Emily Dickinson and the Power of Language, Poetry of Politics and Place, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories:

At the New York Times, Marilynne Robinson reflects on Emily Dickinson and the power of language and literature to expand the mind. “There’s nothing more interesting than language and the problem of trying to bend it to your will, which you can never quite do.” 

Milkweed Editions has acquired a second collection of poems by the late Max Ritvo, who died at the age of twenty-five after a nine-year battle with cancer. The Final Voicemails, edited by Louise Glück, will be released in 2018. Ritvo’s first collection, Four Reincarnations, was published a month after the poet’s death in 2016. Read more about the book, and Ritvo’s life, in an interview with Dorothea Lasky.

At Literary Hub, debut poets Javier Zamora and William Brewer discuss writing about social issues and place; Zamora’s collection, Unaccompanied, reckons with the Salvadoran Civil War, while Brewer’s collection, I Know Your Kind, portrays the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.

This week the Library of Congress launched labs.loc.gov, a new web space that will host various projects, events, and experiments designed to encourage “creative use of the Library’s digital collections.”

Barnes & Noble has announced a million-dollar book donation to schools and charities for areas affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Thousands of children’s books will be distributed by First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides books and resources to children in need. (Business Wire)

Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, will publish a new novel in May 2018. The book, Warlight, which takes place in 1945 London, is Ondaatje’s first novel since 2011’s The Cat’s Table. (CBC Canada)

“I think writing is inextricable from the body; there’s no such thing as pure reason, pure intellect. My body, my identity, is a lens through which I can view the world and reflect it back in my work.” Carmen Maria Machado discusses her debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties. (Hazlitt)

Dave Eggers talks with Smithsonian Magazine about the role of writers in society, books and artists he admires, and his forthcoming book, Ungrateful Mammals, which features his sketches of animals paired with quirky quotations.