Don Share to Step Aside at Poetry, New York City Literary Action Coalition Advocates for 2021 Funding, 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.

The Poetry Foundation has announced that Don Share will step aside as editor of Poetry magazine. The organization notes his departure is “part of ongoing changes and conversations outlined in the Open Letter of Commitment.” The open letter was published earlier this month after many in the poetry community criticized the foundation for failing to support its constituents, both during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and during the most recent nationwide protests for Black lives.

The editors of Poetry have also issued a statement regarding their recent publication of “Scholls Ferry Rd.” by Michael Dickman, which readers sharply criticized for its use of racist language. “We clearly have more work to do in considering how poems center certain voices and affect our readers. We regret not taking serious action sooner to interrogate the editorial process, and we apologize,” write the editors.

The New York City Literary Action Coalition has organized a petition calling on Mayor Bill De Blasio and other local legislators to ensure that writers and literary arts organizations receive meaningful funding in the 2021 budget. Two representatives of the coalition, Daniel Gallant of the Nuyorican Poets Café and Alejandro Heredia of PEN America, shared an open letter on Literary Hub to further develop their case: “As city leaders plan for a future after the COVID crisis, we urge them to use this pivotal moment to ensure the city remains the capital of a radically inclusive literary culture.” 

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation has announced the award recipients of its 2020 Higher Education Scholarship Program. The program includes the Karl Pohrt Tribute Scholarship for a bookseller who is a non-traditional student, as well as several scholarships for dependents or spouses of booksellers.  

At the New York Times, Gabriel Bump, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Natalie Diaz, and other writers, share the books that have helped deepen their understanding of race and racism in America

Shelf Awareness, the popular book industry e-newsletter, celebrated its fifteenth anniversary with a special issue reflecting on its years in business. 

“Why is queer happiness so difficult to write about?” Kevin Brazil questions the rarity of narratives of queer happiness. (Granta)

Jacqui Lipton offers general guidelines and tips on how to avoid copyright infringement as a writer. (Catapult) 

Publishers Weekly checks in with independent presses across the country to learn how their work has been affected by the pandemic.