Endangered Poetry Project, Graphic Novel Modernizes Jane Eyre, 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:

The National Poetry Library in London has launched the Endangered Poetry Project to solicit, collect, and translate poems in endangered languages. UNESCO estimates that more than half of the world’s seven thousand languages are endangered.

“Before plot or dialogue or even character, the mind needs to be observant, nimble, playful, and curious around the world around it. Without that, fiction is DOA.” Carmen Maria Machado talks about writing her obsessions; her new story collection, Her Body and Other Parties; and her forthcoming memoir, House in Indiana. (Millions)

“I want to tap the shoulder of the eleven-year-old girl I was and show her this book…” Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna talks about her graphic novel adaptation of Jane Eyre, illustrated by Ramon Perez and published last week by Archaia. In McKenna’s adaptation, Jane is a small-town girl who moves to New York to attend art school and ends up working as a nanny for Mr. Rochester. (Publishers Weekly)

Letters written by Marcel Proust reveal that he paid for favorable reviews of Swann’s Way to appear in major French newspapers. In October, Sotheby’s will auction off a rare copy of the novel, which is now regarded as a masterpiece, for an estimated £438,000. (Guardian)

Writer Kit Reed has died at age eighty-five. Reed wrote several novels and story collections, considering herself “a writer of speculative fiction who trafficked not in aliens or flying saucers but in quirky, fantastic and tough-minded leaps from the realities of contemporary culture.” (New York Times)

“Take your time. Don’t rush through your projects, and don’t believe anyone who’s telling you to rush through them either. Just really take your time with your work. Follow what is weird and strange that you do privately and consider that there’s probably writing in there.” Durga Chew-Bose offers writing advice and shares her experience writing her debut essay collection, Too Much and Not the Mood. (Creative Independent)

At the Los Angeles Times, poet Robin Coste Lewis talks about her childhood in Compton, her views on culture and identity, and her experience learning to write after brain damage.

At the Paris Review, Valerie Stivers cooks a Russian meal inspired by Gogol’s story “Old World Landowners.”