2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, M. John Harrison Wins Goldsmiths Prize, and More

by Staff

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.

The winners of this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prizes, which honor books that foster “peace, social justice, and global understanding,” have been announced. Alice Hoffman accepted the fiction prize for The World That We Knew, while Chanel Miller received the nonfiction prize for Know My Name; they each received $10,000. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation also announced Margaret Atwood as the recipient of the 2020 Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. (Publishers Weekly)

M. John Harrison has won the 2020 Goldsmiths Prize for his novel The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again. The £10,000 award honors “fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form.” (Guardian)

Given the enduring threat of the coronavirus pandemic, Macmillan has announced it will delay the reopening of its New York City offices from January 11 to July 6. (Publishers Weekly)

“For the past four years, starting sometime in early November 2016, I have been living in a snow dome that resembles the United States of America.” Novelist Jamaica Kincaid reflects on life in America. (Paris Review Daily)

Detroit-based poet and publisher Naomi Long Madgett died on November 4 at age ninety-seven. Dedicated to showcasing the Black poetry community, Madgett founded Lotus Press in 1972, which ultimately merged with another Black independent publisher, Broadside Press, to become Broadside Lotus Press. (Detroit Free Press)

“I think it might have been perfect timing, that people were trapped at home and needed a stupid person to laugh at—and I could offer myself up for that purpose.” Samantha Irby talks to Entertainment Weekly about releasing Wow, No Thank You during the pandemic

“Do we need to be docile to be human? I hope not.” Rachel Mans McKenny, the author of The Butterfly Effect, recommends eleven books that challenge or complicate the concept of “Midwestern nice.” (Electric Literature) 

The editors at TIME have compiled a list of one hundred “must-read books” published in 2020