Hanif Abdurraqib Donates Royalties to the Okra Project, Where Reading Lists Fail, and More

by Staff
6.5.20

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.

Hanif Abdurraqib has pledged to donate all his 2020 royalties from his book A Fortune for Your Disaster to the Okra Project, a collective that supports the Black trans community with home-cooked meals and other resources. “The movement and realignment/redistribution of resources (locally and nationally) is yearslong/lifelong labor.” 

“An anti-racist reading list means well. How could it not with some of the finest authors, scholars, poets, and critics of the twentieth century among its bullet points? Still, I am left to wonder: Who is this for?” Lauren Michele Jackson questions the sudden proliferation of anti-racist reading lists. (Vulture)

“I can accept disagreement and even pushback. But I will never accept a relationship in which I’m forced to work on the feelings of a single person over my own or my organization’s goals.” Rigoberto González writes on responsible allyship, and how to recognize when someone is taking over the movement. (Boston Review)

Paul Soulellis reflects on the creative artifacts of the pandemic era: collaborative Google Sheets, virtual workshops, urgent poetry and zines, and more. He celebrates the public spirit of artmaking in this time of crisis and urges artists to continue to lean into radical forms of publishing and mutual aid. (Creative Independent)

“There was a field on the side of the cleaners where I began to pay attention to the natural world for myself. I felt like I was a part of the nature that was all around me, that I was no different from the wildflowers that were growing at that time.” Jericho Brown talks to the Bitter Southerner about youth, home, illness, and the enduring anti-Black violence in America. 

“I want to get what truly happened correct, and as for the things I make up, I want them to be grounded in research.” Karen Tei Yamashita discusses her new collection, Sansei and Sensibility, and writing with integrity, no matter the genre. (Esquire)

Rocío Cobo-Piñero talks to the Conversation about the rise of queer narratives in African literature

Writers at the New York Times share recommendations for artworks—public memorials, books, film—that challenge racism

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Knopf and Alice Quinn for their work editing Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic, a new anthology due out on Tuesday.