Libraries in Barbershops and Laundromats, Mary Miller’s Enormous Grouch, and More


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 Cutz Lounge the Grooming Shop in Detroit, the buzz of razors mingles with the sound of children reading aloud from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the Captain Underpants series. The store’s reading space is part of a growing movement led by libraries and nonprofits to bring books to places where kids are waiting around with time on their hands—barbershops and laundromats. (New York Times)

Dallas-based translation publisher Deep Vellum has acquired the backlist of two other indies—Los Angeles press Phoneme Media, which publishes poetry in translation, and Austin press A Strange Object, which focuses on experimental and debut books. Along with its new imprints, Deep Vellum will be expanding to publish works originally written in English. (Publishers Weekly)

“My goal is to let the characters take over as much as possible so they can tell their stories without my interference, which is the only way it works for me.” Mary Miller on writing the story of an “enormous grouch” and his love for his dog in her new novel, Biloxi. (Rumpus)

At the Paris Review, Rebecca Godfrey talks with Leslie Jamison about exploring female anger in her nonfiction book, Under the Bridge. “Female rage is usually turned inward. I didn’t want to romanticize the violence of these girls, but at the same time, it seemed interesting to explore how and why these girls were a threat.”

At Brown University’s John Hay Library, an archive of five thousand paperbacks of gay pulp fiction helps preserve “one way LGBTQ people made art, explored their identities, and shared in community before it was accepted in the mainstream.” (WBUR)

Maurice Sendak might be remembered and loved as the writer and illustrator of picture books like Where the Wild Things Are, but a new exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City focuses on a lesser-known period of the artist’s career: his late-in-life stint as a set and custom designer for opera and ballet productions. (Smithsonian)

At Guernica, critic, essayist, and poet Wayne Koestenbaum shares the genesis and influences of his recently reissued novel, Circus. “When I get the novel fever in me, it always has to do with a grandiose, erotico-maniacal life led in an implausibly parochial American town.”

“Her malice had everything to do with her talent, and it rendered her more suited to the job than anybody near her.” Andrew O’Hagan remembers the ruthlessness that made author and New Yorker writer Lillian Ross the reader’s friend. (London Review of Books)