Awkwafina Will Host the PEN America Literary Gala, Poetry as a Mode of Resistance, and More

by Staff

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 actor and writer Awkwafina has been revealed as the host of this year’s PEN America Literary Gala, which will take place in person in New York City on October 5. “She’s a leader in the industry,” said CEO Suzanne Nossel. “We’re excited to bring her to our stage this fall to celebrate the freedom to speak and the freedom to write.”

“Poetry can wake us up to the truth that we need each other, that we are of each other, that we have a responsibility to ourselves, each other, to all beings.” Tamiko Beyer writes about how poetry can serve as a mode of resistance against capitalism and white supremacy. (Harriet)

Literary scout and agent Lynn C. Franklin died due to metastatic breast cancer on July 19 at age seventy-four. In addition to championing her writers, she wrote a memoir of her own, May the Circle Be Unbroken. (New York Times)

“I do think that the two pillars of fiction and nonfiction need to support each other. There is this incredible work being done by conservationists, by scientists, but they can’t do it alone.” Charlotte McConaghy, the author of Once There Were Wolves, explains how fiction can help inspire climate action. (Electric Literature)

“As I say in the book, I wasn’t ‘bearing witness’ or ‘giving voice to the voiceless’—the people in this book are eloquent and political voices of their lives and realities.” Suchitra Vijayan discusses centering the voices of her subjects in her new book, Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India. (Rumpus)

“Sometimes I think I have FOMO, but for books. It’s particularly acute in the summer. When I go on vacation, I always take too many books with me.” Hannah Gersen yearns for more time to read. (Millions)

Fatima Shaik has won this year’s Louisiana Writer Award, which honors a writer who has made “outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s literary and intellectual life.” (Publishers Weekly)

Katie Kitamura features in the latest installment of the Shelf Life column at Elle. She recommends Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions and other titles.