Simon Reynolds

Members of the Village Voice’s union shop are prepared to strike if a new contract with company management is not agreed upon by midnight on Thursday. We doubt it will come to that (Voice contract negotiations have historically involved threats of a strike), but if it does, the union says that it will launch an alternative website.

In Chicago, retired engineer Malcolm O'Hagan is planning the American Writers Museum. The city has a long literary history, with authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Saul Bellow, and Raymond Chandler calling the windy city home, as well as hosting contemporary authors such as Aleksandar Hemon and Stuart Dybek, who discussed the city for Granta’s 2009 Chicago issue.

The Chicago Tribune checks in with Poetry Magazine to see how it has changed since winning a $200 million grant in 2002. It has inspired an investigation by the Illinois AG office and built a new, $21.5 million home. It has changed editorially too: It has “run harsh criticism of Garrison Keillor, tore into acclaimed, normally untouchable Pulitzer Prize-winning poets such as Robert Hass, and simply wouldn't publish the submissions of others, including Pulitzer winner Franz Wright, who wrote angry letters.” [via htmlgiant.]

Simon Reynolds, author of the seminal post-punk history Rip it Up and Start Again, and the more recent book, Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews and Overviews, discusses pop-culture’s obsession with the past in his forthcoming book Retromania. At the blog Pop Matters, Reynolds says that perhaps someday innovation will trump nostalgia again: “Perhaps one just has to have faith that the really musical people will find a way to swim in this clogged data ocean and to make meaningful new patterns out of all this stuff.”

At the New York Review of Books blog, Bookforum contributor (and former editor) Eric Banks is writing a diary about his experiences at this year’s Venice Biennale.

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