LSD Literature, Salman Rushdie on Kurt Vonnegut, 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 the New York Times, authors T. C. Boyle, Michael Pollan, and Ayelet Waldman discuss the growing popularity of psychedelic drugs in the business world and health and wellness industry.

“It may be impossible to stop wars, just as it’s impossible to stop glaciers, but it’s still worth finding the form and the language that reminds us what they are and calls them by their true names.” Salman Rushdie on the overlooked realism of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. (New Yorker)

This year’s five National Student Poets have been announced. Tenth- and eleventh-graders Christian Butterfield of Kentucky, Julie Dawkins of Oklahoma, Taylor Fang of Utah, Salma Mohammad of Indiana, and Alondra Uribe of New York will serve as regional literary ambassadors through readings, workshops, and other programs. (Associated Press)

“Without education, there’s no liberation.” Poet José Roberto Cea reflects on a lifetime of literature and resistance in El Salvador. (BOMB)

At the Guardian, Joanne Ramos talks about the political timeliness of her debut novel, The Farm, which depicts a luxury service that provides rich clients with pregnancy surrogates. “The one thing I hope people don’t say afterwards is, ‘That could never happen.’ I hope people are like, ‘Whoa! Is this happening? Is it real?’ Because it’s where we are.”

“Each time the bar is higher, but the terrain is more familiar, so the challenge can again be met and the beauty of the original in its humanity and wisdom can survive.” Linda Coverdale on translating the work of Patrick Chamoiseau, including the novel Slave Old Man, which won this year’s Best Translated Book Award for fiction. (Millions)

In New York City, a 1924 letter from Ernest Hemingway to his father has sold at auction for more than $25,000. (Atlas Obscura)

And in the latest installment of By the Book at the New York Times, novelist and journalist Elliot Ackerman talks about military fiction and the optimism of literature. “Amid all our divisions—with voices putting up fences around our imaginations, telling us what we can write, what’s allowable to think, and who is allowed to say what—that type of emotional transference is a powerful way to assert our shared humanity.”