Amanda Gorman Prepares Inauguration Poem, New Chancellors at the Academy of American Poets, 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.

Former national youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman is set to read a new poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden. “In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years,” Gorman told the New York Times. “But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal.”

Natalie Diaz, Nikky Finney, and Tracy K. Smith have been elected to the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors. For the first time in history, poets of color and women represent the majority of the fifteen-member board.

Less than two weeks after losing his contract with Simon & Schuster, Missouri senator Josh Hawley has placed his book, The Tyranny of Big Tech, with Regnery Publishing. Simon & Schuster dropped the book shortly after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, citing Hawley’s role in inciting the crowd. (Publishers Weekly)

Tongo Eisen-Martin has been appointed poet laureate of San Francisco. Mayor London Breed stated: “His work on racial justice and equity, along with his commitment to promoting social and cultural change, comes at such a critical time for our city and our country.” (SFGate)

“The realization of Abrams’s ten-year plan to turn staunchly-red Georgia a shade of Democratic blue is as much a feat of imagination as it is of leadership.” Poet and essayist Shayla Lawson celebrates Stacey Abrams’s commitment to both politics and fiction writing. (Bustle)

“It’s a full-time job to take care of yourself when you’re on the street.” Katherine Seligman recalls the conversations with unhoused youth that informed her debut novel, The Edge of the Haight. (NPR)

“Craft tells us how to see the world.” Literary Hub shares an excerpt from Matthew Salesses’s latest book, Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping.

Esquire recommends twenty new and forthcoming books, including No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel.