Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’

After weeks of negotiation, Cooper Union has agreed to give East Village bookstore St. Mark's Bookshop a break on its rent, reducing their monthly payments from $20,000 to $17,500 for a year, and forgiving $7,000 in debt. This is half of the $5,000 monthly reduction St. Mark's owners say they need to stay in business, and there are no plans yet to rehire laid-off staff.

New Yorkers: If you’re free this this evening, you should head to the 92nd Street Y to hear Nuruddin Farrah and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’—two of the most accomplished African novelists working today—sit down for a chat. The talk will take place at 8:15, and James Gibbons and Philip Gourevitch will introduce them.

Turkey’s literary community is up in arms over the arrest of publisher and Turkish PEN member Ragip Zarakolu under anti-terrorism laws. Zarakolu was detained in Istanbul on Friday with forty other activists as part of a crackdown on Kurdish political parties. Since the ‘70s, Belge, Zarakolu’s publishing house, has released controversial books by Armenian, Greek and Kurdish authors.

Pitchfork excerpts Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum's oral history of MTV.

The November/December issue of the Believer is out. It’s the annual art issue, and yes, James Franco is in it.

Despite being lauded as the “poet-president,” the Guardian claims that Irish president Michael Higgins’ verse is actually pretty bad.

Jon Cotner, coauthor of Ten Walks/Two Talks and the mastermind behind the Spontaneous Society walking tour, has been invited by the Poetry Society of America to host a new walk-and-talk event called Poem Forest. Held at the New York Botanical Garden, this 15-minute “meditative walk” (which will take place on November 5, 6, 12, and 13) will encourage participants to ponder 15 excerpts of poetry while strolling along the park’s Sweetgum Trail.

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