At Work With Lisa Lucas, Inspiration in Tallahassee, and More


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.

Carolyn Kellogg checks in with Lisa Lucas and learns more about her work as executive director of the National Book Foundation. In addition to hosting the annual National Book Awards, the foundation runs various public programs across the country throughout the year. (Shondaland) 

Alexandra Kleeman visits Jeff VanderMeer in Tallahassee, Florida, learning more about the landscape that inspires his science fiction and that he strives to protect. “There are so many things we do, and we just don’t even realize how we’re harming things, you know?” (New York Times Magazine)

Jeff VanderMeer recently answered Ten Questions from Poets & Writers Magazine

“People often say poems raise more questions than they answer. I’d take that one step further and say for me the poem is about the process of questioning itself, of wondering, which is right next to wonder.” At the Rumpus, Martin Jude Farawell talks about “the effort to not look away” from difficult questions, feelings, and memories. 

Entropy picks the best nonfiction published in 2019. The fifty-title list features many memoirs, including The Undying by Anne Boyer, How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones, and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. 

Boyer and Jones both featured in Ten Questions from Poets & Writers Magazine earlier this fall. 

At Literary Hub, Gillian Gill considers Virginia Woolf’s complex relationship with her mother, Julia Stephen. 

In a conversation at BOMB, Caroline Bergvall talks remixing Chaucer and Middle English in her latest book, Alisoun Sings

Electric Literature shares its fifteen favorite novels of 2019. Highlights include two works of translated fiction: The Memory Police and Death Is Hard Work.

Kate Zambreno reflects on her year in reading, including novels, short stories, and many essays. (Millions)