Litblog Roundup 39

Litblog Roundup 39

For this edition of the Litblog Roundup, let’s look across the literary Internet for commentary about several different literary topics.


Lithub has an impressive roundup of 30 Poets You Should Be Reading . It’s a thoughtful roundup with commentary that introduces a list of contemporary poets to read for National Poetry Month.

Short Stories

A similar roundup of short stories is up on Electric Literature, by Rebecca Schiff, a short story writer who says:

I really like stories. I like the efficiency. I like the things that are not said. I’m a sucker for an epiphany. Most of all, I like that stories are a chance to experiment.


What makes a good essay tick ? What’s a lyrical essay? Are essays written by poets better than those by essayists? A review in Harpers by Elaine Blair considers these questions and the books that explore them.


If poets can be essayists, then literary criticism can take on new forms as well. For example, S.D. Chrostowska’s new book Matches: A Light Book is described in Daniel K. Green’s new review:

certainly readers expecting conventionally realized critical essays, close readings, or historical analyses, the kind of book Chrostowska describes in her introductory “Proem,” in which “the words, erect, line up in columns and salute from every page,” will have to adjust their assumptions about what “criticism” properly entails.

Another interesting bit of criticism lately is a book, Pretentiousness: Why it Matters . Vulture’s review by Christian Lorentzen summaries the book:

The core argument of Dan Fox’s Pretentiousness: Why It Matters is that pretense is the “engine oil” of all creative endeavors, that we’d have no art and a very impoverished culture without it.


The serialized novel is not a very new invention, but apps are. The two ideas can combine to form an app-based serialized novel that delivers content in a way that somewhat resembles a podcast.

The most notable thing about the novel, though—apologies to its rich cast of characters—is the fact that it is only very loosely a “novel.” Though the book version of Belgravia will be available for purchase in June, the project being released this week is an app—which tells Fellowes’s latest story of upper-crusty intrigue via both via and audio.


Amazon has a new version of the Kindle, and with it a new typeface. The Digital Reader asks “ What do You Think of Amazon’s New Font, Ember? ” and provides a copy of it for you to play with.


It has become commonplace to ask questions like “is that a thing?” or “when did that become a thing?” So now, linguists are asking: has the phrase “a thing” become a thing ?