Librarians in the Laundromat, Forward Prize Finalists, 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.

In 1989 librarian Elizabeth McChesney began bringing books to Chicago laundromats to encourage kids to read. Twenty years later, McChesney and a coalition of nonprofits are working to form laundromat literary groups across the country. (Mother Jones)

After eight years of waiting, fans of novelist Hilary Mantel can rest assured that the end to another game of thrones is in sight: The final title in Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is slated for release in March 2020. (Guardian)

In the United Kingdom, the 2019 finalists for the coveted Forward Prizes for Poetry have been announced. Finalists include Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic for best collection, Jay Bernard’s Surge for best debut collection, and Mary Jean Chan’s “The Window” for best single poem.

New York Times art, film, music, television, and theater critics recommend books to read this summer while the newspaper’s book critics weigh in with non-literary entertainment picks.

Donald Trump Jr. is expected to publish a book offering his take on the “great achievements” of his father’s administration later this year. The book has been acquired by Hachette imprint Center Street Press and has already sparked a social media hashtag, #DonJrBookTitles. (New York Times)

Penguin Random House has acquired a 45 percent stake in the independent publisher Sourcebooks. Founder Dominique Raccah says that the management of the house will stay the same and that it will keep its offices in New York City, Connecticut, Arizona, and Naperville, Illinois, the press’s hometown. (Publishers Weekly)

“With its dry caliche, endless bluestem prairie, and scrub trees all that’s left to break the former up, few writers have been equal to the task of showing just how incomprehensibly beautiful the Texas landscape can be.” At Literary Hub, Kevin Powers makes the case for a wider readership for John Graves’s 1960 nonfiction narrative, Goodbye to a River.

And at the Atlantic, Karen Tei Yamashita reflects on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the character tests described in John Okada’s 1957 novelNo-No Boy. “In his novel, Okada re-created the complicated, violently embittered, and painful divisions that openly seethed during the war and postwar periods and, I would argue, continue to haunt our communities.”