Man Booker International Prize Announced, Climate Fiction, and More


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:

Israeli writer David Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen have won the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for Cohen’s translation from the Hebrew of Grossman’s novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar. The annual prize, which awards both the translator and writer £25,000, is given for a fiction book in translation published in the previous year in the United Kingdom. Read more at the G&A blog.

From David Bowie songs to an Apple commercial to a modern-day stage adaptation, the New York Times traces the many adaptations and influences of George Orwell’s iconic novel 1984.

“The primary function of climate fiction is not to convince us to do something about climate change—that remains a job primarily for activists, scientists and politicians. Rather, fiction can help us learn how to live in a world increasingly altered by our actions—and to imagine new ways of living that might reduce the harm we do.” Writer and editor Anna North considers literature about climate change from T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” to Claire Vaye Watkins’s recent novel, Gold Fame Citrus. (Smithsonian)

Oxford University Press has analyzed the more than 131,000 entries to the BBC Radio 2’s annual five-hundred-word story contest for British children and found that the young writers had coined over a hundred Trump-related words and phrases, including “Trumplestiltskin” and “Boggle Trump.” (Guardian)

“Poems remind us that someone is saying, come here. This has happened to me. This is how it made me feel. This is who I am in the wake of this thing.” Tracy K. Smith, who yesterday was named the next U.S. poet laureate, sits down with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown to discuss her new role, the power of poetry, and how she explores race and faith in her work.

Slate investigates whether Bob Dylan cribbed lines from the SparkNotes of Moby-Dick in his Nobel Prize lecture, and examines the singer-songwriter’s long history of artistic appropriation.

“Writing long poems is annoying because it makes you stay your ass in the chair and keep going. It’s kind of like the poetic equivalent of ‘yes, and?’ Yet for however frustrating they are, when I’m done I feel like—you know what? I said what I had to say.” Poet Tommy Pico talks with Vol. 1 Brooklyn about long poems, podcasting, and his most recent collection, Nature Poem.

Atlas Obscura is celebrating children’s literature this week with stories about Anushka Ravishankar, the “Indian Dr. Seuss”; the “grisly moral tales” of Heinrich Hoffman’s 1845 German children’s book, Struwwelpeter; and American children’s books written during the Great Depression and funded by the Works Progress Administration.