2021 National Book Critics Circle Awards, Book Workers Day of Solidarity, 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 National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced in a virtual ceremony yesterday evening. Maggie O’Farrell won the fiction prize for Hamnet, francine j. harris won the poetry prize for Here Is the Sweet Hand, and Cathy Park Hong won the autobiography prize for Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning. Meanwhile, Raven Leilani received the John Leonard Prize, which honors the best debut of the year, for Luster. (New York Times)

In order to show support for the unionization effort by Amazon employees in Bessemer, Alabama, booksellers and publishing professionals have organized a Book Workers Day of Solidarity, which is taking place today. “We believe the fight against Amazon goes far beyond bringing revenue back to indie bookstores to include supporting book workers fighting for better workplace conditions,” wrote booksellers Mandy Medley and Katharine Solheim, who are among the signatories to the project. (Publishers Weekly)

The shortlist has been announced for the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, which is open to literary works in any genre written by writers aged thirty-nine or under. The finalists are Alligator and Other Stories by Dima Alzayat, Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis, The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, Pew by Catherine Lacey, Luster by Raven Leilani, and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell. The winner of the £20,000 (approximately $27,600) prize will be revealed on May 13. (Guardian)

At Oprah Daily, one hundred women of color write about their first experience with racism. Writers Min Jin Lee, Claudia Rankine, and Sandra Cisneros are among the contributors.

“I see religion as the greatest expression of human imagination. That’s why I study religion (and used to teach about it) as an agnostic.” Jordan Rothacker reflects on how faith and religion figure in his latest novel, The Death of the Cyborg Oracle. (BOMB)

“The rage against chauvinism was natural.” Isabel Allende, the author of The Soul of a Woman, recalls finding her voice as a feminist. (NBC News)

The lineup has been revealed for this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which will take place online from April 17 to 23. Participants include Chang-Rae Lee, Imbolo Mbue, and James Patterson, among many other distinguished writers.

Independent booksellers from across the nation recommend forty-two books to add to your reading list. (BuzzFeed)