AWP Fires Executive Director, Writers on Social Media, 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.

Less than six months after being appointed executive director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Chloe Schwenke has been fired. In a letter from her attorney to the AWP board, Schwenke alleges that her firing was due to discrimination against her as a transgender woman. On Sunday the AWP board issued a statement that “categorically denies” Schwenke was dismissed due to her being a transgender woman, and instead cites “multiple financial and workplace issues and specifically decisions Dr. Schwenke made” as executive director. Schwenke denies any mismanagement of finances. Cynthia Sherman and Diane Zinna, the organization’s director of conferences and deputy executive director, respectively, will serve as interim managing codirectors. (Publishers Weekly)

“The book came very, very close to not being published, and it was through my belief in the project and a last-minute submission to the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize that The Collected Schizophrenias came to be.” At the Rumpus, Esmé Weijun Wang talks about perseverance, luck, and having more questions than answers.

The National Book Foundation will announce the longlists for the 2019 National Book Awards during the coming week. This morning the foundation released the longlist for the award in young people’s literature, which includes illustrated works, books-in-verse, and novels. Six of the ten selected authors have been recognized by the foundation in previous years. (New Yorker)

The Guardian surveys writers on their social media practices. “How do writers manage—or deploy—the distractions?”

Meanwhile, Vice wades into the world of Instagram poetry. Andrew Lloyd documents his attempts to amass followers with intentional fluff, “that kind of stuff that sounds complex but actually means absolutely nothing.”

“My theory about living in small places in cities is that your apartment extends beyond your apartment.” Writer Rivka Galchen describes the pleasures of reading on the New York City subway, with special praise for the F train. (Los Angeles Times)

Despite praise and attention from the likes of Margaret Atwood and Edmund Wilson, French Canadian writer Marie-Claire Blais remains unknown to most American and English-speaking Canadian readers. The New Yorker offers a belated introduction to her talents, with special attention to her cycle of ten short novels set in her longtime state of residence, Florida. “She is, as Wilson was right to proclaim, and as the rest of her career has demonstrated, one of the most distinctive and original living writers of fiction.”

Poet Arthur Rimbaud was once an unpopular figure in his hometown, Charleville-Mézières—a place he too openly despised. His legacy has since been wholeheartedly embraced: His grave has become a popular destination for tourists and admirers, letters arrive at the cemetery every week, and his poems appear on murals around town. (New York Times)

HBO Max has announced it will adapt Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah into a ten-episode limited series. Lupita Nyong’o will star as the novel’s protagonist, Ifemelu, and Danai Gurira will lead the production as both writer and showrunner. (NBC News)