GrubStreet After “Bad Art Friend,” Bookshop Facilitates Donations of 1619 Project Book, and More

by Staff
11.2.21

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.

In response to the viral New York Times Magazine article “Who Is the Bad Art Friend?,” which involved many members of the GrubStreet community, the writing nonprofit completed an internal review and sought to address issues of “race, class, elitism, artistic ethics, and insider-outsider dynamics.” Publishers Weekly reports on the outcome of the review and the organization’s plans to move forward. 

Bookshop, the online retailer, is inviting the public to buy and donate copies of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Nicole Hannah-Jone’s deep dive into the legacy of slavery in the United States. Readers can choose from a list of participating bookstores who will earn 30 percent on each sale and then send the donated book to a partner organization, such as a library or school. Hannah-Jones says the donation program was inspired in part by grassroots efforts to donate the book and “campaigns across the country to suppress the teaching of the project.” (Shelf Awareness)

“Every sentence seemed more vivid, every word more concrete, as long as I was writing on, over, around it. My marginalia became a series of handholds on the placid smoothness of the page.” Robert Rubsam writes in praise of annotating books. (New York Times Magazine)

“Between the aphrodisiac sludge of the previous afternoon and the just-about-food-safe hot dog of the evening, I didn’t feel great the next morning.” Essayist Rax King’s Grub Street DietNew York magazine’s food diary column—features a COVID-19 booster shot, delectable and not-so-delectable foods, and several difficult mornings.

Writers Charles M. Blow, Alexander Cheves, George M. Johnson, and Denne Michele Norris feature on this year’s OUT 100 list, which honors leaders in the LGBTQ+ community. (Literary Hub)

“The story started with the agent. I figured out his voice and perspective before I actually knew whom he would be surveilling.” Jamil Jan Kochai traces the origins of his short story “The Haunting of Hajji Hotak,” which appears in the new issue of the New Yorker.

Jake Cline writes about recent books that inspire “a reevaluation of our relationship with animals, natural environments and one another.” (Washington Post)

The Millions spotlights ten books landing on shelves this week, including God of Mercy by Okezie Nwọka and The Art of Revision: The Last Word by Peter Ho Davies.