MacArthur Genius Winners, Vox Acquires New York Media, 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.

The MacArthur Foundation has selected twenty-six individuals to receive MacArthur fellowships, commonly referred to as “Genius” grants. The fellows range in age from thirty to sixty-seven, and include writers Lynda Barry, Valeria Luiselli, and Ocean Vuong. (New York Times)

Read more about Vuong in our cover profile by Rigoberto González, published in the July/August 2019 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Vox Media has acquired New York Media, which includes the classic biweekly New York Magazine and its accompanying online publications: the Cut, Grub Street, Intelligencer, the Strategist, and Vulture. (New York Times)

PEN America has published a new report concerning book restriction policies in the U.S. prison system. The twenty-eight-page paper both outlines the issues and offers recommendations for how to move forward. 

At the Washington Post, Ron Charles also considers the complicated politics of Banned Books Week, by recalling the time he helped pull an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist’s book from Barnes & Noble. “I banned a book. Or at least I helped get it banned, which makes Banned Books Week a little awkward for me this year.”

In an interview for NPR, Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses his novel, The Water Dancer, his fascination with Harriet Tubman, and what speculative fiction makes possible.

The Authors Guild and the Association of Authors’ Representatives have filed an amicus brief to stand in solidarity with the seven publishers that filed a lawsuit against Audible back in August. The lawsuit alleges the new feature Audible Captions violates copyright law. (Publishers Weekly)

Cult classics such as The Catcher in the Rye and Infinite Jest have inspired both devotion and disdain. The BBC rounds up the cult novels that have fallen from grace

In Canada, five writers have been shortlisted for the annual $50,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, which honors the nation’s best novel or story collection. Four of the five selected titles are published by independent presses. (Toronto Star)