Michael Kimball

Who are the real book critics, the paid professionals or the dedicated Amazon amatures? Historian Morris Dickstein, author Cynthia Ozick, novelist Hervé Le Tellier, and Danish novelist Carsten Jensen discuss, with Dickstein opining that “Raw opinion, no matter how deeply felt, is no substitute for argument and evidence. The democratization of reviewing is synonymous with the decay of reviewing.”

Susie Bright reveals the “terrible secret” of women’s memoirs.

Tomorrow night at KGB bar, Sam Lipsyte will read with Michael Kimball, who is known for his ability to write a person’s entire biography on a postcard, and whose novel Us was just published by Tyrant Books. Artist Luca Dipierro made a melancholy but alluring animation from one of the novel’s sentences, making a short and memorable book trailer.

How did the children’s poetry workshops at the White House on Wednesday go? The Washington Post reports that Billy Collins told the students ““You’re probably not that good, but you’ll get better,” while Kenneth Goldsmith said, “You’re trying too hard.” Meanwhile, the Daily Show presents the “Tone Def Poetry Slam,” covering the controversy over rapper Common’s appearance. [via Harriet]

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