Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, Language of Policing, 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.

The winners of this year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were revealed in a virtual ceremony on Friday. Deesha Philyaw earned the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction for The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Meanwhile, Isabel Wilkerson received the current interest prize for Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents and Victoria Chang received the poetry prize for Obit.

“Potter has loved being a cop and she has loved every minute of it, the statement insists, even if her final minutes in the field were spent annihilating a man who’d been on earth for less time than she’d been a police officer.” Lauren Michele Jackson analyzes the language Kim Potter used to resign from the Brooklyn Center Police Department after news broke that she had shot and killed twenty-year-old Daunte Wright. (New Yorker)

Best-selling author Garth Stein has announced that the Book Industry Charitable Foundation is seeking donations from authors to create a pool of matching funds for the Survive to Thrive grant program, which will provide aid to independent bookstores. The foundation launched the initiative late last month with corporate donations already covering $1 million of the $2 million fund-raising goal. The pool generated by author donations will be used to help drive donations from readers in order to reach the $2 million mark.   

“The pandemic altered how readers discover and buy books, and drove sales for celebrities and best-selling authors while new and lesser known writers struggled.” Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth A. Harris write about how the pandemic has affected book discovery and buying. (New York Times)

“I began to collect with fervor. I found more comics with Black women writers. I searched for Black girls in fantasy films, television, and web series.” Ravynn Stringfield finds a community of Black women writing and studying Black girl fantasy. (Catapult)

Michael Seidlinger explores how the publishing industry leverages “bookishness”—the aesthetics of books and book culture. (Publishers Weekly)

“I am firmly for eating chowder and against eating whale.” In the latest installment of her Eat Your Words series, Valerie Stivers shares two chowder recipes inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. (Paris Review Daily)

Vulture lists its top books of the year to date, including Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge and Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters.