Barbara Kingsolver’s Love Affair With Poetry, Forty Titles for Fall, 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.

At the Washington Post, novelist and screenwriter Barbara Kingsolver shares how poetry is the writing keeping her up at night. “I get carried away in such guilty pleasure that if my husband walks in unexpectedly, I’m prone to click off my screen as if hiding an online affair, or a gaming addiction.”

Entertainment Weekly previews the forty most exciting new titles publishing this fall, including Margaret Atwood’s novel The Testaments, Jacqueline Woodson’s novel Red at the Bone, and poet Saeed Jones’s memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives.

“I really think ordering stories in a collection is very limbic, very loose, really something like putting together a mix tape or even ordering dishes you serve during a meal.” Chaya Bhuvaneswar talks to the Kenyon Review about her debut short story collection, White Dancing Elephants.

At Bookforum, essayist Jia Tolentino describes the “wild overconfidence” and passion for work that helped her overcome the uncertainty of life as a writer. “To me, that was the only thing you could count on: finding pleasure in writing.”

“Writing stories are very much like trust falls. You close your eyes, you fall back, and you hope that the story will catch you.” Short story writer Etgar Keret on the vulnerability of fiction; the car crash that influenced his new collection, Fly Already; and winning the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award. (New York Times)

In Uganda, a new generation of writers are tackling themes of feminism, war, and politics, despite sometimes facing censure from the country’s authoritarian government. (Economist)

“There’s always a little jolt when a character does something, well, out of character, or what I’ve come to think of as her character.” Kate Walbert talks to the New Yorker about “To Do,” her short story published in this week’s issue of the magazine.

And Milkweed Editions has named poet Julian Randall its inaugural publishing fellow. Through the paid, full-time fellowship, the Minneapolis-based press seeks to provide a one- to two-year learning experience for those historically underrepresented as workers in book publishing.