2020 Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Foundation Innovations in Reading 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 and finalists of the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday. Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, Jericho Brown’s The Tradition, Benjamin Moser’s Sontag, and W. Caleb McDaniel’s Sweet Taste of Liberty, were the winners for fiction, poetry, biography, and general history, respectively. Anne Boyer’s The Undying and Greg Grandin’s The End of the Myth were both named winners in the general nonfiction category. (New York Times)

The National Book Foundation awarded its 2020 Innovations in Reading Prize to DIBS for Kids, an Omaha-based literacy nonprofit, which seeks to ensure local students have access to reading opportunities at home. Awarded since 2009, the $10,000 prize honors an “an individual or organization that has developed an innovative project that creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading.” The foundation also selected Bookleggers Library and Libros Para el Viaje for honorable mentions. 

“I wrote it in response to what I was seeing both in my own life and in the culture more broadly: gaslighting, silencing, a complete lack of empathy.” Natalia Hero writes about the experience of sexual assault and its lasting and reverberating effects in her debut novella, Hum. (Rumpus)

Percival Everett lets readers in on a secret: His latest novel, Telephone, has been published in three different versions; the covers are nearly identical, but certain scenes—and the endings—differ. “It’s going to piss a lot of people off, I’m afraid.” (New York Times

Emma Specter speaks to authors, booksellers, and publicists about how they are adapting to life under the coronavirus pandemic. (Vogue)

New York Review of Books writers share dispatches from around the world. Among the contributors, Dan Chiasson writes from Wellesley, Sara Nović from Philadelphia, Gavin Francis from Edinburgh, and Jeet Thayil from Bangalore. 

Molly Pohlig recommends eight books that “champion the unlikable woman, the hard-to-understand woman, and the madwoman.” (Electric Literature)

Cyrus Cassells discusses his recent chapbook, More Than Watchmen at Daybreak, and his interest in various spiritualities. (Lambda Literary)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the Poetry Project for its new multimedia publication and digital performance platform, House Party. Now up to seven issues, House Party features writing, dancing, music, and information about emergency resources and mutual aid initiatives.