Creative Approaches to Scholarship, Bookstore Updates From Philadelphia and Seattle, 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.

“I was never a conventional scholar but something closer to conventional than what I am now. I realized that it was as important to me to try to write to people’s heart as their mind.” Imani Perry discusses her intimate approach to scholarship, her roots in the South, and her latest book, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of the Nation. (Los Angeles Times)

In a similar vein, sociologist Anthony Ocampo explains how the tenets of creative writing have enriched his academic writing. “When we’re doing our PhDs, we are trained to be in conversation with ‘the literature,’ but we’re not trained to contextualize our research within the broader marketplace of ideas.” (Don’t Write Alone)

Michael and Judi Fox have decided to close Joseph Fox Bookshop in Philadelphia. “I’m old enough that I felt it was time to retire,” said Michael. “I feel sad for my customers, I do. I feel sad for the city, that they’re losing a good bookstore.” Joseph Fox Bookshop was founded in 1951 by Michael’s father, who gave the store his name. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

The Seattle Times praises Phinney Books as offering “one of the best browsing experiences in Seattle.” Owner Tom Nissley spoke to the paper about how he strives to serve the community: “I always wanted it to be a neighborhood bookstore.”

Novelist Iraj Pezeshkzad died on January 12 after suffering a stroke. Born in Iran, Pezeshkzad wrote in Persian and was best-known for his novel My Uncle Napoleon. He uprooted to France after the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s. (Washington Post)

“With so much happening in the world right now that is unfamiliar and confusing, I think we’re trying to figure out, ‘what next?’” Bianca Stone considers what she learned from writing her latest poetry collection, What Is Otherwise Infinite. (NPR)

“I think there needs to be an element of authenticity in the work. Readers sense and respond to a writer’s intent and so if you write for shock value I think the reader can tell, and it prevents them from fully connecting to the work.” Ella Baxter discusses putting kink and grief side-by-side in her debut novel, New Animal. (Bomb)