Dove and Kaminsky Win American Poets Prizes, Amazon Breaks Atwood Embargo, and More

by
Staff
9.5.19

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 Academy of American Poets has announced the winners of the 2019 American Poets Prizes, which are among the most valuable poetry awards in the United States. The winner of this year’s $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award for “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry” is Rita Dove. The Academy of American Poets Fellowship went to Ilya Kaminsky, while Kyle Dargan received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his collection Anagnorisis, and Aditi Machado won the James Laughlin Award for her forthcoming collection, Emporium. In poetry in translation, awards went to poet Gloria Muñoz and translators Clare Cavanagh and Will Schutt. And the prize for a student poet went to Jonathan Teklit for his poem “Black Mythology.” 

Margaret Atwood’s highly anticipated new novel, The Testaments, is under a strict embargo until September 10—but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from sending its customers pre-ordered copies. Penguin Random House imprint Doubleday explained to furious booksellers that a retailer error had caused a number of copies to be distributed early. (Publishers Weekly)

Booksellers haven’t been the only ones sworn to keep the details of The Handmaid’s Tale sequel under wraps: The judges of this year’s Booker Prize were hand delivered advanced copies watermarked with their name. One courier traveled to the Welsh mountains; another waited hours in a Melbourne lobby. Judge Xiaolu Guo received her copy several days late: She was out of the house when the delivery arrived, and the courier refused to give the book to her family instead. (New York Times

Among those anxious to learn what happens in Atwood’s sequel are the television producers who have signed on to adapt it for the small screen. Like The Handmaid’s TaleThe Testaments will be adapted as a Hulu series, but the shows writers won’t know if the sequel can be folded into the existing series, or whether the plot will call for a separate show, until they read the book. (TIME)

In 2016 a woman known only as “Emily Doe” gave a victim impact statement about her sexual assault at Stanford University that caused public outcry when it was published on BuzzFeed. Now the woman behind the statement, Chanel Miller, will share her real name and her thoughts on sexual violence in a nonfiction book. Know My Name is scheduled to be published by Viking on September 24. (New York Times)

“I have from a very young age thought of myself as a recorder of family history, someone for whom every bit of evidence of who we are and why we are matters.” Sarah M. Broom chats with Kaitlyn Greenidge about knitting together the stories of a home, a family, and New Orleans East in her memoir, The Yellow House. (Cut)

“One never sees a five-paragraph essay in the wild. Could it hold its own in a mature piece of writing?” Rion Amilcar Scott on how an academic exercise morphed into a novella dramatizing the absurdity of academia. (Millions)

At Ploughshares, Sarah Appleton Pine considers three books about bipolar disorder and the pills used to treat it.

“I tend not to watch a lot of horror. I think my imagination is probably bad enough as it is.” Fiction author Sarah Rose Etter talks to the Los Angeles Review of Books about the art of Carol Rama, inherited anxiety, and depicting a girl whose stomach is literally tied in a knot in her debut novel, The Book of X.