Macmillan Drops Out of BookExpo, McSweeney’s Highlights Elder Voices, 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.

Macmillan has withdrawn as an exhibitor at BookExpo and BookCon, despite the recent announcement that the trade shows would be postponed from May to July. The house is the last of the Big Five publishers to drop out. (Publishers Weekly)

McSweeney’s has launched a new initiative, “A Force Outside Myself: Citizens Over 60 Speak,” in which they invite seniors to write in about their experience of the coronavirus pandemic. Responses are added to a growing page on the McSweeney’s website.  

Barnes & Noble has temporarily closed more than 400 of its 620 stores. Last week CEO James Daunt issued a letter to staff warning of this possibility and outlining protocols for limited paid time off and possible layoffs. (Bookseller

As cities and states across the country institute strict social distancing measures and mandate business closures, booksellers are making the case that bookstores are essential businesses and should be permitted to remain open. (Publishers Weekly)

Before closing to the public, Capitol Hill Books in Washington, D.C. offered patrons the opportunity to book individual one-hour shopping appointments. Dan Kois reflects on his hour with the riches of the used bookstore all to himself. (Slate)

Richard Marek—an esteemed editor who worked with James Baldwin and Ernest Hemingway, among other literary luminaries—died on Sunday at age eighty-six. (New York Times)

Ginger Gaffney contemplates silence, distance, and the language of our bodies during a pandemic. “What is most striking to me in this time is how our bodies have become more monotone, less diverse, a thin shell is covering our body language, and all I hear is fear.” (Poets & Writers Magazine)

“Today, like every other day, is a chance to begin again.” Writer and illustrator Kaitlin Chan shares reflections (and a drawing) from her experience of the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong. (Poets & Writers Magazine)

Andrea Lawlor talks to Entertainment Weekly about the origins of their debut novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl. Lawlor was named among the ten winners of the 2020 Whiting Awards on Wednesday evening. 

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Patrick Stewart for his daily Instagram reading of a Shakespeare sonnet. “A sonnet a day keeps the doctor away,” Stewart writes.