Kathleen Alcott on Tokenism, Craig Morgan Teicher to Paris Review, 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.

Publishers Weekly will see some staff changes this month. Poet and critic Craig Morgan Teicher will leave his position as director of special editorial projects and content director of PWxyz Studio to become the Paris Review’s new digital director. Adam Boretz, currently editor of BookLife at Publishers Weekly, will take over Teicher’s role, and associate children’s reviews editor Matia Burnett will take on the BookLife editorship.

“I cheat on my novels with short stories, have literally drafted them in robes in hotel rooms with my telephone off.” Author Kathleen Alcott on the formal problems of short fiction, the big questions of novels, and the toxicity of female tokenism. (Paris Review)

Barack Obama recommends a spring reading list that includes Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko and the late poet W. S. Merwin’s collection The Shadow of Sirius. (Inc.)

The National Book Foundation has named the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children the winner of the 2019 Innovations in Reading Prize. The $10,000 annual award recognizes an individual or organization that has developed “an innovative project that creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading.” (Bustle)

George R. R. Martin has rebuffed a Game of Thrones actor’s claim that the author has secretly finished the last two books of his Song of Ice and Fire series. “Why would I sit for years on completed novels?” Martin wrote on his website. (Guardian)

At Guernica, poet, novelist, and memoirist Terese Svoboda talks about the water that trickles through her latest short fiction collection, Great American Desert, and how the order of stories can help show the incremental effects of climate change on the prairie.

“I read it for book club, else I might have burned my iPad to purge the vile thing.” Literary Hub rounds up the one-star Amazon reviews of Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway, which celebrated ninety-four years in print yesterday.

At the Rumpus, poet Kwoya Fagin Maples discusses her new collection, Mend, which “explores the role enslaved black women played in the development of modern gynecology.” Maples says, “The experiences of the women had been completely erased from history. The lack of information and records about the women is what compelled me to write about them.”

“My daughter wept the first couple times we read about Charlotte’s death, which happens in the last paragraph of the next-to-last chapter. So did my wife.” Geoffrey Hilsabeck on a long winter of reading Charlotte’s Web. “Whenever my wife cries during reading, which happens not infrequently, my daughter insists on tasting her tears.” (Millions)

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Craig Morgan Teicher will become the digital editor of the Paris Review.