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Charlie Chaplin's Novella, Footlights, is Published for the First Time
Charlie Chaplin's novella is being published for the first time. Chaplin's novella, Footlights, is 34,000 words. BBC Newsreports that drafts of the novella were discovered in the Chaplin archive at the Cineteca di Bologna in Italy. The 1952 movie, Limelight, was adapted from the novella. Chaplin played a clown in the film who rescues a suicidal dancer, played by Claire Bloom.
Chaplin's novel is publish as part of the new book, Footlights and The World of Limelight by David Robinson. The book can be found here on Amazon.co.uk and on cinetecadibologna.it.
The inaugural shortlist of The Folio Prize has been announced. The Folio Prize, sponsored by The Folio Socity, is open to writers around the world. The prize is open to all works of fiction written in English and published in the UK. It carries a 40,000 pound cash prize. The stated goal of the prize is to "celebrate the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre, and to bring it to the attention of as many readers as possible." The Guardiansays the prize was "born from frustration at the perceived shortcomings of the Man Booker."
Lavinia Greenlaw, Chair of the judges, said in a statement, "Our experience of reading 80 books over five months was full of surprises, challenges, frustrations, provocations, regrets and delights. The shortlist we've
arrived at is one of which we're proud. Our deliberations were long and
intense. We forgot about the authors and focused on the books. Only when we
surfaced with our chosen eight in hand did we reflect on what they collectively
represent: the art of fiction at full stretch and in all its forms, and the
ingenious and dazzling results of form under exquisite pressure."
There are eight books in the shortlist. Here is the list:
Red Doc by Anne Carson (Random House/Jonathan Cape)
Schroder by Amity Gaige (Faber & Faber)
Last Friends by Jane Gardam (Little, Brown)
Benediction by Kent Haruf (Picador)
The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner (Random House/Harvill Secker)
A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press)
A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (Maclehose Editions)
Tenth of December by George Saunders (Bloomsbury)
The winner will be announced on March 10th at a ceremony held at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
Frank X Walker is the winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Poetry. Walker is currently the Kentucky Poet Laureate and an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky. Walker won the award for his collection, Turn Me Loose: the Unghosting of Medgar Evers. Evers was involved in efforts to overturn segregation in Mississippi and active in the civil rights movement. The poems in the collection capture the emotion both before and after Evers' assassination in 1963.
Nikki Giovanni and Jammal May were among the other nominees. Here is the list of the five finalists:
Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid by Nikki Giovanni (HarperCollins, William Morrow)
Hum by Jamaal May (Alice James Books)
The Cineaste: Poems by A. Van Jordan (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
The Collected Poems of Ai - Ai (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers by Frank X Walker (University of Georgia Press)
Two New Poems By Greek Poet Sappho Discovered on Ancient Papyrus
Researchers have recovered two new poems by Greek poet Sappho on a papyrus fragment from 7th Century B.C. BBC Newsreports that an expert at Oxford University confirmed the previously unknown poetry came from Sappho's first book. She wrote a total of nine volumes of poetry.
NPR reports that an anonymous collector show the ancient papyrus to Dr. Dirk Obbink, an expert on papyrology and Greek literature at Oxford University. Dr. Obbink says the first poem references two of Sappho's brothers and the second is a poem addressed to Aphrodite.
Albert Henrichs, a Harvard classics professor who examined the papyrus with Dr. Obbink, told The Daily Beast, "The new Sappho is absolutely breath-taking. It is the best preserved Sappho papyrus in existence, with just a few letters that had to be restored in the first poem, and not a single word that is in doubt. Its content is equally exciting."
Obbink will publish a preliminary paper on the papyrus in the journal, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik.
A new Sappho poem was also discovered in 2005. That poem - the fourth known work by Sappho - was found in the wrappings of an Egyptian mummy.
Herbie Hancock Named Harvard University's 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry
Grammy winning pianist and composer Herbie Hancock has been named Harvard University's 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry. Harvard University says Hancock will give six lectures in a series called, "The Ethics of Jazz" in February and March of this year. A list of his upcoming Harvard lectures can be found here.
Homi Bhabha, director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, said in the annoucement, "It is a great privilege to welcome Herbie Hancock as the Norton Professor. His unsurpassed contribution to the history of music has revolutionized our understanding of the ways in which the arts transform our civic consciousness and our spiritual aspirations. It would be no exaggeration to say that he has defined cultural innovation in each decade of the last half century."
