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:
“Our biggest technology that we ever, ever invented was articulated language with built-out grammar. It is that that allows us to imagine things far in the future and things way back in the past.” Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood talks about science and storytelling, her participation in the Future Library Project, and the limitations of climate fiction or “cli fi.” (Slate)
“When I think of your writing, I think of unadorned truths wrought in an unmistakably unique voice, a peerless acuity, sharpness. Poetry that is unafraid, text that does not hesitate to unveil. Innards of landscapes and incongruities exposed.” Poet Laynie Brown’s lyric essay remembers the poetry and mourns the loss of poet C. D. Wright, who died on January 12. (Boston Review)
In the fourth installment of the Rumpus’s GuildTalk series, in which a member of the Authors Guild interviews an exciting new literary talent, novelist Alexander Chee interviews poet Saeed Jones, who serves as BuzzFeed’s new executive editor of culture.
A new biography of Franz Kafka appears to complicate the idea that the writer was a tortured neurotic. “He loved beer and slapstick. He undertook a fitness regime by a Dutch exercise guru.” Part of a three-volume series by Reiner Stach, Is That Kafka? 99 Finds is forthcoming from New Directions on March 21. The book is translated from the German by Kurt Beals. (Nation)
Ever since the publication of Don Quixote in 1605, Miguel de Cervantes’s influence on the history of literature remains. Professor and writer William Egginton comments on Cervates’s lasting literary and intellectual impact. (Signature)
The Daily Beast looks into the fair use case—and the real motivations behind the lawsuit—between the New York Times and independent publisher Powerhouse Books, over the photography used on the cover, binding, and back cover of David Shields’s new book War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictoral Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict.
You can admit it: Your neglected writing needs a little extra love this Valentine’s Day. Read these love letters from your writing over at Electric Literature. You can even add your own letters on Twitter with the hashtag #WritingValentines.
Did you say you wanted more Valentine’s Day related items? We thought so. Poet Jay Deshpande has picked out some contemporary new poets whose poems are “guaranteed to make you seem sensitive and smart,” even though you don’t need help with that, but hey, the poems are good anyway. (Slate)