Academy of American Poets Announces Poetry Fund Grant Recipients, Writers Support “A Letter Against Apartheid,” and More

by Staff
6.8.21

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.

Twenty poetry organizations and presses have been offered grants from the Academy of American Poets’ Poetry Fund, which is administered with funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership. “We’re extremely grateful to work with the Amazon Literary Partnership to support poetry organizations and publishers whose work will be critical to our processing all we've been through in the pandemic and also in envisioning new ways forward,” says Jennifer Benka, the president and executive director of the Academy.

Many distinguished literary figures, including Ta-Nehisi Coates, Maaza Mengiste, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, have signed “A Letter Against Apartheid,” a statement organized by Palestinian artists that calls for “an immediate and unconditional cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinians,” among other demands. (Publishers Weekly)

M. Richard Robinson Jr., the chairman and CEO of Scholastic, died unexpectedly on June 5 at age eighty-four. In the press release, the board of directors stated, “Dick was a true visionary in the world of children’s books and an unrelenting advocate for children’s literacy and education with a remarkable passion his entire life.”

A memorial service for Pantheon editor Dan Frank has been scheduled for 4 PM on Tuesday, June 22, at All Souls Church in Manhattan, New York City. Frank died last month at age sixty-seven. (Shelf Awareness)

“Poetry allows us a lot of ways to say difficult things.” Michael Kleber-Diggs, the author of Worldly Things, talks to the Star Tribune about the importance of processing painful memories and experiences.

“I think of comics as a blend of poetry and drawing. There’s that element of reduction in both, of cutting away to the essential of the subject while also leaving space for ambiguity, pacing, tone, and emotion.” Andrew Lorenzi notes that his comics often share the “goals and aesthetics of poetry.” (Don’t Write Alone)

“I am a person who can, in fact, write 419 pages out of spite. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing! I think getting mad and writing against something is a perfectly reasonable way to make art.” A. E. Osworth discusses using fiction to think through violence and misogyny in online spaces. (Guernica)

Inspired by the popularity of the HBO crime drama Mare of Easttown, Sophie Stein recommends eight books that feature female detectives. (Electric Literature)