Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture Released, Librarian Saves Lives, 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:

“If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means.” Months after winning the 2017 Nobel Prize in literature, Bob Dylan has released his Nobel Lecture. In his speech, which takes the form of a spoken recording with piano accompaniment, Dylan discusses his musical and literary influences, including Buddy Holly and Homer, and considers the relationship between literature and songwriting. Dylan accepted the award two weeks after it was announced last fall and declined to attend the award ceremony in December. (New York Times)

Neil Gordon died last month at the age of fifty-eight. Gordon wrote four novels, including The Company You Keep, and worked as the literary editor of the Boston Review. (New York Times)

“I don’t feel like I get to the heart of what I’m trying to get to all the time, but I keep trying to.” Poet Anis Mojgani talks with Kaveh Akbar about his writing process, working in different mediums, and how to avoid writing the same poem again. (Divedapper)

Alt-right commentator and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos has self-published his memoir, Dangerous, which is now available for pre-order and will be released on July 4. Yiannopoulos decided to self-publish his book after Simon & Schuster canceled their publishing contract with him in February following the release of a video in which Yiannopoulos appears to condone pedophilia. (Publishers Weekly)

The Chronicle of Higher Education asks publishers, editors, and scholars to weigh in on the biggest challenge the university-press publishing world faces.

The book club and online community Well-Read Black Girl will host its first conference and festival in Brooklyn in September to build community and celebrate black women authors. (Huffington Post)

Chera Kowalski, a librarian at a public library in Philadelphia, has been doing more than lending books: In the past two months, Kowalski has saved six people from overdosing on heroin outside the library by administering the overdose-reversing drug Narcan. (Washington Post)

“To think of modern life as a failure, and to question the idea of progress, requires an extremism of vision or a terrifying kind of independence.” At the Baffler, Siddhartha Deb considers why U.S. fiction writers resist writing about climate change in their work.