Beach Reads, a Book Critic’s Take on the Mueller Report, 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.

In anticipation of warmer weather, the staff at Publishers Weekly recommend their top beach reads for the season, including Téa Obreht’s novel Inland; Xuan Juliana Wang’s debut story collection, Home Remedies; and Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore’s graphic novel, BTTM FDRS.

“If you were to put a droplet of its syntax under a microscope, you’d find a swirling necktie pattern of small white starched shirts and three-ring binders and paper cups of stale black coffee. Reading between the lines, you might spy tiny handcuffs as well.” Dwight Garner reviews the Mueller report, a “thorny, patriotic addition” to the American bookshelf. (New York Times)

At O magazine, seventeen poets share the poetry collections they’re currently reading. Fatimah Asghar recommends Soft Science by Franny Choi, Sally Wen Mao suggests Autobiography of Death by Kim Hyesoon (translated by Don Mee Choi), and Kim Dower offers up Good Bones by Maggie Smith.

Over at the Rumpus, Maggie Smith interviews her mentor Kathy Fagan, who shares her own version of a professional plan. “I’m not young, nor was I ever beautiful or a genius. The long game, for me, is to remain alive long enough to write my best poems, by which I mean staying open to poems conscious to the art and the life.”

After leading the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance for nine years, Joshua Bodwell is leaving his executive director post to join Boston publishing house David R. Godine as editorial director. (Portland Press Herald)

“There are facts, and the more of them you collect, the closer you come to whatever the truth is.” Biographer Robert Caro speaks to the Guardian about power and truth.

At the Paris Review, Michael Croley explains how he came to terms with writing about growing up half Korean in Appalachia. “To make sense of the world, I now turn inward, toward my heritage, toward the half of me I’ve finally embraced and yet still must learn to understand.”

For the diaspora descendants of survivors of the Armenian genocide, new English-language translations of their ancestors’ memoirs offer a link to family histories. (Los Angeles Times)