Books Are Magic, Books n Bros, 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:

Books Are Magic, the new bookstore run by novelist Emma Straub and her husband, opens today in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The couple decided to open the shop after BookCourt, the neighborhood’s beloved bookstore, closed at the end of last year after thirty-five years in business. (AM New York)

“Latinx culture embodies a connection to and from the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Central and South America. We live in a world that would be poorer without these complex identities.” Ruben Quesada offers a list of poetry and prose books published by Latinx authors in the past five years. (Queen’s Mob Tea House)

Eleven-year-old Sidney Keys has started a book club, Books n Bros, which focuses on African American literature. Keys started the book club, which is based in St. Louis, to encourage literacy and love of reading among boys from ages eight to twelve—the age group when boys, especially African American boys, reportedly stop reading. (CNN)

U.K. readers are returning to the print book: Last year consumer e-book sales fell 17 percent while print sales rose almost 9 percent. Stephen Lotinga, the chief executive of the Publishers Association, attributes the shift to consumers’ growing screen fatigue. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, more readers in China are turning to the e-book than before—a recent survey found that in the past year the number of people who prefer to read on their phone rose from roughly 25 percent to 33 percent. (Forbes)

“The poet does not have a greater right than the carpenter to speak about reality, or about society. But language is political.” Israeli writer Almog Behar talks about the intersection of poetry and politics and his work to create a community of Hebrew and Arabic writers. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

The Atlantic wraps up its daily poetry picks for National Poetry Month, which concluded yesterday. Readers and contributors wrote in about their favorite poem, including poems by Warsan Shire, Naomi Shihab Nye, W. H. Auden, and Layli Long Soldier.

“The historical shift in literature from just-the-facts narration to the tracing of mental peregrinations may have had an unintended side effect: helping to train precisely the skills that people needed to function in societies that were becoming more socially complex and ambiguous.” Julie Sedivy explores why ancient fiction “doesn’t talk about feelings.” (Nautilus)