“I can read, as I just did, stuffing my face with a disgusting greasy croissant, and I am still totally immersed in the world of this poem which resists weeping so desperately the whole thing feels like spring to me, all desire.” PEN America 10 contributor Lucy Corin on Frank O'Hara's “Morning” over at The Rumpus.
“...what stops me is a remark that Franzen makes about his Chinese guide. David Xu has 'the fashionably angular eyeglasses and ingratiating eagerness of an untenured literature professor.' In that throwaway phrase, in its quick malice and wit, I come home... I realize that I'm a sad provincial; for years, I've been living in a place called the English Department.” -- PEN America contributor Amitava Kumar in the minnesota review.
You can read four of the essays from Burn this Book, published by HarperStudio in connection with PEN American Center, at DailyLit, starting with a speech by Toni Morrison, which you can watch her deliver here. See also this review in the Los Angeles Times.
The first story in Knockemstiff, by recent PEN honoree Donald Ray Pollock, is available online.
Jedediah Berry, former associate editor of PEN America, recently published his first novel, The Manual of Detection, and he talks with Geoffrey H. Goodwin at The Mumpsimus. He also gets a nice review from Thomas Jones in the London Review of Books.
PEN America 10 includes a poem by Kyi Maung Than called “Deeperinga,” which is the ancient name for Depeyin, in Burma, where Aung San Suu Kyi -- a leader of the National League for Democracy -- and her motorcade were ambushed in 2003. Now, as PEN America contributor George Packer notes, she has suffered a very different kind of ambush, one that may have been well-meaning, but which has nonetheless resulted for her in a stay at Insein Prison, a new trial, and the likely renewal of her current six-year house arrest.