ALTA Award Winners, Ron Charles on Lazy Liberal Satire, 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 American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) has announced the winners of the 2018 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. The award is the oldest prize given for a work of literature translated into English.

“When people are dying, the jokes must kill.” At the Washington Post, Ron Charles reviews a recent spate of children’s-book parodies about Donald Trump, including Whose Boat Is This Boat? and Goodnight Trump, and argues that liberal satire in the book industry is getting dangerously lazy.

Hear more from Ron Charles in Reviewers & Critics, our continuing series of interviews with book critics by Michael Taeckens.

“As artists, we have the right to make work that responds to charged social issues.” Two publishers who were returning home to Nashville after exhibiting at an art book fair in New York say they were harassed by the TSA at LaGuardia Airport over copies of one of their books. David King and Jaime Raybin of Extended Play Press report that the book in question was Skull Microwave, a collection of political art by Marlos E’vans that depicts renderings of gun violence, police brutality, and anti-war ideology. (Hyperallergic)

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections—which in September announced it would put an end to book donation programs, mail-order books, and publications sending books to inmates—has revised its policy, allowing book deliveries to prisons to resume. The original decision was part of a reported crackdown on drug smuggling, but received widespread criticism. (Inquirer)

“Poetry asks, it demands of us in many ways, that we slow down. That we engage with language that isn’t soundbites and uncivil, language that allows us to see ourselves in the intimate experience of others.” At NPR, former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey talks about her new book of poems, Monument, and the ways in which poetry speaks “across the lines that would divide us.”

Listen to Trethewey read two poems from Monument, out tomorrow from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in the latest episode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

“I blame it for my wanderlust, and thank it for drawing me out of a cloistered childhood into the unknown.” At the Guardian, Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan discusses the books that inspired her to travel,that she wishes she had written, and that have had the greatest influence on her work.