Charles Wright Named U.S. Poet Laureate, PEN Condemns Slaying of Thai Poet, 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:

The Library of Congress has chosen Charles Wright as the new poet laureate of the United States. Wright is the author of numerous poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Black Zodiac; he received the National Book Award for Country Music: Selected Early Poems, and has also been awarded the Bollingen Prize and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. (New York Times)

An HBO documentary, Regarding Susan Sontag, showcasing the accomplishments of the literary icon, is making its rounds on the film festival circuit, while Even Though the Whole World Is Burning, a film documenting the life of former poet laureate W. S. Merwin, premiered recently in Hawaii at the Maui Film Festival. (DocGeeks, Huffington Post)

The Canadian home in Great Village, Nova Scotia, where former poet laureate Elizabeth Bishop spent her childhood summers and which served as an artists’ retreat in recent years, is being sold. (Truro Daily News)

PEN International recently spoke out against the assassination of Thai poet and activist Kamol Duangphasuk, who was killed on April 23 before the country's government was ousted in a military coup. (Los Angeles Times)

Essayist Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams, has signed a seven-figure deal with publisher Little, Brown for her next two books: Archive Lush, a blend of cultural and literary critique, journalism, memoir; and Ghost Essays, which will explore “haunting and obsession, love and loneliness.” (Biographile)

Students at Cambridge University in England recently expressed their exasperation over being asked to analyze a poem by André Letoit consisting only of punctuation. (Independent)

Elsewhere in England, residents and visitors to Nottingham recently celebrated the fifth Bold Strokes Books Festival, a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fiction. (Nottingham Post)

Jason Diamond of Flavorwire surrenders to hopelessness in light of actor James Franco’s continued publishing success.