Kevin Young to Lead National Museum of African American History and Culture, Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Shortlist, and More

by Staff

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 Smithsonian has appointed Kevin Young to serve as the next director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in Washington, D.C., in 2016. Young will depart his current role as director of the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, but he will stay on as poetry editor at the New Yorker. (New York Times)

The shortlist has been announced for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. The finalists are Indelicacy by Amina Cain, These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card, Temporary by Hilary Leichter, Luster by Raven Leilani, The Redshirt by Corey Sobel, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, and How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. The winner of the $15,000 prize will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on December 3. 

The American Literary Translators Association has announced the shortlists for the 2020 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. The twelve finalists—six for poetry, six for prose—include translations from nine different languages. 

Random House will welcome Jamia Wilson as a vice president and executive editor in January 2021. Wilson will depart her role as executive director and publisher of the Feminist Press. (Publishers Lunch)

“As a woman of color, I take it as my task to let my imagination expand into the spaces of erasure.” C Pam Zhang talks to the Millions about troubling myths and historical records in her debut novel, How Much of These Hills is Gold

“While the racial power structure outlined in the book has evolved over the years, its basic underpinnings remain recognizable even eighty years later.” Gary Younge considers the enduring relevance of Richard Wright’s Native Son. (New York Review Daily)

Poet Major Jackson will depart the University of Vermont to join the English faculty at Vanderbilt University in January 2021.  

Entertainment Weekly highlights its must-read books of October, including The Silence by Don DeLillo and Earthlings by Sayaka Murata.