Poet Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco, a gay Latino poet of Cuban descent, has been selected to compose and deliver an original poem for Obama’s second swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol later this month. (Elizabeth Alexander was the president's first inaugural poet.) In an interview with the New York Times, Blanco explains his affinity for the president: “Since the beginning of the campaign, I totally related to his life story and the way he speaks of his family, and of course his multicultural background. There has always been a spiritual connection in that sense. I feel in some ways that when I’m writing about my family, I’m writing about him.”

Kickstarter raised over $15 million for publishing projects last year, even though only a third of them actually got funded. Among the projects that did get funding, comic books were far and away the most successful: “1,170 comic book projects were attempted, but 542 succeeded–raising $9,242,233 for the year.”

A library in Kentucky offers classes on hog-butchering. Another in Illinois holds an annual “Star Wars Day,” and still another hosts virtual bowling nights. The Wall Street Journal looks at how libraries are struggling to “stay relevant” in the digital age.

Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur is coming to the big screen. An adaptation of the 1962 book—directed by Michael Polish and starring Jean-Marc Barr—will debut at Sundance later this month.

In the wake of Hamilton Nolan’s rant against so-called “confessional journalism,” the New Inquiry publishes a manifesto on how to do it correctly. Meanwhile, at Slate, Katie Roiphe throws in her two cents with pointers on how to write a memoir.

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