Forward Prizes for Poetry, Ginsberg After Kerouac, and More


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.

The 2019 Forward Prizes for Poetry were announced in a ceremony in London on Sunday evening. Fiona Benson received the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection for Vertigo & Ghost. Stephen Sexton was awarded the £5,000 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, and Parwana Fayyaz received the £1,000 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. (Guardian)

When Jack Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, Allen Ginsberg turned to the page. To mark fifty years since Kerouac’s death, the New Yorker has shared Ginsberg’s journal entries from October 22 to 29, 1969. The entries include brief notes, memories, and lines that would eventually become the poem “Memory Gardens.”

Chelsea Bieker, Genevieve Hudson, T Kira Madden, and Kimberly King Parsons discuss desire in a roundtable at Triangle House. The four writers trade reading recommendations, consider the thin line between desire and shame, and explain how desire plays out in creative practice

In a blog post at the Cincinnati Review, assistant editor Maggie Su ponders the nature of flash fiction and how it “relies on and resists rules.” 

Prolific authors are accustomed to sharing—each book they publish becomes a crystallized record of their skill and thinking from a given time period. For some writers, this public history can feel embarrassing. Others, such as Marguerite Duras, embrace their previous works and even actively revisit or remix them. At Literary Hub, Maddie Crum considers what Duras can teach readers about living in the age of social media, where the self has been excessively “shared” and documented. 

“As a writer, you can’t control how your readers read. So you might as well just not think about it.” Yiyun Li talks to the Nation about her relationship to China, Chinese language, the country’s literary tradition, and her latest book, Where Reasons End.

“It’s been out of print for a decade at least. Jon Sealy bringing a new edition into the world feels like recovering from a long illness, a generalized malaise. I’m not exaggerating.” Patricia Henley on the reissue of her novel Hummingbird House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1999. (Millions)

Harper’s Bazaar selects the twenty best LGBTQ books of 2019. The list features titles across genres including Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue for young adult readers and Saeed Jones’s memoir, How We Fight For Our Lives.