Swedish Poet Wins 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature

The Swedish Academy awarded one of Sweden’s most famous living poets, Tomas Tranströmer, the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday – making him the first Swede in nearly 40 years to win the award. “The Nobel prize in literature for 2011 is awarded to the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer because through his condensed, translucent

US Poet Laureate Captures Struggles of Working Class

America’s newest poet laureate is Detroit native Philip Levine, 83, who is known for capturing the poignancy and grit of a now-vanished industrial America, and the overall struggle of the working class. Levine sits in the living room of the Brooklyn apartment he shares with Frances, his wife of nearly 60 years. He’s published 16

US Bookstore Survives Changes in Publishing Industry

Books and bookstores, have been having a hard time in the United States in the last few years.  Not long ago, large discount booksellers drove many small, independent book stores out of business.  Now,  those superstores are taking a hit from on-line and digital book sellers. Borders –  the country’s number two book chain —

Poet Kay Ryan Named MacArthur Fellow

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named 22 new MacArthur fellows on Tuesday. They’ll receive Genius awards, which come with a no-strings attached grant of $500,000 over five years. The diverse grantees include a journalist, cellist, clinical psychologist, computer scientist and a former poet laureate of the United States, Kay Ryan, who also

More New Authors Turn to Self-Publishing

More and more authors are taking control of their future by self-publishing their work. In fact, more books are self-published than are issued by traditional publishers, according to Bowker, which compiles publishing statistics. Self-publishing means you not only write the book but take on production and sales as well. In earlier centuries, most publications were

Politics Overtaking Science in Global Warming Debate

Polls in recent years show that fewer Americans believe global warming is a threat or that it is driven by human activities. That’s despite consensus among scientists that climate change is not only very real, but also that it is caused largely by the burning of fossil fuels in cars, trucks and power plants. University

New Words Coined in Rapidly Changing Era

We tend to create new words to describe our changing world. WIRED magazine’s Jargon Watch editor Jonathon Keats attempts to guide us through the thicket of emerging terms in his book, “Virtual Words.” Keats, who tracks such terms for WIRED, offers “spam” as one now-familiar example. It was first used as a brand name for

Cuban-Born Writer Eliseo Alberto Dies in Mexico

Cuban-born writer and journalist Eliseo Alberto, living in exile in Mexico, has died at the age of 59. Alberto, nicknamed Lichi, died Sunday at a hospital in Mexico City after receiving a kidney transplant on July 18. He was celebrated as one of the best contemporary Spanish-language poetry and prose writers. He also wrote television

Notorious Gunslinger Remembered 130 Years Later

This month marks the 130th anniversary of the death of Billy the Kid. Like many gunslingers of the 19th century Old West, his notoriety was partly based on exaggerated accounts of his exploits. His reputation continued to grow as his story was told and re-told in novels, songs, theater and film. Legend says Billy the

Vietnamese Refugee Wins Top Australian Literary Award

A Vietnamese man who first came to Australia more than 30 years ago as a refugee has been recognized at Australia’s premier literary awards. Anh Do, a comedian and author, won three awards for his book, The Happiest Refugee. It tells the story of a refugee family’s perilous escape from the war in Vietnam in