August 28, 2006KR BlogKR

Short Takes

Critical Mass is feeling sassy:

Margaret Atwood has written an open letter to America. The question we’d like to know is was it that robotic hand which signed it?

The sex is better at Yaddo; the work is better at MacDowell. Kenyon in the summertime (especially on the Fourth of July) is one of the finest places in the world.

USA Today weighs in on creativity.

Poets & Writers interviews Donald Hall, who quickly clarifies that he is not George Bush’s poet (via Emerging Writers Network).

Nobel Literature Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz is recovering from his head injury.

In addition to being a racist, Baum, it turned out, was a silverite, part of a populist Western movement to switch the U.S. dollar from the gold standard, favored by Eastern power brokers, to silver. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s first conquest is the wicked Witch of the East- which frees the Munchkins from servitude.

New biography of Leonard Woolf reviewed favorably in The Guardian; Claire Messud’s new book applauded in The New York Times. Also in the Times: Reading Like a Writer.

And finally, because it seemed apropos given the date: for those of you who haven’t read it yet, Randy Fertel’s “Katrina Five Ways,” from our Summer 06 issue. Fertel is the son of Ruth Fertel, the late owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.