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.
At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris point to the structural and hiring choices publishing companies are making that indicate that the industry’s move toward equity and diversity might not be a fad, but a more lasting change. This week Hachette announced the formation of Legacy Lit, an imprint focused on work by BIPOC writers led by Krishan Trotman, and Simon & Schuster announced it had hired Miami Herald executive editor Aminda Marqués González as a vice president and executive editor.
“There is a future—we’ve just got to do everything we can do to get ourselves there.” In an interview at Reuters, Lisa Lucas considers daily life in the pandemic and her upcoming transition from leading the National Book Foundation to serving as senior vice president and publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books.
As France enters a four-week lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, the country’s booksellers, publishers, and authors are urging the government to designate bookstores as essential businesses. “Leave our bookstores open so that social confinement does not also become cultural isolation,” they write. (Guardian)
“The first person that has to be impressed with what you’re writing is you. You always have to remember that.” Poet Nikki Giovanni offers advice to writers. (Creative Independent)
Writers reflect on the pleasures of cooking: At TIME, Beth Nguyen shares her love of baking as a way of understanding process, while Bryan Washington writes for the New Yorker about making his mother’s banana fritters. And at the Paris Review Daily, Valerie Stivers cooks up some dishes inspired the transgressive fiction of French writer Gabrielle Wittkop.
“Expecting people to be productive during a life-changing pandemic simply because we have more time at home is bullshit, I say. It’s like asking someone to be productive during their surgical recovery, or after a hurricane destroys their town.” Memoirist Dawn Davies on rethinking productivity, the rollercoaster of publishing a book, and pushing the essay form. (Rumpus)
Elle compiles its list of the forty-eight best books of 2020 so far.