CDC Poetry Project, Guinea Pig Classics, 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:

Poets Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon have started the CDC Poetry Project in response to the Trump administration’s recent instruction to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to not use a specific set of words in its communications. The poets have invited writers to submit a poem using all of the banned words, which include diversity, transgender, evidence-based, and fetus.

Jennifer Egan talks with NPR’s Fresh Air about writing her latest novel, Manhattan Beach, after her brother committed suicide.

“When you set an incredible text against a really worried little face, something magical happens.” The Guardian covers the surprising success of Bloomsbury’s series of classics such as Oliver Twist, Pride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet, retold with images of guinea pigs wearing costumes.

For the third year in a row, James Patterson has given holiday bonuses to booksellers across the country. The bonuses range from $750 to $1,250, for a total of $350,000. (Publishers Weekly)

“My interest in writing isn’t always to be right; it is to find a better path to figuring out where my wrongness stems from. I want to grow in my wrongness, and that doesn’t always mean being right at the end of growing.” Hanif Abdurraqib talks about the role of the critic, writing both poetry and prose, and his writing routine. (Creative Independent)

After fifty-six years in business and 247 books and chapbooks published, experimental poetry press Burning Deck is closing. Founder Rosmarie Waldrop talks about the decision to close the press and the current state of poetry publishing. (Words Without Borders)

About Comics has republished a series of travel guides written for black Americans traveling through a segregated United States from the 1940s to the 1960s. (Guardian)

“Vast ignorance is my normal state of being.” Novelist Akhil Sharma answers twenty questions from the Times Literary Supplement.