African Writers to Watch, Chinese Poet Finds Refuge in Germany, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

The Guardian calls the all-male shortlist for this year's international Forward Poetry Prize, celebrating its twentieth year, "sadly true to form."

Following the announcement of the Caine Prize for African Writing earlier this week, Flavorwire rounds up ten African writers to watch.

Bahraini poet Ayat al-Gormezi, incarcerated earlier this year for reading a poem critical of her country's Sunni leaders at a pro-democracy protest, has been released by authoriites but remains on house arrest. (Reuters)

Facing uncertain consequences of his two new books' impending publication in the west—God Is Red and The Witness of the 4th of June—Chinese poet and memoirist Liao Yiwu successfully fled his homeland last week and declared himself an exile in Germany. “I’m ecstatic," he told the New York Times from Berlin. “I feel like I’m walking through a dream.”

Billing its platform as a "participation trophy for the literary set," My Unfinished Novels showcases the abandonment stories of failed novels—and it's open to submissions. (via Book Bench)

The Faster Times reviews Mario Vargas Llosa's Nobel lecture, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux this spring as In Praise of Reading and Fiction, in which the politically-minded author defends literature as a means "to alleviate our mortal condition, to defeat the corrosion of time, and to transform the impossible into possibility.”

Through the end of the month, Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is hosting Poemstore, an installation featuring Oakland writer Zach Houston, who writes poems to order. (Kansas City Star)

Racing to keep up in the e-reader race, Sony announces plans to release a line of upgraded devices as early as August. (Bloomberg Businessweek)