Langston Hughes’s Legacy, Translating the Pope, 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:

Richard Abowitz, editor of the online magazine the Smart Set, considers the curious minimization of Langston Hughes’s legacy in modern American poetry

At Asymptote, writer and translator Oonagh Stransky talks about her experience translating the book-length dialogue between Pope Francis and Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli into English.

“Writers’ diaries have often functioned as notebooks, storehouses of the overheard remark that will later become a line of dialogue, the anecdote that will eventually attach itself to a plotline.” So, which writers’ personal notebooks are worth reading? At the New York Times, writers Thomas Mallon and Pankaj Mishra recommend the journals of Dawn Powell, Virginia Woolf, Witold Gombrowicz, and others.

Today is World Book Day in the U.K., but people across the globe are sharing and celebrating their love of reading. So pick up a book—it’s good for your health! (

Best-selling fiction writer Ethan Canin, the author most recently of the novel A Doubter’s Almanac, discusses his favorite passage in Saul Bellow’s short story “A Silver Dish,” and what it taught him about fiction endings and emotion. “At the end of a story or novel, you do not want the reader thinking. Endings are about emotion, and logic is emotion’s enemy. It’s the writer’s job to disarm the reader of his logic, to just make the reader feel.” (Atlantic)

Australian author William Kostakis canceled two speaking engagements at a Catholic school in Sydney after he was banned from promoting his new novel, The Sidekicks, which the school deemed “inappropriate.” The school contacted Kostakis after reading one of his blog posts in which he came out as gay. (

This week, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) launched a national advocacy campaign with letters that urge Congress, all fifty state governors, and all fifty state attorneys general to investigate Amazon’s business practices for antitrust violations. In conjunction with the campaign, the ABA released an Antitrust Action Kit, which provides state-specific adaptable letters for booksellers that they can send to state and federal lawmakers. (