Joy Harjo’s Poetry Advice, Catalog Press’s Unusual Books, 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.

“It’s about learning to listen, much like in music. You can train your ears to history. You can train your ears to the earth. You can train your ears to the wind.” U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo talks with TIME about her writing practice, the power of poetry, and her new poetry collection, An American Sunrise.

Graphic designer and Catalog Press founder Ben Denzer is experimenting with the book as a physical object: He has made books out of cheese slices, dollar bills, ketchup packets, napkins, and other unusual items. (It’s Nice That)

“It was a really, really fun process, and I adored having to be hemmed in, on the one hand by narrative, and on the other hand by the facts of the time that limited how characters interpreted and processed the world.” Téa Obreht shares the research and writing process behind her new novel, Inland. (Electric Literature)

The Smithsonian chronicles the “great book scare” of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when people believed library books could spread diseases.

“I’m a lot less interested in things I would associate with style: the beautiful metaphor or the perfectly apt physical description. Things that really preoccupied me a lot…. I’m in a different place now, where I kind of roll my eyes inwardly at my own tendencies to do that.” Susan Choi on the style of her new book, Trust Exercise, and trying to understand and write about high school students. (Guernica)

Evgeny Morozov scrutinizes the work of John Brockman, influential literary agent and founder of the Edge Foundation, and his relationship with financier Jeffrey Epstein. “It seems clear that Brockman was acting as Epstein’s PR man—his liaison with the world of scientists and intellectuals that Brockman had cultivated.” (New Republic)

“Toni Morrison gave you the feeling that everyone else in the room was outside the moment and you were within it.” Allison Adelle Hedge Coke joins Quincy Troupe, Margaret Porter Troupe, and Ishmael Reed in remembering Morrison. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Bridget Jones’s Diary author Helen Fielding is renting out her five-bedroom Los Angeles farmhouse… for thirty thousand dollars a month. (Realtor)