An Update From the National Book Critics Circle, Black Publishing Professionals Speak, 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.

Richard Z. Santos, the vice president of membership at the National Books Critic Circle, has issued an update from the board as the organization continues to reckon with issues of racism that led to a wave of board member resignations. In his e-mail, Santos notes that the board is aware there are “multiple groups of members gathering support to remove a current board member,” referring to Carlin Romano, who was called out for anti-Blackness and racism by former board member Hope Wabuke. “Once we have verified that the required number of active members have joined this call, the special membership meeting to vote on the removal of a board member will be scheduled and announced.” (Publishers Weekly)

At the New York Times, Black publishing professionals share reflections on how racism plays out in the industry. “I think people have this false impression that this industry is great, it’s books, and people love to read and write. But you bring all the baggage of the systemic racism right through the door with you, whether you know it or not,” says Linda Duggins, senior director of publicity at Grand Central Publishing. (New York Times)

The New York Times has announced it will start uppercasing “Black” when describing “people and cultures of African origin, both in the U.S. and elsewhere.” In a note to colleagues, Dean Baquet and Phil Corbett wrote, “We believe this style best conveys elements of shared history and identity, and reflects our goal to be respectful of all the people and communities we cover.”

Some public libraries in the United Kingdom are preparing to reopen on July 4. Jane Dudman reports on how library services are being adjusted to facilitate social distancing. (Guardian)

“The stories we tell or the songs we sing or the wealth of immaterial resources are all that we can count on.” Saidiya Hartman talks to the Creative Independent about writing as an act of creating home

“White people never wanted poetry from me; they wanted my pain.” Shayla Lawson critiques the way white audiences read poets of color seeking a particular emotional experience, while ignoring their craft and intellect. (Literary Hub)

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the winners of its 2020 Locus Awards. Among the honorees, Marlon James won the horror novel prize for Black Leopard, Red Wolf and Ted Chiang won the collection prize for Exhalation

HBO has acquired the film rights to Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half and intends to adapt the novel as a limited series. (Vulture)