Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist, the Covers of Chip Kidd, 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:

“They are witty, mysterious and elegant. He does not allow his style to dominate, but rather creates styles that fit the individual authors like suits of clothes.” Steven Heller considers the book covers of veteran book designer Chip Kidd, whose second monograph came out in September. (New York Times)

The Aspen Institute has announced the longlist for the inaugural $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize, given for fiction with a social purpose. The winner will be announced in April.

“I am living in the late season, but it has its songs, too. I have to find what they are. I wouldn’t be writing the poems if I didn’t think they were leading to a kind of consciousness that would allow one to become more fully awake, even in this period that is trying everything it can to shut one down.” Jorie Graham talks with the Guardian about her life in poetry and her latest collection, Fast.

Justin Taylor comments on Rachel Ingalls’s novel Mrs. Caliban, a “slim surrealist masterpiece” that was largely ignored by the literary establishment when it was published in 1982 but is lauded by writers such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Daniel Handler. (Los Angeles Times)

Publishers Weekly has named Carolyn Reidy, the president and CEO of Simon & Schuster for the past ten years, its person of the year.

“I have often told younger poets that writing doesn’t involve the keyboard all the time. Being a poet is not just about that. It’s about living the life of a poet.” Poet Joseph O. Legaspi talks with the Creative Independent.

Novelists Gabe Hudson and Alex Gilvarry discuss their latest books, writing about dragons and war, and using humor in fiction. (BOMB)

“This incident exposes certain serious dysfunctions within the poetry industry and the way poetry insiders try to convince outsiders about the worth of their art, when they then undermine the worth of poetry as art in certain key ways.” At Public Seminar, Sarah V. Schweig breaks down the response to critic William Logan’s accusation that poet and editor Jill Bialosky plagiarized portions of her memoir Poetry Will Save Your Life.