In Praise of Slow Reading, Reflections on the Literary Decade, and More


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.

Hurley Winkler challenges “productivity culture” and the impulse to set specific reading goals. In 2019, she resolved to read fifty-two books, but found this stringency ultimately came at the cost of the pleasures of slow reading and the freedom to abandon books. “There are too many good books out there. From now on, I’ll take the time to savor them.” (Millions)

Several writers share reflections on the past decade in literature. Lincoln Michel celebrates that both readers and writers are “increasingly genre omnivorous”; Kate Zambreno writes in praise of the Dorothy publishing project and the rise of literature in translation. (BOMB)

“In some ways, poetry is my first language and is the language I lean on, and always have done. It was an exercise in being still and gathering myself.” Raymond Antrobus talks to the Guardian about finding the form of his poetry through live performances

Jaime Fuller revisits A Lost Lady by Willa Cather and examines why two film adaptations infuriated the author to the extent that she barred any further adaptations of her work in her will. (Jezebel)

Forbes talks to literary agent Eric Smith about the most common mistakes he notices in queries and asks what he’s looking for in 2020. 

At the Rumpus Faylita Hicks discusses weaving personal narrative with the stories of her ancestors. “There is a time and a place to tell my version of events, and a time and a place to contextualize it in history.” 

The New York Times collects the highs and lows of 2019 for the literary community. The editors revisit the best books of the year, reflect on the influence of the #MeToo movement, and remember the literary giants who died: Toni Morrison, Clive James, and Harold Bloom, among many others. 

Booksellers from across the country share reading highlights from 2019. (Literary Hub)