1. A Stanford University “Digital Humanities Specialist” named Elijah Meeks has created a series of rich visualizations based on the email archives of poet Robert Creeley. The lines describe connections and context, with frequency mapped to vicinity. We can glean interesting discoveries from the diagrams, such as the fact that the tech-savvy Black Mountain/Beat Generation’s poet’s BFF was clearly his fellow poet (and one-time Warhol scenester) Gerard Malagna. I wonder what the two poets emailed about so often? Anyway, before Robert Creeley died in 2005, he was kind enough to put in a few appearances on Litkicks, so it’s exciting to think that a couple of emails from us must be represented in that pink jellyfish above.
2. Back when I used to write about the New York Times Book Review each weekend, I used to look forward to Walter Kirn’s fiery, iconoclastic reviews more than almost any other critic’s. Walter has now launched a new blog, Walter Kirn’s Permanent Morning, which promises to be as plucky and opinionated as everything else he’s done. Another favorite NYTBR voice of mine belonged to Stacey D’Erasmo, who’s just written a perceptive piece about her career as a literary critic and where she’s concerned the field may be heading.
3. Richard Hell gets interviewed by Innes Reekie in Louder Than War.
4. A combo for the ages, seriously: writer J. Robert Lennon interviews writer Nicholson Baker.
5. Hoki Tokuda married Henry Miller when she was a young woman, and spills the beans about it now.
6. Brooks Lampe joyously discovers the poetry of Bob Kaufman in The The, a poetry journal.
7. Will Bingley and Anthony Hope-Smith have written a graphic biography of Hunter S. Thompson.
8. Here’s the InDigest WikiLeaks Centos E-Chapbook Anthology, a group work of topical poetry. I’ll let them explain it.
9. A couple of years ago I wrote about a touching poetry workshop for Alzheimer’s patients in New York City. Here, from Harper’s, is another dispatch from Gary Mex Glazner’s Alzheimer Poetry Workshop.
10. A dystopian novel for your inspection: A Field Full of Scarecrows by Jeeshan Gazi.
11. Translator Damion Searls and interviewer Scott Esposito share their enthusiasm for Norwegian author Jon Fosse.
12. Great piece by novelist David Mitchell, inspired by the film The King’s Speech, about his own experience with a speech defect.
13. Barry Miles selects the Top 10 Books about British Counterculture.
14. Sigrid Nunez has written a memoir of her relationship with Susan Sontag, called Sempre Susan.
16. Just in case you haven’t heard about this retro (and imaginary) 1980s-era video game based on The Great Gatsby …
18. I think it’s kinda cool that Christian churches in northern Ethiopia are often built within small round manmade forests designed to resemble The Garden of Eden. That’s the kind of thing that would get me to actually visit a church.
19. How well do you know your Brooklyn literary scene? I got 8 out of 10. But then I’m from Queens.