Black Mirror Will Soon Unsettle You to Your Very Core in Book Form

Plus Tracy K. Smith is our new poet laureate, Stephen King is blocked by Trump, and the handmaids strike again

In today’s literary news, Black Mirror is set to unsettle and unnerve you in ink starting next year, red-cloaked women stage a sit-in to fight an abortion bill in Ohio, Tracy K. Smith may be coming to your area as the new poet laureate, and it finally happened: President Trump blocked Stephen King.

Black Mirror will be adapted as a series of books

Get ready to be unnerved and unsettled by Charlie Booker’s twisted sensibilities and preoccupations…in print! The British show turned Netflix hit, Black Mirror, is being adapted into a three-volume series of books, according to an announcement from Penguin Random House. Booker is set to edit the series, which will feature contributions from a slew of TBA literary talent. Booker described the project in typically wry fashion: “All-new Black Mirror stories from exciting authors — that’s a joyous prospect. And they’re appearing in a high-tech new format known as a book…Apparently, you just have to glance at some sort of ink code printed on paper and images and sounds magically appear in your head, enacting the story. Sounds far-fetched to me, but we’ll see.” Like the series, the books will take anthology form, but you can count on a consistently skewed worldview.

[Entertainment Weekly/Dan Heching]

Tracy K. Smith is America’s new poet laureate

Tracy K. Smith has been named the new U.S. poet laureate. 45 years old, Smith has already won a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden bestowed the title on Smith today saying, “Her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture.” Smith, whose new status provides her with an office in the Library, a travel fund, and an official budget, is free to do what she likes with her new resources. The current Princeton professor expressed a desire to travel to small towns and rural areas where literary festivals usually don’t take place, and to expose young people to poetry. Smith is now among a group of distinguished poet laureates who came before her, including Robert Hass, Rita Dove, and Robert Pinsky.

[NY Times/Alexandra Alter]

It finally happened: Stephen King blocked by Trump on Twitter

Stephen King’s online war against President Trump seems to have come to an end. Apparently fed up with King’s continuous criticism via Twitter, Trump has blocked him from seeing his posts. The famous author, who has a large following of 3.3 million, has been using his platform to mock the POTUS and voice his concerns about the new administration since November. Finding out about his barred access to Trump’s controversial Twitter page King tweeted, “Trump has blocked me from reading his tweets. I may have to kill myself.” The block didn’t go down without a fight from the literary community. Fellow Trump critic J.K. Rowling assured King that he would still get his doses of Trump ridiculousness from her: “I still have access. I’ll DM them to you,” she tweeted at him. Literary camaraderie is unbeatable.

[HuffPost/Maddie Crum]

Women dressed as handmaids protest abortion bill in Ohio

A red cloak and a white bonnet speak a thousand words these days. Over the past few months, women have been donning costumes from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale as a way to protest in favor of reproductive rights all over the United States. Protests in Missouri around the state capitol garnered attention in early May. Now, Ohio is the latest state to experience the handmaids’ silent rally. On Tuesday, a group of costumed women went to the statehouse to protest State Bill 145, which would ban a prevalent method for second-trimester abortions. They took the front row of the hall, silently observing the decision process. Protests of this kind are garnering a lot of attention on social media, bearing resemblance to Hulu’s own depictions of the fictional group caped and hooded in red and white. NARAL Pro Choice Ohio documented much of the protest via Twitter, noting the statements made during the hearing. Photos depict the women walking in pairs with eyes downcast, as would be typical in the oppressive, fictional land of Gilead.

[HuffPost/Catherine Pearson]

Kurt Baumeister Envisions an Even More Bizarre America

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