Celebrating and Mourning Anthony Veasna So, the Plurality of Disability Narratives, 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.

Ahead of the publication of Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So, who died unexpectedly in December last year, Andrew LaVallee of the New York Times speaks with the late author’s loved ones. Alex Torres, his partner, recalls being with So during every stage of the writing process: “It feels like this is like our child in some way.” The Times also reports that a second volume of So’s work is due to be collected and published in 2023, which will include chapters from his unfinished novel manuscript “Straight Thru Cambotown.”

Torres wrote an essay on Afterparties and So’s literary legacy for the First Fiction feature in the latest issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. An excerpt from Afterparties is available online.

“It’s vital to have access to stories where characters with disability reflect the experiences we have rather than the experiences we are assumed to be limited to.” Author Jarred McGinnis writes about the plurality of disability narratives in life and in literature. (Guardian)

“Writing with a day job teaches the writer a valuable lesson: patience. The working writer has no choice but to pace themselves.” Richard Mirabella reflects on his ongoing journey to find a balance between his writing and working lives. (Catapult)

“Writing Nightbitch and living through this last year of pain have, ultimately, shown me how to sit with pain in my body, how to breathe into a horror I’d rather turn away from.” Rachel Yoder considers how writing can serve as a “regulated negotiation with pain.” (Literary Hub)

In a recent installment of Craft Capsules from Poets & Writers Magazine, Anjali Enjeti wrote about how chronic pain has forced her to challenge traditional notions of writing productivity.

“As a poet-turned-artist, I’ve been repeatedly advised to retain my language in the art I make. But there’s much to consider. How literal or figurative could the language be if it’s part of the artwork?” Nicholas Wong looks to other artists who successfully integrated text into their visual art. (Harriet)

Julian Lucas has written a wide-ranging profile of the author, playwright, and editor Ishmael Reed for the New Yorker. “I’m getting called a curmudgeon or a fading anachronism, so I’m going back to my original literature,” Reed tells him.

New talent has been announced for the upcoming pilot adaptation of Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, which was ordered by FX Productions earlier this year. Janicza Bravo will be the director and an executive producer, while Mallori Johnson has been cast in the lead role. (Deadline)