Junot Díaz on the Lack of Diversity in MFA Programs, Octavia Butler’s Lost Short Stories, 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:

In an essay excerpted from the introduction to Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Workshop, forthcoming this week from Thread Makes Blanket Press, Junot Díaz discusses the overwhelming “whiteness” of his MFA program at Cornell and the community that saved his life. (New Yorker)

Two newly discovered works of short fiction by science fiction novelist Octavia Butler have been discovered by her estate and will be published as an e-book by Open Road Media. (Los Angeles Times)

A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive shows the Bible, Gone with the Wind, and books from the Harry Potter series to be the three most popular choices for American readers. (GalleyCat)

Meanwhile, the BBC looks at Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, the best-selling poet in the United States.

The Washington Post commends the work of Poet Lore, the nation’s oldest poetry journal, now celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Following the launch earlier this month of Britain's new biannual literary magazine, Chinese Arts and Letters—which seeks to bring the contemporary literature of Jiangsu Province, China, to the English-speaking world—featured author Bi Feiju offers a crash course in the best Chinese literature in translation. (Telegraph)   

In the last of a three-part series on the epitaphs of writers, Daniel Bosch examines the sequence of numbers tattooed on poet and memoirist Primo Levi’s arm in Auschwitz and later carved into his tombstone. (Paris Review)

In her review of Lynne Segal's recent book on growing old, Out of Time, British writer Jenny Diski discusses the intricacies of aging and desire. (London Review of Books.)

Editor Jeffrey Yang and translator Richard Sieburth discuss Louise Labé, a female French poet of the Renaissance. (Poetry Society of America)