Ed Roberson Wins Jackson Poetry Prize, PEN World Voices Festival Launches Online, 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.

Poets & Writers announced today that Ed Roberson is the recipient of the 2020 Jackson Poetry Prize. The $70,000 prize is awarded annually to an American poet of exceptional talent and aims to provide its recipient with time and encouragement to write. In their citation, judges Nikky Finney, Anne Waldman, and Robert Wrigley noted, “Roberson’s poems work a way into your heart and consciousness, because he is a visionary of luminous detail, of histories, of what he has felt and lived and observed.” 

PEN America has reimagined its 2020 PEN World Voices Festival for the social distancing era. The organization launched the digital homepage for the festival on May 6 and will continue to add new content over the coming weeks. Programming includes These Truths, a weekly podcast “exploring literature and the deeper truths that connect us,” and PEN to Paper, a series of short writing workshops.  

Xandria Phillips and Calvin Gimpelevich have won Lambda Literary’s 2020 Judith A. Markowitz Awards for Emerging LGBTQ Writers, which honor queer writers “whose work demonstrates their strong potential for promising careers.” Phillips and Gimpelevich will each receive $1,000.

Writers Tara Khandelwal and Michelle D’costa have launched a new literary podcast, Books and Beyond With Bound, which is dedicated to highlighting Indian writers for an Indian audience. “We both love talking about books, and in the West, there are so many writers’ podcasts but here, we barely have any,” D’costa told the Hindu

Central Avenue Publishing announced it will publish Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 on July 28 this year. Edited by Jennifer Haupt, the anthology will include work by Major Jackson, Ada Limón, and Lidia Yuknavitch, among others; profits will be donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. (Publishers Weekly)

Beat poet, playwright, and novelist Michael McClure died on Monday at age eighty-seven. (New York Times)

Heloise Wood reports on how reading habits are changing during the pandemic. (BBC)

The editors at BookPage have assembled a list of nineteen “can’t-miss reads” published by independent presses.  

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Lookout Books for its collection of high-resolution images of independent bookstores that can be used as virtual backgrounds on Zoom.