Joshua Bennett on Black Worlds, Six Writers on Making a Living, 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.

“When we turn to the written page, where is Black life lived? Anywhere. Everywhere. Underwater, outer space, underground.” Joshua Bennett recalls joyous scenes from his childhood and imagines a world worthy of Black life. (Literary Hub)

At the Cut, six authors reflect on the difficulty of making a living from writing. Samantha Irby says, “Any time I talk to anyone and they’re like, ‘I want to be a writer,’ I’m like, ‘Get a regular job.’ Try not to depend on your writing to fund your life because it, uh, won’t.” 

The Los Angeles Times interviews writer Susan Orlean about her viral tweets that documented a drunken evening and her frustration with the state of the world. “I didn’t think, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I said that!’ There was nothing horrible—it was loony, it was goofy.” 

“One of the reasons I write poetry is because the language I use daily is so inadequate and I feel the need to respond more thoroughly.” Susan Barba on honoring the natural world in her new collection, geode. (Chicago Review of Books)

“Xenophobia and racism were my definitive cultural experience growing up. They shaped how I thought of identity—in reaction to the poisonous toxic impressions of us.” Porochista Khakpour discusses her essay collection, Brown Album, and her evolving sense of identity. (Guernica)

Five adjunct professors talk to the Believer about how the coronavirus pandemic has made their lives even more precarious than usual

Publishers Weekly reports on print sales from the first half of the year. Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing tops the bestseller list for adult literature. 

The Millions previews the best books still forthcoming this year