James Tate’s Last Poem, Hidden Gems of Irish Lit, 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:

In the final installment of a three-part series at the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks continues his examination of the state of literary translation today, with a focus on quality versus celebrity: “The choice of translator is crucial when a text is of such a nature that a very special affinity and expertise is required. The problem is that it is hard for the wider public or even the critics really to know whether they have been given a good translation, and not easy even for the editors who have the duty of choosing the translator, fewer and fewer of whom have appropriate second-language skills.”

“I sat at my desk and contemplated all that I had accomplished this year.” The Paris Review features a photo of James Tate’s final poem as it was found in the poet’s typewriter. Tate passed away in July 2015.

Following the recent announcement that Harper Lee’s estate will stop publication of the mass-market paperback version of To Kill a Mockingbird—the most affordable edition of the book, which has been published by Grand Central since 1962 and has been a staple in classrooms—HarperCollins announced it will offer a special discounted price on its trade paperback edition for schools. (Publishers Weekly)

In an interview at Lambda Literary, fiction writer Darryl Pinckney discusses his latest novel, Black Deutschland, and the process of writing about the complexities of the gay black experience.

Author Scott Esposito interviews fiction writer Álvaro Enrigue about his latest novel, Sudden Death, as well as how the novel’s structure reflects its historical underpinnings, and the author’s views about genre and categorization. “A writer worried about reception while writing is cooking a dead book, don’t you think? A writer’s job is to produce the best possible book in absolute freedom, so the category ‘acceptable’ does not play in this process at all.” (BOMB)

The British Library is making the last surviving handwritten manuscript of a play by William Shakespeare available online. The manuscript, The Book of Sir Thomas More, is one of three hundred items that are part of an exhibition about the playwright, which is set to open at the library next month. (Guardian)

Ahead of Saint Patrick’s Day, Electric Literature recommends ten hidden gems of Irish literature—“More specifically, those works of Irish literature that may not have the global name recognition of, say, Ulysses or Dorian Grey, The Commitments or Brooklyn, but which have nevertheless made an indelible mark on the landscape of the country’s fiction.”