A Year With Ocean Vuong, Resignations at the Romance Writers of America, 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.

Grief is a world of its own,” says Ocean Vuong. “It’s a country, really, and I’m a new immigrant inside it, and like any other country you have to learn the laws, the rules, the physics, and it’s a learning curve.” Vuong talks with the Los Angeles Times about the loss of his mother, the security granted by the MacArthur “Genius” fellowship, and the ambitions of his art. 

Damon Suede and Carol Ritter have stepped down as president and executive director of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) after facing sharp criticism for their actions against romance author Courtney Milan late last year. The romance community criticized RWA leadership for their lack of transparency in the handling of the case, and ongoing failure to seriously engage with issues of diversity and inclusion. (New York Times)

“Keep the audience out of the room as long as possible. The most important thing a first draft does is exist, and it’s very hard to tell the truth when you’ve got one eye on the door.” Cameron Dezen Hammon reflects on writing her memoir, This Is My Body, and bringing the very personal evolution of her relationship to faith and religion to the page. (Rumpus)

Jia Tolentino reflects on the life and writings of Elizabeth Wurtzel, who died on Tuesday at age fifty-two. She highlights the work that came long after the memoir that Wurtzel is most often remembered for, Prozac Nation. “Her work—previously a gale-force project of unbridled self-mythologizing—started to look backward and inward in a different way.” (New Yorker)

Samuel R. Delany talks to the Los Angeles Review of Books about his active Facebook presence and sharing his life without insecurity or embarrassment

Madeline Wells checks in with two California-born book clubs that have stood the test of time: Silent Book Club and Queer Science Fiction & Fantasy. (SF Gate)

“Intergenerational trauma is not only real, its insidious.” Fatimah Asghar on how writing takes her closer to liberation. (Electric Literature)

Liz Moore shares advice for how to fit reading into your life as a working parent. (Literary Hub)