Anna Burns Wins International Dublin Literary Award, Indigo Makes Diversity Pledge, 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.

Milkman by Anna Burns is the winner of this year’s International Dublin Literary Award. Selected via nominations from public libraries around the world, the award comes with a purse of €100,000, making it the world’s most valuable prize for a book of fiction written in English. (Irish Times)

Indigo, Canada’s largest bookstore chain, has pledged to devote at least 15 percent of its shelf space to BIPOC authors and source at least 15 percent of its non-book products from Black-owned businesses. The actions are part of the 15 Percent Pledge, a movement started by designer Aurora James that encourages retailers across North America to better represent and support Black communities, which make up approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population. (Toronto Star)

Publishing veteran Molly Stern has founded a new independent press: Zando. Stern previously served as the senior vice president and publisher of Crown and is also known as the editor of Michelle Obama’s Becoming. (Publishers Weekly)

“When someone manages to rise up through our hobbled alleged meritocracy and is crowned the first to hold a position, I know that does not mean that they were the only one who possibly could.” Kaitlyn Greenidge writes against the cultural obsession with firsts and examines the costs of this mentality. (Harper’s Bazaar)

David Barnett talks to two editors who are helping readers rediscover ghost stories by nineteenth- and twentieth-century women writers. “Thanks to the often painstaking detective work of a handful of dedicated anthologists, the balance is being restored in spooky tales.” (Guardian)

“Is there only an appetite for imported viewpoints of Hong Kong, even in our own people? When can we start telling our own stories to the world?” Evelyn Fok on searching for Hong Kong literature by local writers. (Electric Literature)

“We need poetry because it brings the light of love.” Nikki Giovanni celebrates the poetry of Black American life. (Literary Hub)

“I started to think in broad terms of a before and after story, with his death at the center.” Justin Taylor discusses how his father defined his memoir, Riding With the Ghost. (Believer)