Lou Reed Poem, Visiting With Ntozake Shange, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

Legendary songwriter Lou Reed passed away yesterday, and among many remembrances across the media, the Paris Review made available a poem Reed published in 1972.

Adam Gopnik considers the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and that tragedy’s intersection with America’s poets and writers—including John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Norman Mailer. Gopnik writes, Kennedy’s death “marked the last time the highbrow reaches of the American imagination were complicit in the dignity of the Presidency.” (New Yorker)

Grub Street is using a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to spearhead the creation of a literary cultural district in Boston. (Shelf Awareness)

The New York Times visits with legendary poet Ntozake Shange at the Nuyorican Poets Café. In recent years, Ms. Shange has suffered strokes, and a neurological disorder that caused great difficulty writing.

Canadian poet David McFadden announced that he has Alzheimer’s. (Globe and Mail)

Casey N. Cep looks at the unique relationships of the Brontës, the Wordsworths, and other literary siblings. (Poetry Foundation)

William Bradley argues that if we read essays—especially by writers such as Ira Sukrungruang, Eula Biss, and Jill Talbott—it will increase our ability to empathize. (Utne Reader)

Mental Floss lists nine books everyone should read, including The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

And Erika Dreifus lists ten ways to celebrate Jewish Book Month. (Forward)