Hancock received a Kennedy Center Honor in December 2013. He has won 14 Grammy awards. He is currently the Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Hancock has also taught classes at UCLA.
Sinead Morrissey Wins 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry
Sinead Morrissey has been named the winner of the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. The annual prize is presented by the U.K.'s Poetry Book Society. Sinead won for her poetry collection, Parallax.
Chair Ian Duhig said in a statement, "In a year of brilliantly themed collections, the judges were unanimous in choosing Sinead Morrissey's Parallax as the winner. Politically, historically and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, her book is as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests."
This year was the fourth time Sinead has been shortlisted for the prize. She was named Belfast's first Poet Laureate in August 2013.
Here is audio of Sinead Morrissey reading from Parallax at the T S Eliot Prize Readings, which were held at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall.
Scottish Poet Douglas Dunn Wins 2013 Queen's Medal for Poetry
Scottish poet Douglas Dunn is the winner of the 2013 Queen's Medal for Poetry. BBC Newsreports that committee chair and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy calls Dunn one of the greatest poets out of Scotland. He is best known for his 1985 collection Elegies. Some of his other honors include the Hawthornden Prize, Cholmondeley Award and Whitbread Book of the Year.
Dunn will receive a gold medal presented by The Queen. The gold medal is made by the Royal Mint and paid for by The Queen. It bears the inscription, "Truth emerging from her well and holding in her right hand the divine flame of inspiration - Beauty is truth and Truth Beauty."
Scholastic Launches Reading Campaign Called Get Book Fit
Scholastic just launched an interesting new campaign for the month of January called "Get Book Fit." The campaign was inspired by the countdown to the Winter Olympic Games and encourages families and teachers to train their brains with more reading. Scholastic has launched a free Facebook calendar app which has tips from experts to motivate kids to read and gives parents and teachers those tips in a "scratch off" format. The calendar is located at
Facebook.com/scholastic. The Twitter account is Twitter.com/scholastic.
Scholastic recruited top athletes such as figure skating gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, Amar'e Stoudemire from the New York Knicks and Justin Tuck from the New York Giants. The athletes share the books which inspired them over the years. On Sundays families can find highlights for top reads for all age groups. On Freebie Fridays fans can enter to win free books from Scholastic.
Maggie McGuire, Vice President, Scholastic Kids and Parents Channels discussed the new initiative:
"Just as any athlete needs to practice a sport in order to get better, kids need to practice reading to keep their brains sharp and become proficient readers.
The new year reminds us to start new, healthy habits and getting 'Book Fit' is a perfect way to remind kids that reading is part of having a healthy lifestyle."
E.L. Doctorow's Accepts the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
E.L. Doctorow was awarded the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
at the National Book Awards on November 20, 2013. The ceremony and benefit dinner was held
at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Here, Doctorow accepts his award. He gives a speech
about the internet which he refers to "ubiquitous and loomingly present in everything we do."
Doctorow discusses how the Internet pervades all of our lives.
He discusses the virtual world and notes that
"Like all worlds, the virtual comes with its heaven and its hell."
He discussed how language has been changed forever by the web.
"Text is now a verb. More radically, a search engine is
not an engine. A platform is not a platform. A bookmark is not a bookmark. An eBook
is not a book. A cookie is not a chocolate cookie. A cloud may be in the sky, but
it is not there to produce weather. Language has been stolen or metamorphosized.
We in this room have to appreciate metaphor. When was the last time in hearing the word
mouse that you thought of a small rodent or heard the word web and thought of a spider?”
Doctorow also warned about a report from Pen America about how authors are
censoring what they say and write due to fears of surveillance and how important
free speech is. Take a look:
Oxford Dictionaries Names Selfie the Word of the Year
The Oxford Dictionaries have declared
that the word "selfie" is the Word of the Year. The word selfie first appeared online in 2002 in an online ABC forum posting by a drunk Australian who said: "Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie."
The word selfie has morphed into other words connotating different types of self portraits including the helfie (a picture one's hair), the welfie, the workout selfie much beloved by Miranda Kerr and the drelfie, which indicates
a drunken selfie. Book lovers love a good bookshelfie which is a photo of the books currently on their bookshelf.