Kaveh Akbar Named Poetry Editor at the Nation, Complex Portraits of Poverty, and More

by Staff
9.1.20

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.

The Nation has selected Kaveh Akbar to serve as its new poetry editor. Succeeding coeditors Stephanie Burt and Carmen Giménez Smith, Akbar will manage the poetry section in both the print magazine and online. “I am thrilled to welcome Kaveh to the Nation, a poet, editor, and propagandist for the republic of letters for whom I already have enormous admiration,” says editor in chief D. D. Guttenplan. 

With the support of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, the Believer has published a new series of essays titled “Escapes and Trapdoors: Finding Diversion From a Life in Poverty.” Reflecting on their own unique circumstances, five writers examine “the realities and surrealities of life in poverty.” 

“One of my favorite places in the world was beside him, under his warm arm, the color of deep, dark river water.” Novelist Jesmyn Ward mourns the death of her husband, who passed away in January. She recalls the first months in his absence: caring for their children, weathering the pandemic, and witnessing the expansion of the Black Lives Matter movement. (Vanity Fair)

“I wanted the characters to be more morally gray, where I could explore some darker areas.” Romance novelist Alyssa Cole talks to the New York Times about shifting gears for her latest book, When No One Is Watching, a thriller about anti-Blackness and gentrification

“African American poetry has always spoken on the lower frequencies, it’s always talked about day-to-day life, the blues, music and dancing, pleasure and pain—all the things that make up humanity.” Kevin Young talks to the Chicago Tribune about curating and editing African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song

“If Atticus is a champion of anything, it’s not justice or equality but comfort.” Sandra Schmuhl Long reexamines the legacy of Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman. (Electric Literature)

“I have always thought of translation as a kind of apprenticeship under writers that I really admire.” Jennifer Croft reflects on her experience translating Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. (Paris Review Daily)

“I was surprised and delighted by everything.” Poet Yanyi recalls participating in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program