A Literary Review Built to Last, Epic Poetry, and More


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 New York Times Magazine profiles Mary-Kay Wilmers, who has served as the editor of the London Review of Books for twenty-seven years. Although Wilmers reflects on her tenure with modesty, colleagues praise her leadership and editorial eye. The publication’s circulation has risen consistently since 1985.

Shane McCrae interviews fellow poet Timothy Donnelly about his latest book, The Problem of the Many. The pair discuss art that encompasses you—music, movies, religious services—and attempting to access a similar monumentality in poetry, “accommodating vastly disparate elements in the space of a sentence.” (BOMB)

Europa Editions has announced that Elena Ferrante’s next book, The Lying Life of Adults, will be published in English in June 2020. Michael Reynolds, Ferrante’s editor at Europa, comments: “I do think readers who fell in love with Ferrante with the Neapolitan novels—I think they’re going to be pleased.” (New York Times)

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Téa Obreht shares her fascination with water and how it figures in her latest novel, Inland

Laura Maylene Walter reflects on listening to Tracy K. Smith read outdoors in the rain at Cleveland Book Week. The stage was set next to an old freighter that shifted in the waters of Lake Erie. (Kenyon Review)

“Trying to remember the origin of a book is a little like trying to articulate the origin of a dream.” Ben Lerner talks to GQ about finding an organizing principle for his latest book, The Topeka School

The Paris Review Daily has published an excerpt from a new collection of Umberto Eco essays, adapted from lectures he delivered over the last fifteen years of his life. In the excerpt, Eco considers The Count of Monte Cristo, and when “excess tips over into genius.”

Random House copy chief and managing editor Benjamin Dreyer exhorts writers to get on Twitter, “that hellsite,” and compiles a list of Twitter best practices. (Penguin Random House)