Boston Review Poetry Editors Resign Over Junot Díaz Decision, Big Read Grants Announced, 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:

Boston Review editors Deborah Chasman and Joshua Cohen have written a letter explaining their decision to retain Junot Díaz as the fiction editor of the review. Multiple women writers have recently accused Díaz of bullying and sexual misconduct.

In protest, poetry editors Timothy Donnelly, BK Fischer, and Stefania Heim announced they will step down from their roles on July 1. “What most distresses us are the letter’s apparent arbitration of what constitutes inclusion in the #MeToo movement and its lack of attentiveness to power dynamics in a star-driven media and publishing landscape.” (Twitter)

Meanwhile, critic Stephanie Burt also announced she would no longer write for the review out of loyalty to the poetry editors. (Twitter)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced it will grant more than $1 million to organizations in thirty-four states plus Puerto Rico to host Big Read projects, which encourage reading and discussion of great works of literature.

“A closer look at creative nonfiction by transnational writers across the globe, including those I’ve mentioned above, will show how the essay, true to its core, has always played with multiple manifestations of the self.” Namrata Poddar argues that recent critical discussion of the essay suffers from “acute critical myopia or a Euro-American provincialism.” (VIDA)

Bill Gates is giving away a free download of Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness to all U.S. college students graduating this spring. (Gates Notes)

Porochista Khakpour talks about healthcare in America, living with Lyme disease, and her recently released memoir, Sick. (Rumpus)

“Queer people of color, and all the marginalized identities inside the queer community—besides just the cis, white gay man—we’re starting to push back.” Poet Hieu Minh Nguyen talks about intersectionality in the queer community. (PBS NewsHour)