2021 Southern Book Prizes, #WeToo Narratives, 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 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has revealed the winners of the 2021 Southern Book Prizes. The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels won for fiction, Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey won for nonfiction, and I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, won for children’s literature.

“Wrenching and beautiful, these pieces are theory in the flesh, embodiments of the yet-to-be-spoken.” Editors erin Khuê Ninh and Shireen Roshanravan introduce #WeToo, a collection of creative works engaging with the issue of sexual violence in the Asian American community. (Margins)

“When different narrators take on chapters devoted to different characters’ points of view, the listener’s engagement with the book can be heightened.” Katherine A. Powers reflects on the rewards and pitfalls of audiobooks with multiple narrators. (Washington Post)

“When we write in the voice of people unlike ourselves, what do we risk besides the possibility of getting certain facts, histories, and perspectives wrong?” Paisley Rekdal writes a letter to her student on the complexities of cultural appropriation. (Literary Hub)

“Strangely enough, speaking this brokenness—the brokenness of the world—through the writers I translate, feels vaguely redemptive.” Ottilie Mulzet writes about how translation has helped her process her identity as an adoptee. (Paris Review Daily)

Alison Jones, a publishing professional in the U.K., is due to complete one thousand consecutive days of running at least two kilometers on February 24. Approaching the milestone, she decided to start raising funds for the National Literacy Trust and has since collected about £3,000. (Bookseller)

“There are all of these expectations, all of these codes, all of these roles that I felt I had to play that were somewhat antithetical to who I felt I was.” Cortney Lamar Charleston talks to the Rumpus about the internal reckoning at play in his latest collection, Doppelgangbanger.

Book Riot recommends celebrating ten literary holidays, including Library Lovers Day and World Poetry Day.