paper trail

Jan 3, 2013 @ 12:01:00 am

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle

After being inspired by a trip across the U.S., Englishman Simon Goode is opening Britain’s very first centre for book arts.

This June, Christian Wiman will leave his post as editor of Poetry magazine to teach at Yale. Wiman has spent the past ten years at Poetry, and during that time, he tripled circulation, and oversaw a complete redesign of the magazine.

An especially ardent fan of the indie rock outfit The Mountain Goats has launched a campaign petitioning the government to name lead singer John Darnielle as the next U.S. Poet Laureate. "John Darnielle is an American institution," reads the petition. "An inspiration to poets, artists and sundry other human beings both in America and world-wide." The campaign needs 25,000 signatures by the end of the month to reach its goal; right now it has 3,345.

After abandoning the internet to finish her previous novel (The Flamethrowers, which is out in April) Rachel Kushner’s literary resolution for 2013 is to “submerge myself in all sorts of Internet memes and consumer culture and, basically, the current instantiation of our neoliberal world. I will plumb and plumb until either I've died from empty entertainment (is it like feeding the brain only Fritos?) or until I get to the bottom of various crucial American mysteries: Like, is the rapper Riff Raff a hilarious baller or an idiot poseur? Is it difficult to talk with an ice tray in your mouth? Is Riff Raff a perfect example of American self-invention?” This and other literary resolutions are up on the Los Angeles' Times Jacket Copy blog.

New Yorkers: if one of your New Year’s resolutions included reading some of the great books, you’re in luck—the Brooklyn Institute has unveiled its roster of Spring classes. The three courses on offer are Politics of the City I: Plato and Aristotle (about the foundations of western philosophy and political philosophy), Avant-garde in Theory and Practice (on avant-garde art during the first half of the 20th century) and an introduction to the Frankfurt School.