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Today in  publishing: Amanda Knox hires a lawyer to help with a book deal, British Poet Ted Hughes gets honored today at Westminster Abbey, and your iPad can now look like a magical leather-bound book.

  • Amanda Knox has retained a lawyer to help her sort through what we imagine to be a very large number of book deal offers in the wake of her overturned conviction for the murder of her roommate while studying abroad in Italy.  Washington D.C.-based attorney Robert Barnett has represented Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and entertainment types on book deals -- so that seems like a list we'd like to be on, too. Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, also charged in the murder, has signed with a literary management agency and is hunting for a ghostwriter. Let the race to publish begin! [Reuters]
  • British poet Ted Hughes will be honored today with a memorial stone in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. The stone will be inscribed with his name and lines from his poem "That Morning." Hughes will join 111 other no-big-deal writers like William Shakespeare in being honored in that spot, and his stone will sit at the base of the memorial to T.S. Eliot, his mentor. Hughes died in 1998, within a year of publishing his first reflections on the suicide of his first wife, Sylvia Plath. A letter he wrote to her in 1956 will be read at the ceremony, because, hey, even poets have an appetite for revisiting scandal. [The Guardian]
  • Yesterday we brought news that print-edition books are trying to gussy up their presentation with "premium design flourishes" to set them apart from boring looking Kindles, but e-readers won't be left in the dust. One etsy artist is selling iPad and e-reader covers designed to look like the ancient leather-bound copies of The Never Ending Story, an imaginary book from a non-imaginary children's classic of the same name. The $49.99 cover is advertised as follows:  "Modern digital book readers can holds thousands and thousands of books – truly a never-ending supply! Customize your reader with a cover that will for sure bring back the nostalgic moments of luck dragons, noble warriors, and epic quests." Ah, yes, we remember the pet dragons of our childhood so well. Nevertheless, the cover looks kinda cool. Good luck trying to corner the "premium design" market, print books. [GalleyCat]
  • This year's United States Artists grants, "no strings attached" $50,000 grants given to all kinds of artists, have been announced. The L.A. Times reports, "Three poets are among the literature fellows: Terrance Hayes, who won the 2010 National Book Award for his collection 'Lighthead'; A. E. Stallings, who earlier this year received a MacArthur Fellowship, and Campbell McGrath, a 1991 MacArthur Fellow." National Book Award Finalist Karen Tei Yamashita also won a grant. [L.A. Times]

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