Google Editions, the top-secret, soon-to-be-launched e-book label, has just inked a deal with the American Booksellers Association to become the primary source of e-books on hundreds of indie booksellers' websites.

Our newest Poet Laureate, W. S. Merwin, has made a point of living a quiet Buddhist's life out in Hawaii. It's wonderful then to imagine him brandishing a beer bottle and fending off the Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa and his bodyguards as the Tibetan guru tried to force Merwin and a girlfriend to strip during a drunken party. That was the scene thirty-five years ago, in what has become known as "The Great Naropa Poetry Wars," detailed in Tom Clark's book of the same name. As Merwin later said of the incident, "I was not going to go peacefully . . . I started hitting people with beer bottles. It was a very violent scene." 

Bill Morgan, editor of the forthcoming volume Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, chats with Granta about the process of editing the iconic duo and whether there are still any surprises about the Beat Generation to be found, and offers an online only excerpt from the book. 


Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin

The Library of Congress has chosen the oft-honored W. S. Merwin as the 2010–11 Poet Laureate. The eighty-two year old poet and translator doesn't fancy rousing himself from island life in Maui, as he told the New York Times: “I do like a very quiet life . . . I can’t keep popping back and forth between here and Washington,” though he told the Washington Post "I am very happy to do it at a time when there is someone that I respect so much in the White House." Known for his astute ecological poems, we wonder if Merwin's first official act will be to pen some venomous verse over the recent oil spill in the Gulf.

Brave new words: Inside Higher Ed's Scott Mclemee catches up the latest Twitter scholarship.  

Shelve your Strunk and White and yell "Yahoo!": The blogosphere is buzzing over next week's release of The Yahoo! Style Guide, which, among other things, has a primer on headline writing, and recommends keeping the idiosyncratic punctuation of companies and organizations—it's Yahoo!, not Yahoo.

As Amazon continues to battle with Apple in the ebook reader market, it has announced a new Kindle DX, slashing the price of the device to $379.

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