Julie Lekstrom Himes Wins Debut Novel Prize, Writers Share Their Year in Reading, 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:

Julie Lekstrom Himes has won the Center for Fiction’s 2017 First Novel Prize for her novel, Mikhail and Margarita; she will receive $10,000.

The end-of-the-year booklists continue: the Millions has released its “Year in Reading” series, through which writers—including Jesmyn Ward, Louise Erdrich, Carmen Maria Machado, and Tayari Jones—share their favorite books of the year.

Giuseppe Castellano, the executive art director of the Penguin Young Readers imprint, has resigned following an allegation that he sexually harassed actress and comedian Charlyne Yi. (Publishers Weekly)

In related news, Bitch Media asks why more people aren’t coming forward about sexual harassment in the publishing industry.

“Reading The Woman Warrior, for the first time I saw myself on every page and in every word…. Though I opened the book unwilling, I closed it fully transformed.” Alexis Cheung considers the significance of Maxine Hong Kingston's work and what it means to define Asian American literature. (Catapult)

Meanwhile, Max Liu argues 2017 was the year Asian American writers stepped into the spotlight, with writers such as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jenny Zhang, and Ocean Vuong leading the way. (Guardian)

Poet Christopher Merrill talks about his career as a writer, war journalist, master gardener, and director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Pop star Taylor Swift has penned a poem for the January edition of British Vogue entitled “The Trick to Letting Go.”