Literary Inheritances, the Oldest Handwritten Document in Britain, 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:

Book vending machines have arrived in Singapore. The independent bookstore BooksActually has unveiled several vending machines around the city—each contains one hundred fifty books, with many titles by local authors and publishers. (Mashable)

“There is something important in hearing the names of writers in your parents’ mouths, in having certain books in your home, in encountering art in a shared, intimate way that conditions you to make art yourself.” Fiction writer Annie Liontas considers the experiences of writers who did not grow up with a “literary inheritance.” (New York Times)

Archeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology have uncovered more than four hundred ancient wooden writing tablets from Roman London. Eighty-seven of the documents have since been deciphered, including the oldest handwritten document in Britain, which is dated January 8, A.D. 57. (NPR)

At Publishers Weekly, novelist Alexis M. Smith discusses eight books that explore the connection between the female psyche and the wilderness.

Britain’s Poetry Book Society, founded by T. S. Eliot and his friends sixty years ago to “propagate the art of poetry,” has announced it will close and hand over its operations to the T. S. Eliot Foundation and Inpress, a nonprofit small press marketing organization. The society was unable to secure enough funding to continue its programming, which includes administering the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize. (Guardian)

The winners of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize have been announced. Two annual prizes of $65,000 (CAD) are awarded to poetry books written or translated into English. Norman Dubie won the international prize for his collection The Quotations of Bone (Copper Canyon), and Liz Howard won the Canadian prize for her collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent (McClelland & Stewart). 

Irish writer Andrea Carter, author of the Inishowen Mysteries series, discusses the challenges of writing a series compared to writing a standalone novel, and offers advice for writers of serialized fiction. (Irish Independent