Dionne Brand on Reimagining Society, Dana Canedy to Lead Simon & Schuster Flagship Imprint, 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.

“Those in power keep invoking ‘the normal’ as in ‘when we get back to normal.’ I’ve developed an aversion to that word normal.” Poet, novelist, and essayist Dionne Brand reflects on the pandemic and the renewed global fight for racial justice. She notes the failure of governments to serve their communities and calls for a radical reimagining of society. (Toronto Star)

Simon & Schuster has hired Dana Canedy to serve as executive vice president and publisher of its flagship imprint. A former senior editor at the New York Times, Canedy most recently served as the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. She will be the third woman and first Black person to lead the imprint. 

In more news from Simon & Schuster, the publisher will stream a memorial service for former CEO Carolyn Reidy on July 8 at 4:00 PM EDT. Reidy died in May due to a heart attack. (Publishers Weekly)  

Staff at Verso Books and the Feminist Press reflect on the importance of publishing radical and forward-thinking texts. Both organizations are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year. (Publishers Weekly)

“Baldwin’s words are forceful and radical; he punctures the fantasy of white innocence and an infantile attitude toward reality.” Filmmaker Raoul Peck revisits the work of James Baldwin to imagine a way forward for America. (Atlantic)

“What does it feel like not to have a safety net? How do you feel it in your bones? I feel fiction in my bones.” Lynn Steger Strong discusses exploring anxiety and precarity in her new novel, Want. (Los Angeles Times)

“It takes a lot of hubris to start a Twitter account in 2013 and think you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Twitter will humble you.” Poet and essayist Shayla Lawson shares the highs and lows of her time on Twitter. (Vulture)

The Strand Magazine has published a largely unknown story by Louisa May Alcott, “Aunt Nellie’s Diary,” which was written when the author was a teenager. (USA Today)