Last week, the NEA announced $325,000 in grants to support the translation of world literature into English. At least three of the winners have local ties! Congratulations are in order for Ian Boyden of Friday Harbor, Stefania Helm of Bellingham, and Lola Rogers of Seattle. Please allow us to boast: Rogers wrote a great piece for us at the Seattle Review of Books about translating the work of great Finnish novelist Johanna Sinisalo.
The downtown branch of Seattle Public Library has installed phones for homeless patrons, Ashley Archibald reports at Real Change.
People experiencing homelessness are as reliant on phones as any housed person, perhaps more so. People have to call in to remain on waiting lists for housing and check in with shelters at night. The directory to connect people to services — 2-1-1 — is available by phone.
The phones are limited. Users are restricted to 10-minute calls to local numbers — numbers with the area code 206 and some 425 and 253 numbers — and while patrons can make calls, they cannot receive them.
Seattle writer G. Willow Wilson's comic series Ms. Marvel has officially sold a half-million copies in trade paperback. That's a lot of comics.
Because the Nobel Prize in Literature was stained by a truly gross sexual harassment scandal this year, someone has launched a "new Nobel Literature Prize." Unlike the, uh, old Nobel, this committee announced a shortlist of Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman, Kim Thúy, and Maryse Condé. The winner will be announced in the middle of October.
If your long weekend started early, you might have missed the news that the Village Voice has officially folded. Except for a few stragglers in big cities, alt-weeklies are pretty much dead in America.