Emily Books to Cease Operations, PEN America to Honor Patti Smith, and More

by Staff
2.5.20

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.

Emily Gould and Ruth Curry have announced that Emily Books, an imprint of Coffee House Press, will close in March due to financial limitations. Gould and Curry initially founded the press in 2011, seeking to share out-of-print or overlooked titles as e-books and “create an alternative literary canon, counter to the one we’d been taught in school and had witnessed forming when we worked in corporate book publishing.” After teaming up with Coffee House in 2016, Emily Books began publishing print titles in addition to e-books; Coffee House will continue to publish and promote the seven titles from this period. (Publishers Weekly)

Gould and Curry spoke with Poets & Writers Magazine in 2016.

PEN America has announced Patti Smith as the recipient of the 2020 PEN America Literary Service Award, and Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman and former CEO of Hearst, as its Corporate Honoree. Smith and Bennack will both be celebrated at the PEN America Literary Gala on May 19 in New York City. 

Alice Mayhew, vice president and editorial director of Simon & Schuster, died yesterday at age eighty-seven. In her decades-long career at the house, she served as editor for numerous prizewinning authors and notable public figures, including Bob Woodward, Jimmy Carter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Publishers Weekly)

Parul Sehgal profiles Jenny Offill for the New York Times Magazine, tracing the writer’s career from her debut to her most recent novel, Weather. At home in the Hudson Valley, Offill delves into the details of her writing process, sharing the large poster boards covered with her manuscript fragments

In conversation with Christian Kiefer, Emily Nemens discusses her debut novel, The Cactus League, and using baseball as a frame to think about American culture—the nation’s struggles, dreams, and disillusions. (Literary Hub)

Refusing to resolve, catching a story mid-moment before the fall, or before the terrible mistake, or before the good thing, or the climax. And letting that be the story.” Lidia Yuknavitch talks to the Rumpus about her most recent story collection, Verge

Poets & Writers Magazine selected Verge as its inaugural GalleyCrush

Adam Gopnik pays tribute to literary critic George Steiner, who died on Monday at age ninety. “He was a humanities faculty in himself, an academy of one.” (New Yorker)

At McSweeney’s, Tracy Manaster imagines how the Iowa Writers’ Workshop would critique the Iowa Caucus and its recent procedural debacles. “The inherent premise of this work has so much promise, and I salute you for tackling big picture issues.”