AKO Caine Prize Shortlist, Marilynne Robinson Seeks a New 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.

The shortlist for the 2020 AKO Caine Prize was announced on Tuesday. The £10,000 award honors “a short story by an African writer published in English.” This year’s finalists, who hail from Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania, are Erica Sugo Anyadike, Chikodili Emelumadu, Jowhor Ile, Rémy Ngamije, and Irenosen Okojie. 

“What have we done with America? Over the decades we have consented, passively for the most part, to a kind of change that has made this country a disappointment to itself.” Marilynne Robinson calls attention to the injustice and hardship that existed in America long before the coronavirus, and imagines how the country might move forward. (New York Review of Books)

Michael Barron writes about the plight of small publishers under coronavirus. He highlights the importance of solidarity among small presses and calls on larger organizations to assist more vulnerable groups. (Epiphany)

In Ireland, various organizations, health officials, and residents are turning to poetry to help their communities weather the coronavirus lockdown. (Guardian)

Charles W. Dorsey died on May 16 at age eighty-three. Dorsey held numerous positions across the book industry over the years, serving as a publishing executive, bookstore owner, literary critic, and teacher. (Publishers Weekly)

Yu Lihua, a celebrated Chinese-born American fiction writer, has died at age ninety due to complications from COVID-19. (New York Times)

San Francisco-based literary journal ZYZZYVA is celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary this spring. SF Weekly reports on the publication’s history and talks to the editors about the latest issue.  

BuzzFeed News recommends twenty-nine new and forthcoming books to occupy the summer months. 

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to BOMB for its ongoing Instagram Live series featuring brief readings and conversations with its contributors. Jenny Zhang will feature later today at 5:00 PM EDT.