Crowdsourcing Novels, Translation’s Role in Latin American Culture, 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 Kenyon Review features a conversation with Mexican essayist and translator Ilan Stavans and Latin American Studies and Translation professor Charles Hatfield on the role of translation in Latin American culture. The conversation is the first in a series on the topic, in which Stavans and Hatfield will discuss “the role of translation in the conquest of the Americas, moving on to the colonial period, the independence period, the nineteenth century, and the twentieth century.”

More on the subject of translation at the Ploughshares blog: Yardenne Greenspan discusses the difficulties of prioritizing work as both a translator and a writer. “Translation, like writing, is both time consuming and taxing to the mind. It requires creative commitment and depletes one’s literary resources…. By putting translation first in my daily routine I am, de facto, defining myself as a translator who writes, rather than a writer who translates.”

Poet Nikki Giovanni discusses the influence of Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Roots, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. Over Memorial Day weekend, a new remake of the 1977 television adaptation will air on several channels. (Literary Hub, New York Times)

What’s it like to crowdsource a novel on the Internet? A writer and editor for the tech website CNET shares what he learned from his experience collaborating with the public on a science fiction novel.

More than four hundred fifty U.S. writers—including Stephen King, Amy Tan, Rita Dove, and Junot Díaz—have signed a petition opposing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. As of today, the petition has reached more than eight thousand signatures. (

The recent ban of a graphic novel from a Minnesota school over its “inappropriate language” has drawn protests from free speech organizations, including the National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN America, and the National Council of Teachers of English. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, the inaugural Little Free Library Fest was held in Minneapolis this past weekend. During the event, community members constructed a hundred Little Free Libraries, which were then distributed to neighborhoods and facilities in need. (Publishers Weekly)