James Baldwin’s Birthday, Emancipation Day Reading List, 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 New Yorker has assembled a collection of archival pieces to honor James Baldwin’s birthday. The set includes Baldwin’s own essay “Letter From a Region in My Mind,” which was first published in the magazine in 1962. Baldwin would have turned ninety-seven today.

“I have learned that you have to know your past if you are to have a strong future.” Yesterday, Canada officially observed Emancipation Day—slavery was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834—for the first time. For CBC News, librarian Yolanda Hood shared a reading list featuring both scholarship on the history of slavery in Canada as well as books that speak to contemporary Black life. 

“When I first started out in poetry I was trying to make things sound good; make things sound poetic. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. Now when I go to the page, it’s a more truthful thing.” RC Davis, who was recently named to this year’s cohort of five National Student Poets, reflects on his evolving poetic practice. (Chicago Tribune)

“Money—having it, not having it—gives rise to such primal emotions: fear, shame, anger, insecurity. There’s a huge silence around it.” Martha Cooley discusses using a lottery jackpot as a plot device in her latest novel, Buy Me Love. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

“I have a funny relationship to the idea of realism.” Alexandra Kleeman, the author of Something New Under the Sun, talks to the New York Times about her preference for the speculative.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, which was recently longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, is slated to be adapted for television by Picturestart. Shipstead will serve as an executive producer. (Deadline)

Entertainment Weekly has revealed the cover of John le Carré’s posthumous novel, Silverview, which is due out on October 12 from Viking. The acclaimed espionage writer died in December last year.

Oprah Daily recommends twenty books forthcoming this month, including Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette and The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers.