Macmillan Pledges to Increase Latinx Representation, Political Analysis of the Small Press, 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.

On Monday, Macmillan leadership met with representatives of #DignidadLiteraria, a coalition of Latinx members of the literary community, to discuss issues of racism and representation at the publishing house, newly brought to light by the publication of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. The meeting also included representatives from O, the Oprah Magazine—Oprah Winfrey recently selected American Dirt for her book club—and Matt Nelson, the executive director of, a Latinx organizing group. During the meeting Macmillan pledged to create an action plan to substantially increase Latinx representation in its list and staff. The publisher and #DignidadLiteraria plan to reconvene in thirty days for further talks. (Publishers Weekly)

Matvei Yankelevich, a writer, translator, and cofounder of Ugly Duckling Presse, has published the first essay in a four-part series examining the “cultural, political, pragmatic, and financial” pressures that are affecting and threatening small presses around the United States. In this installment, he examines the ways in which the small press world has historically defined itself, aesthetically and politically, by its autonomy. (Harriet)

Danez Smith describes writing to and after specific friends in their latest collection, Homie. “I think it both enlivens the poems and focuses the language,” they say. “It also brings up for me not living in the falsehood of the universal, and being intentional when writing a poem that’s not only for oneself.” (Electric Literature)

Writer and literary critic George Steiner died yesterday at age ninety. Steiner served as senior book reviewer for the New Yorker for more than three decades. (New York Times)

Jenn Shapland, author of the newly released My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, reveals the ways in which McCuller’s queerness had been obscured and omitted from most histories of the writer. (Paris Review Daily)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh talks channeling anger into art, managing the financial stresses of being a working artist, and “breaking out of likability.” (Rumpus)

Tobias Grey profiles German-language writer and playwright Daniel Kehlmann for the New York Times, focusing on how the author’s family history has informed his literary interests and voice.  

The Chicago Review of Books recommends twelve new books to read this February