2020 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, Ahmad Departs Akashic Books for Viking, and More

by Staff
11.23.20

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong has won the 2020 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize in the fiction and poetry category, while Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha Benjamin has won the prize for nonfiction. Administered in partnership with the Brooklyn Eagles, each prize offers an award of $5,000.   

Ibrahim Ahmad will depart his role as editorial director of Akashic Books to join Viking as an executive editor. “I owe an immense debt of gratitude to the Akashic team for showing such faith in me from the moment I volunteered to ‘help out’ there as a teenager two decades ago,” Ahmad told Publishers Weekly.  

Historian and writer Jan Morris died on Friday at age ninety-four. Celebrated for her reporting on such historic events as the Suez war and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s summit of Everest, she was also known for writing about her journey as a transgender person. (Guardian

Longtime Simon & Schuster editor Fred Hills died on November 7 at age eighty-five. The editor of more than fifty New York Times best-sellers, Hills worked with such esteemed writers as Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Carver, and David Halberstam. (New York Times)

In a live-streamed virtual event this morning, the editors of the New York Times Book Review revealed their “10 Best Books of 2020” list.

“When you’re not sure who you are, it’s impossible to write clearly.” Caroline Kim discusses the challenges of writing her debut story collection, The Prince of Mournful Thoughts. (Rumpus)

“Poems do not assert. They explore. One of the things they explore is language.” Margaret Atwood celebrates the many possible pathways of poetic language. (Harriet)

The editors at TIME have selected their top ten nonfiction books of the year.