Books by Refugees in America, Writers Plan to Lobby at AWP, 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:

Next weekend, more than twelve thousand writers are expected to attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual conference in Washington, D.C. In addition to attending panels, readings, and a book fair, a number of writers groups are planning to lobby on Capitol Hill and protest the president’s new agenda. (Flavorwire)

Poet Kaveh Akbar responded to the president’s recent anti-immigration travel ban by sharing poems on social media written by poets from Iran, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria—the seven countries affected by the executive order. (PBS NewsHour)

Meanwhile, the New York Times recommends twenty-five books by refugees in America, including Reinaldo Arenas’s Before Night Falls, Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus, and Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation.

“The word diversity has as of late become so overused as to be meaningless…. The word diversity is, in its most imprecise uses, a placeholder for issues of inclusion, recruitment, retention and representation.” Roxane Gay’s keynote at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute called on booksellers to take direct action regarding the industry’s diversity problem. (Publishers Weekly)

Twenty years since the publication of her Booker Prize–winning debut novel The God of Small Things, writer and activist Arundhati Roy is returning to fiction with a novel she has been working on for nearly a decade. Knopf will release The Ministry of Utmost Happiness in June. (New York Times)

The U.K.–based Women’s Prize for Fiction is seeking a new sponsor for 2018 following the end of its four-year sponsorship by Baileys liquor. For the past twenty-two years, the prize, which was previously sponsored by Orange, has awarded £30,000 to an exceptional English-language novel by a woman each year.

Poet Ruby Brunton considers debut books published in 2016—Joni Murphy’s novel, Double Teenage, Natasha Stagg’s novel, Surveysand Tommy Pico’s poetry book, IRLthat address what it means to come of age in “modern dystopia.” (New Inquiry

Acclaimed author Amy Tan is among the investors for Radish, a new mobile serialized fiction app, which has now raised $3 million in seed funding. Tan says that the app’s format makes sense for readers and writers alike: “Readers read for free and pay a small amount only if they want to read the next installment…. The writers get paid immediately—and they still retain copyright and can later publish in another format.” (TechCrunch)