1. There will be a release party here in Charlottesville for Free Union, the newest book in the VQR Poetry Series. The publication of John Casteen’s book will be celebrated at The Bridge on Sunday evening at 7 PM.
2. The New York Public Library has named the finalists for their annual Young Lions Fiction Award, and one of the five is Sana Krasikov, who contributed “Asal,” a short story that we published in our Summer 2008 issue. That’s just one of the pieces that make up One More Year, the short story collection for which she’s been nominated.
3. Word spread last week that The Oxford American was facing bankruptcy at the hands of the IRS, a result of a high-profile embezzlement by an now-indicted former employee. The feds want the $31,000 in payroll taxes that the employee stole, and they’re not willing to establish a payment plan. (The IRS offers little flexibility on payroll withholdings, because of the employer’s fiduciary duty to their employees, on whose behalf they’re paying the taxes.) But this story has a happy ending: an anonymous University of Central Arkansas graduate has given the magazine $100k, which covers a good chunk of the amount stolen.
4. We’re rediscovering all sorts of fun articles since we opened up our archives earlier this month, mostly by seeing what bloggers are finding and linking to. From our Spring 1978 issue comes John Hammond Moore’s “Getting Fritz to Talk,” his account of the military’s establishment of illicit interrogation facilities during WWII. It was located in an isolated portion of George Washington’s estate in upstate Virginia, code-named “P.O. Box 1142.” (My address, unsettlingly.) The whole thing was a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention, though it sounds like the Germans gave as good as they got.
5. PEN is asking for people to sign a petition to free writer and PEN Member Liu Xiaobo, who is imprisoned in China for calling for democracy in China.