Kirkus Awards, the Lives of Discarded Books, 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:

Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jack E. Davis, and Cherie Dimaline have won the 2017 Kirkus Prizes. The annual $50,000 awards are given for books published in the previous year that received a starred Kirkus review. Arimah won in fiction for her story collection, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky; Davis won in nonfiction for his book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea; and Dimaline won in young readers’ literature for her novel The Marrow Thieves.

At the New York Times, Stephanie Burt reviews five new poetry collections that explore the intersection of the self and the other.

Crime and mystery writer Linda Fairstein considers the enduring appeal and inspiration of teenage sleuth Nancy Drew, beloved by everyone from Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor to Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. (Washington Post)

Camille T. Dungy discusses writing about motherhood, navigating mostly white spaces as a black woman, and her most recent book, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History. (Rumpus)

Listen to Dungy read an excerpt from her book, which was featured in the Page One column of the July/August issue of Poets & Writers.

“Books represent our fundamental unwillingness to dispose of knowledge, as well as our desire to connect with one another. Do books ever wonder whether they’re going to better homes from the ones they came from? Do they delight in being chosen from a random heap?” Rajat Singh meditates on the lives of discarded books. (Millions)

Publishers Weekly checks in with bookstores in Florida and Texas that are dealing with the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

At the Huffington Post, Claire Fallon takes a closer look at the media controversy that arose last week when a black student at Cambridge University sent an open letter to the English faculty requesting the syllabus include more writers of color.