Ibram X. Kendi Introduces “The Renaissance Is Black,” Petition Calls on Poetry Magazine to Apologize to Victims of Sexual Violence, and More

by Staff

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 Black Renaissance is stirring Black people to be themselves. Totally. Unapologetically. Freely.” Ibram X. Kendi writes an introductory note to “The Renaissance Is Black,” a special project at TIME that celebrates the present moment in Black artistry. Literary features include a conversation between Amanda Gorman and Michelle Obama, as well as a roundtable with Brit Bennett, Jasmine Guillory, and Jacqueline Woodson.

More voices are calling out Poetry for publishing a convicted sex offender, prosecuted for possession and distribution of child pornography, in its most recent issue. More than a thousand people have signed a petition calling for the retraction of the poem and seeking an apology for the writer’s victims as well as “readers and subscribers, and victims of sexual violence everywhere.” (Guardian)

Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe, also known as Sky Dancer, has been named the ninth parliamentary poet laureate of Canada. A survivor of the residential school system, Halfe centers Cree and Indigenous life in her work. (CTV News)

Teen Vogue reports on the movement to remove police officers from public libraries. “We’re in a moment of forced reflection in terms of how our public spaces are being managed, because they aren’t really accessible right now,” says Elaine Kahn, a writer and activist in Los Angeles.

The NAACP has announced the nominations for its 2021 Image Awards, which honor outstanding works of music, television, film, and literature produced by artists of color.

“We’re always asked to compartmentalize various appetites.” Melissa Broder discusses the interwoven desires at the heart of her latest novel, Milk Fed. (BOMB)

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu is the February pick for Now Read This, a book club facilitated by PBS NewsHour and the New York Times.

“Poor old queers exist and are rarely depicted in narratives in our full humanity.” Sally Bellerose talks to Lambda Literary Review about the complex lives of the elderly protagonists in her latest novel, Fishwives.