Book News: Navajo Nation Names Its First Poet Laureate

May 3, 2013
Originally published on May 3, 2013 4:52 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Luci Tapahonso has been named the Navajo Nation's first poet laureate. Elmer Guy, president of Navajo Technical College in New Mexico, announced the news and said Tapahonso will be officially introduced to the public May 17. Reached by phone, Guy told NPR that it is a "very important step for Navajo Nation" and that it is "time that we recognize our people for what we've contributed." Tapahonso's poetry often blends English with Diné, the Navajo language. She spoke about her reading habits with NPR's Rebecca Roberts on Weekend Edition in 2007.
  • You can now send your poetry to Mars. NPR's Korva Coleman reports that NASA is asking for people to submit haikus to send into space with the MAVEN spacecraft. The deadline is July 1.
  • Ian Buruma considers David Bowie in an essay for The New York Review of Books: "The image cultivated by Bowie, as he became more famous, was as a complete oddity, an isolated alien, a pop deity, utterly enigmatic, freakish, alienated, but dangerously alluring."
  • MediaBistro's GalleyCat blog says literary magazine Granta is shutting down its New York office and that deputy editor Ellah Allfrey and art director Michael Salu has resigned and associate editor Patrick Ryan is also leaving. The report follows last week's announcement that Editor in Chief John Freeman is stepping down. It isn't clear what led to the departures, and Granta has not responded to requests for comment.
  • Jonathan Lee interviews All That Is author James Salter for Guernica magazine: "It seems to me that literature is giving way a little bit to the immediacy of other diversions, other forms of entertainment. What will it be in fifty years? I don't know. Will there be printed books? Probably, but I'm not sure. There's always going to be literature, though. I believe that. I think literature has a way of getting deep into people and being essential. Literature has its own powers."
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