1. PBS is launching a new blog, Remotely Connected, and I’m proud to be one of the contributing writers, along with Alice Bradley of FinSlippy, David Gutowski of LargeHearted Boy, Kyle MacDonald of One Red Paperclip and Merlin Mann of 43 Folders. An eclectic group indeed. Here’s my first article for the site, about Eyes on the Prize.
2. We’re all catching Nobel Prize fever (the literary award will be announced on Thursday). Will Orhan Pamuk take it? Why hasn’t John Updike won a Nobel Prize yet, and how can anybody possibly imagine the prize going to Joyce Carol Oates or Philip Roth if Updike hasn’t won one yet? Finally, why does nobody ever, ever, ever mention Kurt Vonnegut as a Nobel candidate? Well, there, I just mentioned Kurt Vonnegut, so somebody finally has.
It’s literary prize season. Kiran Desai has just won the Man Booker Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle is going to present its short-list for the National Book Awards tomorrow morning.
3. HBO’s Def Poetry has begun filming for its new season! I know this for a fact because the good folks who run the show were kind enough to invite me for a taping last night. The air conditioner broke, so the room was hot in more ways than one, but based on what I saw the sixth season will be one of the best. As you already know if you’ve hung around here for a while, I have a lot of respect for this show and I’m really trying to spread the word. Not sure when the new episodes will air, but I will certainly keep you informed.