Audible Captions, N. Scott Momaday Wins Peace Award, 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.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation has awarded poet, novelist, and essayist N. Scott Momaday the 2019 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. The $10,000 award recognizes a lifetime achievement in celebrating literature’s power to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. “[Literature and peace] form an equation that is the definition of art and humanity,” said Momaday upon winning the award.

Authors and publishers aren’t happy about Audible’s announcement of a new feature for its audio books—machine-generated text captions—claiming the captions are “unauthorized and brazen infringements on [their] rights.” (Verge)

At the Guardian, Colson Whitehead talks about gallows humor, New York in the eighties, and becoming a household name to everyone except his teenage daughter. “I told her Railroad was a No 1 bestseller. She was like: ‘Er.’ I said: Oprah picked it. ‘Er’. Then: I’m gonna do a BuzzFeed interview tomorrow. ‘BuzzFeed?!’ That sort of made it real for her.”

“Worth seeing? Mneh!” The Paris Review reminds us of the “eloquent shrug” that was W. H. Auden’s response to the 1969 moon landing. The Boston Globe, meanwhile, highlights another pint-sized piece of moon-landing literature: The Autobiography of Robert Hutchings Goddard, Father of the Space Agethe tiny book that Buzz Aldrin took with him on Apollo 11.

NPR considers the “brave (or perhaps deluded) publishers who’ve declared war on digital monotony” with a flood of comics that are only available offline.

“There is a hell of a lot more I have to do. And sitting here tonight in this lovely green park in Berlin… I feel I still have enough moxie to do it all.” On Audre Lorde’s affectionate and critical relationship with the German city, and her ongoing influence there. (New York Times

George Hodgman, author of the memoir Bettyville and a former editor at Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Vanity Fair, died on Saturday. He was sixty years old. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Publishers Weekly charts the expansion of Chronicle Books under the leadership of Tyrrell Mahoney. The San Francisco–based publisher has opened a unit in Los Angeles, started an audio division, and launched a new imprint, Prism.