Frank Bidart on the Social Nature of Artmaking, Two Israeli Bookstore Chains Remove Sally Rooney’s Books, and More

by Staff
11.8.21

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.

“An artist is not someone who simply transcribes his or her experience. An artist is someone with a sympathetic imagination—sympathetic meaning identifying with ways of being that are not literally one’s own.” Frank Bidart reflects on the social nature of artmaking and the discoveries he made in his latest poetry collection, Against Silence. (Millions)

In the wake of Sally Rooney’s decision to forego a Hebrew translation deal for Beautiful World, Where Are You with the Israel-based Modan Publishing House—an action she took in support of the Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) movement—two Israeli bookstore chains have pulled her books from their shelves. (Literary Hub)

“I wanted to try and use Slack to the fullest extent that I could within the context of the story; I felt it was important not to leave unexplored any obvious (to me) storytelling potential that was latent in the form.” Calvin Kasulke, the author of Several People Are Typing, is featured in the first installment of a new craft-focused interview series by Lincoln Michel. (Counter Craft/Substack)

Publishers Weekly profiles Tochi Onyebuchi, noting the author’s productivity, versatility, and persistence. “I don’t wait for the muse,” says Onyebuchi. “If I only have an hourlong chunk of time, that might be the only time during the entire day that I get to write.”

“Feeling the ache of my hand as it moves through a five to fifteen-minute focused free-write is such a delicious feeling for me.” Poet Nefertiti Asanti discusses what calls her to the page. (Lambda Literary Review)

“From an early age I needed to read in order to make sense of the world around me. Books opened up other worlds, other possibilities.” Novelist Elif Shafak offers a window into her reading life, past and present. (Guardian)

Author Lisa D. Gray has been hired to serve as the executive director of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. (Publishers Weekly)

Using Instagram polls, Electric Literature determined whether readers favored the U.K. or U.S. covers of recent releases.