Edgar Allan Poe Letter Sold at Auction, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio on Undocumented Lives, 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.

A handwritten letter by Edgar Allan Poe has sold at auction for $125,125. In the letter, Poe is writing to the editor of Graham’s Magazine, following up about payment for two articles. (Baltimore Sun)

In an interview with the New York Times, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio discusses writing The Undocumented Americans, and giving back to her community. “I hope that immigrants of all backgrounds are able to find themselves in it.”

Tyree Daye recalls the transformative experience of reading Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. “Holding the brick of a book in my hands, I felt its weight, a tradition I was writing into, out of.” (Harriet)

“I wanted his voice to ring throughout this book.” Tamara Payne reflects on finishing her father’s biography of Malcolm X, The Dead Are Arising, after he died unexpectedly in 2018. (Kirkus)

“While I didn’t set out to write my mother’s story, the ideas of abandonment and loss and belonging have crept into my work and remained there.” Donna Hemans, the author of Tea by the Sea, traces how family history has informed her fiction. (Millions)

“I didn’t know about him at all, which is what intrigued me completely.” Douglas A. Martin shares how he came to write a novel about Branwell Brontë, the relatively unknown brother of the famed Brontë sisters. (Electric Literature)

Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair delivers a withering review of Ben Wheatley’s film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. “The garish new telling, starring Lily James and Armie Hammer, is barely worth a look at all.” 

Ari Braverman talks choosing a nameless protagonist for her debut novel, The Ballad of Big Feeling. “All of that felt so extraneous, because really, to me, it’s a narrative of internal life.” (Believer)