Celebrating Serendipity Literary Agency, Searching for Refuge in the Work of Edith Wharton, and More

by Staff
8.24.20

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.

German publishers and booksellers are set to receive €20,000,000 (approximately $23,600,000) in grants as part of the government’s “Neustart Kulture” stimulus package. The funding is particularly intended to help bookstores digitize sales. Applications for the grants will open on September 1. (Shelf Awareness)

Serendipity Literary Agency, one of the largest Black-owned literary agencies in the nation, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Founder and president Regina Brooks discusses making space for the talent of Black writers and publishing professionals. “I’m big on grooming people from the ground up. And that’s both on the client side and on the staffing side.” (Publishers Weekly)

Linguist, author, and NPR commentator Geoffrey Nunberg has died. Nunberg, whose books including Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times, “explained to a general audience how English has adapted to changes in politics, popular culture and technology.” (New York Times)

“As a mother, I’m interested in what it means to be “good,” or at least, “good enough”, but in these stories, I was more interested in the opposite.” Shruti Swamy discusses the thrill of “letting [mothers] “be ‘bad’” in her debut collection, A House Is a Body. (Electric Literature)

An iPod. Sunglasses. A slice of pepperoni pizza. Forty objects mistaken for weapons during the police shootings of unarmed civilians are considered in This Is Not a Gun, a multifaceted, collaborative artwork created by Cara Levine, documented in a new book of the same name. (BOMB)

“I think embracing the common mispronunciation of my name gave me the space to explore the things about myself that gave me trepidation, namely being extremely gay. But I also wanted to be feminine, wear androgynous clothing, and bring the inward outward.” Greg Mania, the author of the debut memoir Born to Be Public, considers persona and identity in an interview with Elle Nash. (Rumpus)

“Her characters are drawn to such places, in part because there is no refuge to be found at home. These makeshift refuges provide temporary moments of privacy, intimacy, and escape in a world of houses that fail to be homes.” Sophie Haigney examines the search for safe space in the life and fiction of Edith Wharton. (Los Angeles Review of Books)