Life as a Traveling Shakespeare Actor, the Literature of Sleeplessness, 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.

Ron Charles surveys the literature of sleeplessness, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Crack-Up and Walt Whitman’s “The Sleepers” to Yan Lianke’s The Day the Sun Died and Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is in Trouble. (Washington Post)

“It was a low-rent, inglorious job, but you were there for your scene partner because that’s what makes a good actor, donating your emotion to your castmates and everyone who built the tradition of theater, of touring troupes of actors bringing Shakespeare’s comedies and dramas to small towns whose arts community lay in want.” Jeremy D. Larson recalls his time as a traveling theater actor. (Outline)

Jess Row and Timothy Yu talk with Fiction/Non/Fiction hosts Whitney Terrell and V. V. Ganeshananthan about whiteness, writing about race, and Bob Hicok’s essay “The Promise of American Poetry.” (Literary Hub)

Thatcher Wine, the “celebrity bibliophile” who curated Gwyneth Paltrow’s bookshelves, shares his tips for both collecting books and using them as decoration. (Town & Country)

Cathleen Schine talks with the New York Times about her current obsession with Cynthia Ozick, her ideal literary dinner party, and her favorite books.

Actor George Takei talks about They Call Us Enemy, his new graphic memoir that depicts his childhood in an U.S. internment camp, and the treatment of people seeking asylum at the southern border. (Los Angeles Times)

“I think a lot of people (often those who don’t perform) enforce this very strict boundary between spoken and written word in order to preserve some understanding they have of what makes something “literary.” Which is often just rooted in racism and misogyny.” Olivia Gatwood discusses with Publishers Weekly about her debut poetry collection, Life of the Party, which was published by Random House this week.

“I’ve had this idea recently, not necessarily an original idea, but one I can’t shake, that the art we make helps us understand how we belong in the world. Maybe we learn we don’t belong, maybe it helps us endure.” Poet Ben Fama chats with BOMB.