Haki R. Madhubuti on Black Lit, PEN World Voices Festival, 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:

“Art in the forms of black literature, music and visual art, dance and black theater saved my life.” Poet and essayist Haki R. Madhubuti discusses working as an organizer and artist during the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and founding Third World Press, the “oldest continuously publishing independent black press in the United States.” (Biography)

DeRay Mckesson, the activist and podcast host who documented the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, will publish his first book this year. Viking will release On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope on September 4. (BuzzFeed News)

PEN America has released the theme and initial details of its 2018 PEN World Voices Festival: Resist and Reimagine. The festival, held in New York City in April, will bring together more than a hundred sixty-five writers and artists who represent more than fifty nationalities.

“For the true bookworm, life doesn’t really begin until you get hold of your first book. Until then—well, you’re just waiting, really.” Writer Lucy Mangan reflects on her childhood reading and what it taught her about the importance of rereading. (Guardian)

At Electric Literature, writer Jennifer Baker reports on the Bronx’s burgeoning literary scene and spotlights five people who are helping build the New York City borough’s arts scene. 

Library archivists at Union College in Schenectady, New York, recently found a lock of George Washington’s hair inside of an eighteenth-century almanac. (USA Today)

“There was, and is, a catharsis in reading queer teen fiction.” Journalist Alim Kheraj praises the nuance, diversity, and hope portrayed in teen LGBTQ fiction. (GQ)