Ferguson Library Acts as Refuge, Writing as the Other in MFA Programs, 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 public library in Ferguson, Missouri, has been serving as a community refuge amid ongoing unrest over the death of teenager Michael Brown. With the start of the new school year delayed in the city, the library is offering classes and activities for both children and adults, and is working to provide a space for residents to “get water, read, check e-mail,”  rest, and recharge in a calm space during protests. A sign in the library reads, “During difficult times, the library is quiet oasis where we can catch our breath, learn, and think about what to do next.” (ABC News)

“The point of an alternative art space like the workshop is to continually say: You are normal. You are fine the way you are. Tell your story or tell a story that has nothing to do with you. And you can tell whatever story you want to tell.” NPR talks with authors Lan Samantha Chang, Junot Diaz, Justin Torres, Ayana Mathis, Bushra Rehman, and Ken Chen about the diversity in elite MFA programs and writing as the “other.” 

Meanwhile, in this week’s installment of the New York Times’s Bookends series, authors Rivka Galchen and Zoë Heller tackle the question of whether or not writing can be taught

Germany's culture and media minister Monika Grütters is speaking out in support of a recent campaign by more than a thousand German-language authors, who have signed an open letter to Amazon accusing the retailer of manipulating best-seller lists and delaying deliveries in the midst of a dispute with German publisher the Bonnier Group. (NPR)

Musician Amanda Palmer has revealed the jacket of her forthcoming memoir, The Art of Asking: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, which will be released from Grand Central Publishing in November.

Author Kate Atkinson is working on a “companion” novel to her best-selling novel Life After Life. The new book, A God in Ruins, will be published in May 2015.

In other book news, Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and The Giver author Lowis Lowry’s latest, Gathering Blue, have topped Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List. (GalleyCat)