Elizabeth Bishop

Stephen Elliott has picked Jonathan Franzen's Freedom for his reading club at the Rumpus. The novel will go on sale August 28, and Elliott is clear about where you shouldn't buy it: "Books purchased from Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon are ineligible."

Since Amazon opened its Kindle store in the UK in early August, ebook retailers there have entered into a price war. In the latest move, bookseller WH Smith cut the prices of its top 100 bestsellers by as much as 66 percent on its ebook site.

Joseph Young cranked out his new vampire novel, NAME, in a month. There's a reason he finished so fast: As he bluntly points out at the book's website, he wrote the book to pay his rent

Gary Lutz's bizarre and artfully contorted story collection, I Looked Alive, published in 2004 by Black Square Editions is hard to find unless you're willing to spend between $88 and $255 on Amazon. So prose fetishists will be happy to know that the literary magazine Brooklyn Rail (in conjunction with Black Square) is about to reissue this strange cult classic.

William T. Vollmann has written in Penguin 75 (an anthology of Penguin book covers from the past decade) about taking the photo of three naked women that graces the cover of his novel, The Royal Family. He took it at "a fine crack hotel of [his] acquaintance," he recalls, and later submitted an expense report to his publisher asking to be reimbursed for, among other things, "Four street prostitutes' modeling time @ $40 each." 

One of our favorite new finds at the excellent PennSound poetry archives: A recording of Elizabeth Bishop reading from Geography III, followed by an interview with Susan Howe.