Joy Harjo Wins Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Medieval Marginalia, 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:

Joy Harjo has won the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, given annually by the Poetry Foundation to a U.S. poet for lifetime achievement. Harjo will receive $100,000. “Her work is a thrilling and necessary antidote to false news, the ephemera of digital celebrity, and other derelictions,” says Poetry editor Don Share. “It pushes vigorously back against forgetfulness, injustice, and negligence at every level of contemporary life.”

In other award news, the Center for Fiction has announced that Morgan Entrekin, CEO and publisher of Grove Atlantic, is the recipient of its 2017 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction. The annual award is given to an editor, agent, or publisher that has championed, nurtured, and discovered fiction in the United States.

“People keep saying you can’t satirize Trump because he’s beyond satire, but it’s not difficult to just let him out and let him walk upon the stage and say his own words. But that wasn’t my first interest. The thing that interested me much more than Trump himself was, how does this come about?” British fiction writer Howard Jacobson talks about his satirical novel about Donald Trump, Pussy, which came out last month. (Atlantic)

Amazon has launched a new “buy button” feature that makes it easier for customers to buy books in new condition from resellers that have been vetted by Amazon. Several publishers and authors groups, including the Authors Guild, object to the new feature, arguing that it will deprive publishers of sales and authors of royalties. (Publishers Weekly)

“How he used art, first to break through that wall [between him and the world], and later as a place of solitude, a place where he could retreat to be undisturbed by the world—that's something he has in common with almost everyone I know that is serious about writing or art or making films.” Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about artist Edvard Munch and the challenges of curating an exhibit of the painter’s work at the Munch Museum in Oslo. (VICE)

Hillary Clinton will speak at this year’s BookExpo on June 1 in New York City. Simon & Schuster is publishing Clinton’s collection of essays, which will cover her presidential run against Donald Trump, in September. (SF Gate)

“One of the things I do know is that you’re not going to change anybody’s mind by shutting them down.” The Paris Review has posted its interview with Claudia Rankine from its Winter 2016 print issue, in which Rankine talks about engaging in difficult conversation, her childhood experiences immigrating from Jamaica, and how language is weaponized against people of color.

Atlas Obscura takes a closer look at the marginalia in medieval books—illustrations and doodles of disembodied body parts, plants, animals, and even cross-eyed kings—documented by Johanna Green, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow.