paper trail

Al Jazeera America folds

Eileen Myles

In the second media surprise of the week, Al Jazeera America, which employs hundreds of people, has abruptly announced that it will close down all operations in April.

“As things get worse,” Eileen Myles says to Ana Marie Cox in an interview, “poetry gets better, because it becomes more necessary.” Myles also notes that “if the voters rose up with a write-in campaign, then of course” she would make a second run for the presidency. Seems fair to say we need her more than ever.

The shortlist is up for this year’s “moronic, informative, all-consuming, fascinating, weirdly fun” Tournament of Books.

The Los Angeles Times has appointed Carolyn Kellogg, a longtime contributor who launched its Jacket Copy blog, as its new books editor.

And anyone still weeping over the demise of ESPN’s Grantland should cheer up: Its founding editorial director had already made the leap to MTV News (who knew?) and is apparently hiring at least five erstwhile Grantlanders there, as well as others including Pitchfork’s Jessica Hopper.

"When the politics of representation have become so fraught, who gets to write about whom?”, asks Gideon Lewis-Kraus in his New York Times magazine portrait of Alice Goffman, the (white) sociologist whose book On the Run, about a group of young black men in West Philadelphia became the center of an acrimonious controversy last year.