Calls to Reinstate Wayne State University Press Managers, American Dirt Controversy Continues, 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.

In an open letter, sixty writers have called for Wayne State University Press to reinstate recently fired senior staff Annie Martin, Kristin Harpster, and Emily Nowak. The letter cites specific frustration that the terminations, announced last week, had come “without notice” and “without cause.” (Detroit News)

Critics of Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt are speaking out about the death threats they’ve received for critiquing the novel, and calling attention to the particular vitrol marginalized writers face for, as Roxane Gay says, “challenging authority and the status quo.” Their response comes after the Latinx group #DignidadLiteraria revealed that Flatiron Books, the publisher of American Dirt, admitted that, although it canceled the remainder of the book tour due to “threats of violence,” Cummins herself received none. (Guardian)

The literary and fiction editor of Esquire for nearly a decade, Adrienne Miller recalls the way men have spoken to her over the years, the professional and personal boundaries they disregarded, and the silence they enforced. “My career had been built around protecting male egos. This was the world I lived in.” (Paris Review Daily)

Antonio López searches for the roots of U.S. Latinx poetry, and writes in praise of contemporary writers Karla Cordero and Melissa Lozada-Oliva who “achieve such stunning craftsmanship not by accident, but through a sustained engagement with their literary forbearers.” (Jacket2)

At Kirkus, literary agent Kiele Raymond reflects on industry trends and offers tips to emerging writers

Daniel Poppick discusses his latest poetry collection, Fear of Description, and shifting into “markedly, strangely personal” new territory. (Yale Review

For Valentine’s Day, Amy Bonnaffons recommends books that remind her of “love’s inherent strangeness.” (Literary Hub)

And for more love-related reading, Owen Nicholls selects eight of his favorite contemporary romance novels. (Electric Literature)