Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Quotable: Poetic Subjects, Dirty Children’s Books, and Other Reader/Writerly Things

Well-loved books. Better? (Andrea_R/Creative Commons license)

Another roundup of nifty things I’ve encountered around the web in my never-ending attempt to procrastinate as much as possible. Take some time to read the articles from whence these came, then get back to writing, for the love of Pete!

Poet Christian Bok believes in taking poetry to new frontiers, which is why he injected poetry-encoded DNA into bacterium, essentially making the microorganisms create their own poetry. He wonders about the limited subject matter of other poets:

“I am amazed that poets will continue to write about their divorces, even though there is currently a robot taking pictures of orange ethane lakes on Titan.”

Jane Litte at Dear Author has some book-related predictions for 2013, and though most are pretty serious, this one is a little more whimsical. I’m not sure if she’s right:
“Romance covers will become less focused on the man titty."

Dark Markets is a darned useful site for anyone whose writing tends toward the creepy. It’s not just a list of potential markets, though, but often has useful writing tips, such as this list of brutally honest advice from Lorna Keach. Read it all, especially if you agree with this snippet:

“If you are the kind of writer who does not read, your writing sucks.”

A lovely piece in the Granta blog by Yuka Igarashi talks about the minutiae of proofreading The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists, and how the task infected both her brain and her leisure time:

“Can a city be dust-covered and windy at the same time? Have we been consistent in the way we punctuate matĂ©, Sugarloaf Mountain, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, the Candidates Tournament for chess and every one of the numerous international airports mentioned in the stories? Is it possible for a headless chicken to stare at you? Does ‘shithole’ have a hyphen in it?”

E-readers make reading a lot less dirty, but Wired writer Daniel Donahoo prefers the dirt, arguing that children's books are better when you can see where they’ve been:

“Our books should reflect the lives we lead — messy and uncertain, but well lived and loved.”

Should poetry and science be blended? Or are they already the same thing? What’s your take on the deeper symbolism of the prevalence of the man titty? Discuss.


  1. E-readers may be good for a lot of things, but a big board book with a toddler on your lap - there's no comparison.

    Love the idea of combining science and poetry.

    I love man titties, but yes, wouldn't mind seeing a FEW fewer of them on book covers. Or at least give me some man-fur on the man-chests!

  2. Combining science and poetry bad idea.

    Never seen man titties on a cover but then I look at my own if I were incline see any.

  3. I have neither man titties, nor woman titties on my book covers. Should man-titties, or woman-titties be hyphonated?

    “Can a city be dust-covered and windy at the same time? Sticky, gritty dust will do it every time. If you could blow dust away all that easily, we would (or at least I would) dust with a hair dryer.

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