Quick Takes

Mullen wins poetry prize

Poet Harryette Mullen, a professor at UCLA, has won the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers magazine. Now in its fourth year, the substantive prize carries with it an award of $50,000.

In their announcement of the award, the judges wrote that Mullen’s work is “brilliant and enigmatic, familiar and subversive. Like jewels, her poems are multifaceted and shoot off lights. Mullen uses the techniques of sound association, innuendo and signifying, and this way makes the reader alert to the cunning of the English language.”

Considered an innovative, experimental poet, it came as a surprise in 2002 when her poetry collection “Sleeping With the Dictionary” was a finalist for the National Book Award. It was also nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.


Previous winners of the Jackson Poetry Prize are Tony Hoagland, Linda Gregg and Elizabeth Alexander, the poet who read at President Obama’s inauguration.

-- Carolyn Kellogg Michael Jackson portrait on sale

An over-the-top portrait of Michael Jackson is going up for auction online.

The auction of the 50-by-40-inch painting by Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong launched last night.


The colorful portrait, titled “The Book,” and reportedly the only painting for which the King of Pop ever posed, depicts Jackson in a red velvet jacket, clutching a journal at his Neverland Ranch.

“I’ve had it an awful long time,” said toy inventor Marty Abrams, who acquired the painting with partner John Gentilly in 1992 from Japanese businessman Hiromichi Saeki. “With the positive response to his music and the movie about him after his death, we thought it was a good time to sell it and for the world to see it.”

The auction is scheduled to end April 17.

-- associated press KNX wins two Murrow awards


KNX 1070 NewsRadio has won two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in electronic journalism, it was announced Wednesday by the Radio Television Digital News Assn.

In the audio breaking news coverage category, KNX was recognized for its team coverage of the Station Fire.

Among those reporting the devastation caused by last year’s wildfire were Jim Thornton, Frank Mottek, Kim Marriner, Claudia Peschiutta, Andrew Mollenbeck and Pete Demetriou.

The KNX Morning News anchored by Jack Popejoy, Dick Helton and Vicky Moore was honored in the audio newscast category. -- From a Times Staff Writer Star cast reads Shakespeare


Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks will lead a cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Helen Hunt, Julia Roberts, Keanu Reeves, Martin Sheen, Brent Spiner and Arte Johnson in reading “Much Ado About Nothing” Monday night at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, with live music by Jackson Browne.

The event benefits the Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, a nonprofit theater company that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and its programs for young people living under severe economic strain, educators and artists.

Ben Donenberg, the group’s founding artistic director, will direct the 20th Annual Simply Shakespeare Celebrity Reading.

-- Liesl Bradner Talking ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’


Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Hamm and Seth Green are helping to deconstruct “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The stars are part of “Curb: The Discussion,” a TV Guide Network companion series to “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The Larry David comedy is coming to the network in June.

A celebrity panel will watch each episode of the comedy and discuss ethical issues raised by the unorthodox behavior of David’s character.


“Curb Your Enthusiasm” cast member Susie Essman moderates the panels, with Hill Harper, Dave Navarro and Dr. Drew Pinsky among those set to take part.

-- associated press Kahlo painting will be auctioned

A long-unseen Frida Kahlo painting of a pre-Hispanic idol goes on sale next month at Christie’s when it will reappear in public for the first time in 72 years, the auction house said.

“Survivor,” which sold in 1938 at a New York gallery, has since remained out of sight, its image unpublished, before submission this year for auction at Christie’s Latin American art sale on May 26.


-- reuters Finally

A collection of writings and artwork by George Carlin is coming next year, courtesy of the comedian’s widow. “The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade” will be released by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.