A Poet-Tree, a Mystery (Solved!) & More: Your Weekly Lit News Round-Up

A Poet-Tree Grows in Cape May

Sylvia Baer, an English literature professor at Rowan College at Gloucester, has created quite an impression on her community in Cape May, NJ. Her “Poet-Tree” is a cherry tree in her front yard with many poems printed on colorful construction paper. Each week she has a theme. Baer started with Mary Oliver less than one month ago and most recently featured poems for children, many of which she has personally written. Passersby are encouraged to take the poems with them too. In her words:

“I love poetry. I thought that there’s so much sadness in the world, so many negative things going on around us. I wanted to do something to remind us how alike we are as humans.”

The Coupling of Literature & Coups in Turkey

With tremendous free speech issues and censorship going on in Turkey, voices are still rising and elucidating the relationship between literature, the arts, and coups in the country — including the recent one in July, and historically. In this important piece in Daily Sabah, Yahya Kurtkaya speaks on the reciprocal effects of Coups > Arts and Arts > Coups, including the absence or weakened distribution of literature, poetry, and other forms. Kurtkaya’s voice is clear:

“The effort to raise ‘monotype’ individuals in society is a situation that art ontologically rejects.”

This article is a cogent reminder of how important the arts, in all its forms, are crucial to not only our humanity but to law and order as well.

First Book on the History of Colombian Literature Published in English

Cambridge University Press recently published the very first English language book on Colombian literature. Edited by Raymond Leslie Williams, of the University of California, Riverside, A History of Colombian Literature includes Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and much more. Going back as far as 1867, Williams’ book is also the first, in any language, that includes work by women, afro-Colombian and indigenous writers.

And the lighter side of the news…

New Infographic Gives You Permission to Drink & Write

brandy-402572_1280Cheers, fellow writers! That ol’ Hemingway quote “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” has now explored some scientific (please let it be true) evidence and The Expert Editor has produced a neat-o infographic with just a few modifications. Basically, drinking + writing = creative loveliness as long as you don’t get plastered, and drinking coffee helps the editing process. Double your pleasure, double your fun!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Exonerated!


Breaking news, Sherlock Holmes fans! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been officially exonerated for the famous “Piltdown Man” hoax. A new study published in Royal Society Open Science by a multidisciplinary team from institutions in London, Canterbury, Cambridge, and Liverpool has pointed the historical finger at lawyer and amateur geologist Charles Dawson. Phew! Mystery solved. The beloved writer, among others, was initially a suspect due to his 1912 novel The Lost World. Click here to find out more about the clues (and the scientific evidence, of course) about this shocking human ancestry hoax.

For the Love of Writing Sheds

This story is not necessarily news, per se, but this beauty of a writing shed in London inspires me just looking at the photo. The bookshelves alone make me want to grab my favorite pen and scribble away. For more on my love of writing sheds, check out my piece from last December here. Write on.

Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am theEggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.

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