Authors Signal Support for Sally Rooney, Looking Back at Representations of Racism by Black Comic Artists, and More

by Staff
11.23.21

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.

An open letter that expresses support for Sally Rooney and her decision to stand with the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement counts authors Geoff Dyer, Rachel Kushner, and Eileen Myles among its seventy signatories. The artists stand with Rooney and reaffirm their own commitment to “the nonviolent Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.” Earlier this fall, Rooney announced that she would forego a translation deal for her latest novel with her previous Israeli publisher, which prompted two Israeli bookstore chains to pull her books from their shelves. (Literary Hub)

“The comics are constantly gesturing to, rebelling against, and ultimately being shaped by the conditions of white supremacy and domination.” Zito Madu analyzes the renderings of race and racism in It’s Life as I See It, a new anthology from New York Review Comics that features work by Black comic artists publishing in Chicago in decades past. (Nation)

Poet Robert Bly died on Sunday at age ninety-four. Bly was known for his outspoken activism against the Vietnam War and as the author of the 1990 book Iron John: A Book About Men, which became popular in the men’s movement of the era. Friend and fellow poet James Lenfestey once described Bly as having “changed the way poetry is read and heard in America.” (NPR)

“I needed to choose between fact and truth, so details were removed, factual details that weighed the poem down and failed to move it forward.” Niki Herd unpacks the writing process behind her poem “Bird.” (Don’t Write Alone)

“I’m just doing everything I can to not be bored. If I can feel that I’m dreading writing a section, I’ll sometimes ask myself if it’s something that’s really necessary to the story.” Beth Morgan discusses conjuring the world and characters of her debut novel, A Touch of Jen. (Creative Independent)

“I started to notice my hands weren’t working so well anymore. My fingers would freeze and stick like keys on a manual typewriter. Bright bursts of pain ignited in my wrists and shot up my arms.” Ann Patchett writes about searching for solutions to new writerly pains. (Literary Hub)

“We live in a communal experiment called the world.” Cody-Rose Clevidence considers the shape and promise of poetry in the contemporary age. (Harriet)

Vulture has published a gift guide of nearly fifty books, including A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib, The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel, and Intimacies by Katie Kitamura.