the pop star? The Internet has archived thousands of jokes about the legendary singer, and Twitter writers unleashed a stream of off-color humor last night.

Today’s Morning Media Menu pondered the problem of Jackson jokes in an upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, Bruno–scenes that have since been cut from the film. Our special guest was Alex Irvine; the author of the Vertigo Encyclopedia, blogger, and one of the writers that produced the ground-breaking alternate reality game, I Love Bees.

The show was hosted by GalleyCat editor Jason Boog and FishbowlNY editor Amanda Ernst. If you want to read more, GalleyCat compiled a collection of links to the three books that Michael Jackson had written.

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