Against Neutral Translation, Claudia Rankine on Adrienne Rich, 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:

Award-winning poet Claudia Rankine writes at the New Yorker on the transformative and enduring poetry of Adrienne Rich. “With Rich came the formulation of an alternate poetic tradition that distrusted and questioned paternalistic, heteronormative, and hierarchical notions of what it meant to have a voice, especially for female writers.”

At the Chicago Review of Books, fiction writer Darryl Pinckney and nonfiction writer Margo Jefferson discuss the black bourgeoisie, and their respective works Black Deutschland and Negroland.

Over at the Ploughshares blog, Annie Weatherwax shares what writers can learn about conflict and tension from how visual artists use contrast.

“The poetry of witness has long compensated for censored or corrupted news media when truth must be spoken to power.” Shami Chakrabarti, former director of liberty in the U.K., explains how poetry is a powerful medium to speak out against oppression. (Guardian)

HarperCollins is beginning a new bookstore development initiative for U.S. independent booksellers who are opening new stores or expanding to more locations. Beginning July 1, HarperCollins will provide market development and fixture funds as well as grants towards ABA membership dues to qualifying stores. The program will run through the end of this year. (Publishers Weekly)

A survey commissioned by the Man Booker International Prize found that in the U.K., translated literary fiction—including works by Elena Ferrante and Haruki Murakami—sells better on average than literary fiction originally written in English. (Guardian)

Writer and translator Diana Clarke discusses resisting neutrality when she translates Yiddish poetry into English. “For me, translation, and specifically translation from Yiddish to English, is a way to make knowable and shared what otherwise would remain separate. By translation I don’t mean erasure, but specificity.” (World Literature Today)