A Roundtable on the Black Lives Matter Movement, Book Groups Lobby for Regulation of Amazon, 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.

Writers and scholars Elizabeth Hinton, Robin D. G. Kelley, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Brandon M. Terry, and Cornel West participated in a virtual roundtable on the Black Lives Matter movement and raised just under $10,000 for Critical Resistance, National Bail Out, and the Owl Movement Inc. A transcript and video recording of the event is now available at Boston Review. 

The American Booksellers Association, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers have filed a joint letter to the House of Representatives Antitrust Subcommittee that calls on the federal government to regulate Amazon’s engagement in the books industry. “Amazon holds an outsized position of power and control in our country, giving it the ability to interfere with the free flow of information, ideas and literature on a large scale.” (Shelf Awareness)

The New York Public Library is accepting submissions for its Pandemic Diaries Project, a new initiative to collect and archive audio recordings of “personal stories about life during the era of COVID-19.” 

Writers and readers will celebrate the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth with a virtual read-a-thon of Fahrenheit 451 on August 22. Neil Gaiman, Susan Orlean, and Marlon James are among the thirty-nine confirmed readers. (Publishers Weekly)

“I was always quite a philosophical child, asking odd questions and in a hurry to grow up.” Mieko Kawakami, the author of Breast and Eggs, reflects on life, death, and fighting for a feminist future. (Guardian)

“Love is devastating. Is that the same love that’s ecstatic? Or joyful? Or sensual? Or the kind of love that is also grief?” Sarah Gerard talks to the Believer about contemporary life, unlikable narrators, and the nature of love

“At first, I was too overwhelmed to do any real writing there, but then I decided to be inspired by Baldwin’s presence.” David Heska Wanbli Weiden recalls working on his debut novel, Winter Counts, in the cabin that James Baldwin used at MacDowell. (Entertainment Weekly)

“If the setting of these novels is minimalist and ahistorical, and their action the stuff of melodrama and pulp, their texture is philosophical conversation.” Christian Lorentzen reviews J. M. Coetzee’s Jesus trilogy. (Harper’s)