Booker Prize Rescheduled Due to Obama Memoir, Writers Voice Support for Trans and Nonbinary People, and More

by Staff

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.

The Booker Foundation has postponed the presentation of the 2020 Booker Prize from November 17 to November 19 in order to avoid competing with the publication day of Barack Obama’s latest memoir, A Promised Land. The National Book Awards will also take place in the same week, on November 18. (New York Times)

More than two hundred writers from the U.K. and Irish literary community have signed an open letter “in support of trans and nonbinary people and their rights.” The letter was published only a few days after another open letter in which fifty-eight writers defended J. K. Rowling’s character, after the acclaimed author was sharply criticized for anti-trans rhetoric in her latest novel, Troubled Blood. (Guardian)

“I didn’t even think of myself as creative before starting on this project. I just wanted to detail what had happened, myself not fitting into the mold of a traditional cancer patient.” Kimiko Tobimatsu on complicating traditional narratives of cancer in her graphic memoir, Kimiko Does Cancer. (Publishers Weekly)

“We have to feel the pain. You know, we cannot turn away and live in a fantasy.” Former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera reads aloud from his latest collection, Every Day We Get More Illegal, and reflects on the lives of migrants in America. (NPR)

Herrera recently answered Ten Questions from Poets & Writers Magazine

“Critics who have wanted to pin her down to one identity, one genre, or one set of beliefs about race or gender, have struggled to do so.” Joanna Scutts explores the life and legacy of poet and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson. (Paris Review Daily)

“We’re not going to ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ our way out of this one.” Roberto Lovato discusses his latest book, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas, and the precarious future of the United States. (Los Angeles Times)

“There are gaps, missing footage, moments where we seem to fast forward or where there’s some footage spliced out.” Dan Chiasson talks to the Chicago Review of Books about seeking an “unfinished” quality for his latest book, The Math Campers.  

“Every six months or so I would remove twenty percent of the poems and write new ones.” Sarah M. Sala reflects on the decade of writing behind her debut poetry collection, Devil’s Lake. (Lambda Literary Review)


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Daniel Hernandez wrote Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas; Roberto Lovato is the author of the book. Hernandez wrote the Los Angeles Times profile of Lovato featured in this roundup.