Author Breakthroughs, Henry James’s Memoirs, 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:

New York Magazine asks several writers, including George Saunders, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Sheila Heti, about the breakthroughs in their careers.

“These were two artists who believed in one another, and each trusted the other as a shepherd of their art. And that was worth fighting for through their love affairs and fights and disappointments and arguments.” Poet and musician Patti Smith comments on how the love letters between painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera influenced her art and prepared her for future relationships. (Smithsonian)

After nearly a year of searching for a replacement, the New York Times has named Jim Rutenberg as its new media columnist, following the death of previous media columnist David Carr. 

At the New Yorker, writer Adam Gopnik discusses Henry James’s late memoirsA Small Boy and Others (1913) and Notes of a Son and Brother (1914)—which he feels deserve more attention. “The evocation of an exploring mind seems more fully alive in his autobiography than in the scruples of his invented characters.”

Meanwhile, Nation Books is set to publish an illustrated edition of the Travels With Henry James essay collection, which will also feature maps and paintings. (GalleyCat)

Israeli author Dorit Rabinyan is witnessing a jump in book sales and film rights interest for her 2014 book Borderlife, after the Israeli government declined a request to add it to the high school curriculum. The novel, which won Israel’s prestigious Bernstein Prize last year, is controversial in Israel for depicting a love affair between a Jewish Israeli man and a Muslim Palestinian woman. (ABC News)

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts speaks with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about accessing the world through poetry while in prison, the poets he admires, prison reform, and his plans for the future. Betts’s latest poetry collection is Bastards of the Reagan Era, published by Four Way Books last year.