Alice Walker on Reading and Writing, Tommy Orange Wins First Novel Prize, 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.

“I have always wanted my heart to be directly in touch with the reader’s. I have wanted to say, on a day when things look dark, here is a reason this moment is not without beauty, nor is it final. As someone who has suffered from depression, I know how important this kind of signal from another human can be.” Alice Walker, author most recently of the poetry collection Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart, in the New York Times’ By the Book.

Tommy Orange has won the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize for his novel, There There. The annual award, worth $10,000, is given for a debut novel published in the previous year.

Read an excerpt from There There, and hear Orange read from his novel, in First Fiction 2018. (Poets & Writers)

“I want people to have a deep and personal reckoning. One by one.” Hanif Abdurraqib profiles Natasha Trethewey, who discusses writing, racism, and grief. (BuzzFeed News)

Hear Trethewey read from her latest collection, Monument, in Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

Nation Books is changing its name to Bold Type Books. The imprint, a joint project of the Nation Institute and Hachette Book Group, has been publishing nonfiction books with political and social-justice focus for eighteen years.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced $14.8 million in grants to support 253 humanities projects in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. An additional $47.5 million was awarded to fund 55 state humanities council partners.

“Poetry is a conversation, an extended one, occupying, perhaps, the span of an entire life.” The Atlantic reviews poet Craig Morgan Teicher’s recent book of essays, We Begin in Gladness: How Poets Progress.

At Literary Hub, Emily Temple asks book designers for their take on the seventy-five best book covers of 2018.