Happy Friday, Asymptote pals! This week, something different: you might be used to reading reports about book prizes, but the Guardian spectacularly announced the end of its First Book Prize. Womp. And we often report on vanishing languages (ones we often represent—through translation!—in our journal’s digital pages), but we hardly try to preserve them through song.
Happily this week: the Guggenheim fellows were announced, a poet named Ocean means to fix the English language, and nostalgia isn’t what it once was.
Sadly this week: we often hear about writers behaving badly, but persecuted Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli was detained in an airport this week after an “illogical” and “absurd” accusation of hooliganism. Meanwhile, read Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi’s memoirs as two cautionary tales to never marry one or the other.
This week in web scandals: the New Yorker published a seriously dubious—some might say racist—poem this week, and the Internet responded as hilariously and promptly as only the Internet can. And American poet Patricia Lockwood guest-tweeted the New Republic Twitter account for .082 seconds before her NSFW tweet shut the whole thing down (thank goodness we thoroughly vet our social media people at Asymptote). And the one part of U.S. book publishing that isn’t totally sickly is also totally ripped: here’s a look at those real-live humans who grace the romance covers.
If you’re up-to-date on the latest style guide, you know that the Internet is no longer capitalized. Er, I mean internet. It just looks wrong, doesn’t it?