The inside scoop on the book world
Poetry lovers wanted
If you buy a new Volkswagen in April, you’ll find something unusual in the glove compartment: a book of poetry. In case you didn’t know, it’s National Poetry Month, and Andrew Carroll — the indefatigable executive director of the American Poetry & Literacy Project — has no shortage of tricks up his sleeve to stimulate interest in poems. ”A lot of people are skeptical,” laments Carroll. ”You have to be subversive.” Because of what he deems VW’s ”egalitarian spirit and diverse audience,” he chose the company to hatch his latest scheme, proposing that the automaker place poetry books in the 40,000 cars it produces this month. VW gave the okay, and Dover agreed to print as many copies of Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel & Adventure as he needed. To Carroll, the connection between travel and verse is obvious: ”Both are about seeing the world in new ways, encountering new people, and enlivening the imagination.”
Tiptoe through the tulips
The hottest books this week are about…tulips. DreamWorks SKG has just bought film rights to Deborah Moggach’s Tulip Fever. The novel, recently published in Britain, is a historical romance set in 17th-century Holland. And the A.P. Watt agency in London is shopping a film treatment by Chris McWatters called The Flower That Drove Men Mad, inspired by Anna Pavord’s 1998 British nonfiction best-seller The Tulip. ”It’s the same period in history, but the two stories are completely different,” says A.P. Watt agent Sam North, explaining that McWatters concocted a love story using Pavord’s book as background. All the movie buzz boosted the U.S. market for Tulip Fever, which agent Tom Wallace just sold to Dell for a high-five-figure sum.