Joy Harjo’s Journey, Author Accuses Trump of Sexual Assault, 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.

“I realized that I wanted to explore the desire behind intimate acts, not sex per se. The trouble was, I needed not only to find subjects, but subjects who were amenable to the idea of me writing about their desires.” Lisa Taddeo talks to the Guardian about charting intimate lives in her nonfiction book, Three Women.

The Cut has published an excerpt from E. Jean Carroll’s forthcoming book, What Do We Need Men For?, in which the author alleges that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-nineties. Trump has rebuffed the accusation, saying that he and Carroll have never met. (New York Times)

In the United Kingdom, the longlist for the 2019 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award has been announced. The £30,000 prize (approximately $38,212) is the world’s richest award for a single English-language story. This year the sponsor Audible will produce an audio anthology of the shortlisted stories.

“I began writing poetry because I didn’t hear Native women’s voices in the discussions of policy, of how we were going to move forward in a way that is respectful and honors those basic human laws that are common to all people, like treating all life respectfully, honoring your ancestors, this earth.” Joy Harjo shares her journey to becoming U.S. poet laureate. (PBS NewsHour)

Last Saturday would have been Octavia Butler’s seventy-second birthday. Literary Hub remembers the science fiction author with quotes from writers she influenced, such as N. K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor. 

Amazon—platform, publisher, printer, review hub, textbook supplier, and now brick-and-mortar bookstore—accounts for more than half of the books sold in the United States. The company’s domination of the industry has resulted in a surge of counterfeit books for sale on the site, from medical handbooks to Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, Less. (New York Times)

“A murder mystery or thriller is very tidy and this is a book about things happening out of the blue.” Sadie Jones on writing an “anti-thriller” in her new novel, The Snakes. (NPR)

At the North American Review, writers including Julia Alvarez, Camille Dungy, and Jane Hirshfield annotate Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in Brian Clements’s ongoing project Every Atom: Reflections on Walt Whitman at 200.