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Posts Tagged ‘W.H. Auden’

Amy Tan, Alexander McCall Smith, & Erin Byrne Get Booked

9780062107312Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Author Amy Tan will discuss her newest novel, The Valley of Amazement, at a signing event. See her on Tuesday, November 5th at Barnes & Noble (Union Square branch) starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

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When Should Writers Work for Free?

When should writers work for free? It is one of the most difficult questions facing writers in the 21st Century as unpaid outlets multiply online.

In an interview at The Paris Review, we found a historic moment when famous authors wrote for free in a completely unknown publication. When the legendary editor Robert Silvers launched The New York Review of Books in 1962, he went straight to the most talented writers in the country and asked them to work for free.

Check it out:

Our thought was to think of the best writers in the world to review the books of the season—even people who hadn’t written book reviews for years or ever. Many of them we knew—Norman Mailer, [William] Styron, W. H. Auden, Edmund Wilson. We said, “Look, we have three weeks, we can’t pay a penny, will you do it?” And they all did.

Steve Martin Turns Poetry Into Music

At New York City’s Joe’s Pub last night, novelist and actor Steve Martin performed with his bluegrass band–The Steep Canyon Rangers.

Using an iPad propped on a special stand to view the set list, Martin and the musicians performed songs from their new album, “Rare Bird Alert.” The band played two songs for the encore.

The first song set a W.H. Auden poem to music. Martin explained that his wife read the Auden piece to him. He thought it would make a great country song and called Auden’s estate for permission. The video embedded above features the second encore, “Orange Blossom Special.”

School Magazine is Treasure Trove of Early Auden Poems

A collection of previously unknown poems, thought to be early examples of the work of W H Auden, have been unearthed in a school magazine, reports the Independent’s Ciar Byrne. The three poems from 1922 and 1923, which will form part of centenary celebrations for Wystan Hugh Auden at Gresham’s School next week, were discovered by John Smart, a former head of art, who chanced across them while researching the life of another literary old boy. Smart is writing a biography of John Hayward, a close friend of T S Eliot and an important critic of his work. In the course of his research, he read old copies of The Gresham, the magazine Hayward edited during his time at the school in Holt, Norfolk, where he was a pupil a couple of years before Auden.

Smart said: “None of the poems I’ve found I could claim was a great poem.” But, he added that the juxtaposition of “Evening and Night on Primrose Hill” and the more traditional “Dawn” in 1922, the year in which T S Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce‘s Ulysses were published, showed “the modern, put against the old way – two totally different styles”.

Happy 100th, W.H. Auden

Today marks the 100th anniversary of famed poet W.H. Auden, and PW Daily’s Dermot McEvoy has a nice piece on Auden’s work and publishing history (and Ron says not to miss Adam Kirsch‘s appreciation at the NY Sun).

Although Auden’s work has been published by Random House since 1934, there’s been, in the words of Auden’s literary executor Edward Mendelson, a sort of literary tug-of-war between the US and UK for who gets first dibs on him. This old dispute seems to be mostly over by now,” he said. “Readers on either side of the Atlantic who prefer Auden’s early poetry—before he left for America in 1939—tend to think of him as British; readers on either side of the Atlantic who prefer his later poetry tend to think of him as American.”

Though the centenary will be “low key,” there are a number of new volumes in the pipeline. Modern Library and Vintage have published COLLECTED POEMS and SELECTED POEMS, respectively; Princeton University Press, which has six Auden titles, will publish Volume III of THE COMPLETE WORKS later this year. “The complete works editions are primarily for an institutional market and libraries,” said PUP editor Hanne Winarsky. “But the volumes are also bought by enthusiasts as they become available. That’s one reason we’ve done some things out of the complete works series, such as Lectures on Shakespeare and Juvenilia—these are newly published works that general readers want to see.”

As part of the promotion for the Selected Poems, Mendelson will be taking part in a five-city tour. He will also be taking part in the 92nd Street Y’s panel on March 5 as well as a Yale event tonight. Speaking of tonight, the Cooper Union has assembled an all-star lineup to celebrate the centennial, including John Ashbery, Michael Cunningham, Katha Pollitt, Francine Prose, and scads more literary talent.