Fiona McCrae of Graywolf to Retire, Finalists for This Year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals, and More

by Staff
11.9.21

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.

Fiona McCrae, the director and publisher of Graywolf Press, intends to retire in June. In her twenty-seven years at the helm, McCrae helped establish Graywolf as a titan among independent presses and in the wider industry. “It’s an emotional moment to think about stepping away from this beloved press that has allowed me to flourish over so many years,” she said. “It’s been a marvelous adventure.” A search will be undertaken to find a new leader.

The shortlists have been revealed for this year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The three fiction finalists are Matrix by Lauren Groff, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin, and The Five Wounds by Kristin Valdez Quade. The three nonfiction finalists are A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib, Four Hundred Souls edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, and Seek You by Kristen Radtke. Administered by the American Library Association, the prizes each come with a purse of $5,000.

Nonprofit literary organizations and publishers are invited to apply for the second round of funding from the Literary Arts Emergency Fund. Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and managed by the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, and the National Book Foundation, the fund will dispense $4.3 million in this round. (Publishers Weekly)

“What we are living through is in fact the legacy of colonial domination.” Amitav Ghosh discusses his new book, The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis, and considers the role of storytellers in addressing the climate crisis and legacy of imperialism. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Last month Delacorte published an adapted version of the pathbreaking anthology Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century (Vintage, 2020), tailoring the volume for young adult readers. Both editions were edited by writer and disability rights activist Alice Wong, who spoke to Kirkus about the new edition’s publication.

“There’s so much uncertainty in setting out the details of one’s life that it can induce the same full-body cringe of doing the wrong dance move in front of strangers.” Lorraine Boissoneault finds resonances between writing and dance. (Don’t Write Alone)

“All those little moments that had seemed like just boring adult stuff. It all had a subtext that I was not privy to.” Author Brandon Taylor shares memories from his childhood and reflects on bearing witness to his family members’ addictions. (sweater weather/Substack)

The Book and Cover, a new independent bookstore in Chattanooga, Tennessee, welcomed its first customers last week. (Shelf Awareness)