Author News and Book Reports

Kay Ryan kicks off National Poetry Month with 'The Best Of It'
With an introduction by the thirteenth Librarian of the U.S. Library of Congress, James H. Billington, to a packed audience at the 2009 National Book Festival, Kay Ryan, the sixteenth U.S. Poet Laureate, following New Hampshire Poets Laureate Charles Simic and Donald Hall, and before them Robert Pinsky, who served from 1997-2000, began her second term with a reading of eighteen poems from four collections, offering brief introductions before reading each poem, several of which have been published in her recently released collection, The Best Of It: New And Selected Poems (Grove Press; March 23, 2010), kicking-off the official U.S. National Poetry Month of April. Beginning with poems from her 2008 collection, The Jam Jar Lifeboat And Other Novelties Exposed, drawn from Ripley's Believe It Or Not epigrams, Ryan read the title poem, The Jam Jar Lifeboat, followed by Chang; Walking Stick Insect; and Felix And Anton Steinmeier. Next, Ryan read six poems from her 1997 collection, Elephant Rocks, which was inspired while jogging near her home in Fairfax, California, where she imagined elephants rising up from the ground. Beginning with the title poem, Elephant Rocks, Ryan read Living With Stripes; Doubt; Chemistry; Dew; and Bestiary. Ryan followed with four poems from her 2000 collection, Say Uncle, which were based on common sayings, folklore, and scientific facts, beginning with A Hundred Bolts Of Satin, and followed by Will To Divest; It's Always Darkest Just Before The Dawn; and Herring. Ryan concluded her reading with four poems from The Niagara River, published in 2005, animated by familiar, even cliched, expressions, beginning with Home To Roost, and closing with Shipwreck, Reverse Drama; and Time.

Book and Author Headlines

Heather Graham and James Grippando surf the crime waves from Miami to Boston for inspiration: Miami trial lawyer and bestselling author of the Jack Swyteck suspense novels James Grippando and Heather Graham, bestselling author of the Harrison investigation crime novel series, as well as prolific bestselling romance novelist under her married name of Heather Graham Pozzessere, appear at the 2009 Miami Book Fair to surf the crime waves with their fans.

Russell Banks shows he's one of America's leading writers in more ways than one: Russell Banks the history and goals of the Cities of Refuge North America, which he co-founded, and two refugee authors, Irakli Kakabadze of the Republic of Georgia and Sarah Mkhonza of Swaziland, as well as Nobel Prize-winning poet and Cities of Refuge Executive Director Derek Walcott.

James Patterson has so many story ideas he needs 'co-writers' to write them all: America's most prolific bestselling author, James Patterson takes time out from writing to talk about his career at the 2009 National Book Festival.

Van Lustbader, Hogan, Chevalier, and Powell go Hollywood (for better or worse): Bestselling authors Eric Lustbader, Chuck Hogan, Tracy Chevalier, and Julie Powell discuss the leap from book to movie with Booklist editor Brad Hooper at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Cornel West walks the tightrope of hope, living and loving out loud in the Age of Obama: American moral and religious philosopher, author, critic, actor, and civil rights activist Cornel West reviews American myths and politics in the Age of Obama in an interview with PBS-TV and Public Radio International host Tavis Smiley at the 2009 BookExpo America (BEA) book trade show.

Elizabeth Gilbert finds commitment in the aftermath of 'Eat, Pray, Love': Appearing at the 2010 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting, Elizabeth Gilbert describes how she overcame anxieties and doubt, finding committment in marriage and her own voice to write the book that followed her meteoric memoir 'Eat, Pray, Love.'

Andy Borowitz and Susie Essman rock book lovers and bring down the house in Miami: Andy Borowitz and Susie Essman team up at the the final event of the 2009 Miami Book Fair International for an evening finale of their special brands of satire blended withironic reflections on their own comedy careers.

Wally Lamb gently shepherds his readers to introspection: Critically acclaimed bestselling author Wally Lamb tends to his large flock of fans with readings and personal revelations.

Thomas Friedman calls for a 'real' green revolution: New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas Friedman takes the floor at the 2008 BookExpo America booksellers convention to introduce what was then his soon-to-be published new book ['Hot, Flat, And Crowded.'

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