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Caine Prize for African Writing

They've announced that this year's Caine Prize for African Writing -- "a literature prize awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English" -- goes to Memories We Lost (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), by South African...Show More Summary

Markus Werner (1944-2016)

Dalkey Archive recently brought out his Zündel's Exit, and his Cold Shoulder is due out shortly, but German-writing Swiss author Markus Werner has passed away; see, for example, the (German) NZZ obituary.


This weekend they held the 40th (!) 'Tage der deutschsprachigen Literatur' ('days of German-language literature'), the centerpiece of which is the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis, the (in)famous/notorious read-a-text aloud competition whereShow More Summary

Mr. Zed's Reflections review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Hans Magnus Enzensberger's Mr. Zed's Reflections: or Breadcrumbs He Dropped, Gathered Up by His Listeners, which came out recently from Seagull Books. I'm not quite sure...Show More Summary

Links & Reviews

- Jennifer Schuessler reports for the New York Times on some excellent new discoveries about Shakespeare and heraldry by Heather Wolfe, curator of manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. See the documents at Shakespeare Documented.-...Show More Summary

Great/essential US book ?

With the 4th of July around the corner variations on picking the great American (i.e. US) novel apparently are popular summer-filler-material: in The Los Angeles Times they ask a couple of authors for their choice of What is the Great...Show More Summary

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

As widely noted, Elie Wiesel has passed away; see, for example, The New York Times' report. Wiesel's 1986 Nobel Prize was, of course, in the peace-category, not literature, but he is well-known for his writing -- most notably for Night; get your copy at or

Geoffrey Hill (1932-2016)

The great English poet Geoffrey Hill has passed away; see, for example, obituaries in The Guardian (by Robert Potts) and The Telegraph, as well as The Paris Review's The Art of Poetry Q & A with him. As the number of his books underShow More Summary

Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016)

Leading French poet Yves Bonnefoy has passed away; see, for example, reports in Le Figaro and Le Monde (because there's essentially nothing yet in the English-language press...). Seagull Books have brought out a couple of his works in...Show More Summary

Choose your July HDT Day (blog no longer updating daily)

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Get Back

I injured my back in mid-April—and my recovery, or lack of recovery, has been, at times, painful and demoralizing. So I’ve spent much of the past two months on my living room couch. I’ve been reading a lot: reports of… Continue reading ?

On Passing & Whiteness: Jewish Poets Speak Out

In late 2014, I asked six different poets of various ages and backgrounds questions about Jewish identity and poetry. I had answered some question about poetry and faith on The Best American Poetry Blog, writing about how I no longer belong to… Continue reading ?

Prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne

No surprise that this year's prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne does not go to a UK author..... I mean, none whatsoever -- Jean Monnet is spinning even more wildly in that grave 'Brexiters' have dug than the rest of us.... (Nice...Show More Summary

Questions ?

I'm looking forward to my to-be-podcast conversation with Tyler Cowen, and at his Marginal Revolution weblog he invites readers to tell him What should I ask Michael Orthofer ? So if you have questions..... (35 responses so far, last I checked -- though I haven't read them, yet. Should I ? Don't want to be over-prepped. (Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am going to peek....))

My Secret Book review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Francesco Petrarca's (yes, Petrarch's) My Secret Book: The Private Conflict of my Thoughts, just out in a new translation -- and bilingual edition - in Harvard University...Show More Summary

Most People Are Not Your Friends

In the fifth grade, I was friends with a girl on my street. Best friends—though we did not wear those Be Fri / St Ends necklaces—a heart split in two—each friend wearing a half; each friend wearing a broken heart around… Continue reading ?

A Decade After Prison, a Poet Studies for the Bar Exam

Reginald Dwayne Betts has wanted to be a lawyer for almost as long as he has wanted to be a poet. “Poetry and law have always been intertwined in my mind,” he said recently, “in part because poetry gives me the language to pretend that...Show More Summary

St Andrews Photography Festival: Hamish Brown in Morocco

This is the second post in a weekly series highlighting images featuring at the upcoming St Andrews Photography Festival,1 August – 11 September 2016. You can read the first […]

Siegfried Lenz Preis

The Siegfried Lenz Preis is pretty new -- this is only the second time they've handed out the well-endowed (at €50,000) prize, with Amos Oz picking up the inaugural one last year -- and it's not really clear how it is meant to standShow More Summary

Elechi Amadi (1934-2016)

Nigerian author Elechi Amadi has passed away; see, for example, obituaries in Vanguard and Punch. None of his work is under review at the complete review but he's significant enough that he rated a (very brief) mention in my The Complete...Show More Summary

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