Becoming Susan Choi, Literary Philadelphia, 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.

Justine Jordan profiles Susan Choi for the Guardian. Choi discusses the inspiration behind the various components of Trust Exercise: the characters, the political questions, the structural disruptions. “Being startled by these books that interrogate their own form can be incredibly instructive. It does lay bare, almost like an X-ray, all of these mechanisms. That you have entrusted your belief to a particular point of view—and why did you do that?”

Claire Sasko checks in with several Philadelphia-based women writers—including Carmen Maria Machado, Liz Moore, and Kiley Reid—who are reinvigorating the city’s literary scene. (Philadelphia Magazine)

“In person, Brown is an explosion of life, magnetic, boisterous, a one-man carnival ride. Simply put, there is no scenario where one would be unaware that Jericho Brown is in the room.” Allison Glock profiles poet Jericho Brown, celebrating both his spirit and formal ingenuity. (Garden & Gun)

The Creative Independent has published Stephen Dixon’s final interview before his death. In conversation with Joseph Grantham, Dixon reflects on sixty years of writing, sticking with typewriters the whole way through, and always revisiting and revising his old stories. Dixon died in November last year at age eighty-three. 

Roxana Robinson visits the New York Public Library to pore over newly acquired Virginia Woolf letters, manuscripts, and postcards. (New Yorker)

In an interview at BOMB, Paul Yoon describes how running allows him to look closely at his surroundings and notice the “multitude of lives happening all at once.” 

The American Booksellers Association welcomed 111 new member bookstores in 2019. (Publishers Weekly)

Literary Hub highlights ten of its favorite January book covers.