Marlon James’s Fantasy Trilogy, Write in Mark Twain’s Library, 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:

Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James has revealed initial details about his next project, a fantasy trilogy inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and African mythology and folklore. James says he aims to publish the first installment of the Dark Star Trilogy in fall 2018. (Los Angeles Times)

The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, is offering writers uninterrupted work time in Twain’s personal library. Writers can reserve three hours in the library for fifty dollars. (Huffington Post)

Christian Lorentzen examines various strategies of novelists writing during Barack Obama’s presidency, and breaks “Obama Lit” into four categories: autofiction, fables of meritocracy, historical novels set in the near past, and narratives centered on trauma. (Vulture)

“For a poet who is notorious for writing opaque poems…a number of collages celebrate the youthful male body with an innocence that is touching, tender, and, frankly, poignant and sweet.” Poet and art critic John Yau considers John Ashbery’s recent collages, which are on display at the Tibor de Nagy gallery in New York City until January 28. (Hyperallergic)

Business Insider features a list of beautiful libraries in every state. Time to plan your next cross-country road trip!

At World Literature Today, translator and Assyriologist Benjamin Foster talks about his experience translating The Epic of Gilgamesh and whether or not it is realistic to anticipate an eventual discovery of a single, complete version of the manuscript.

Meanwhile, American novelists Donna De Leon and Laura Kasischke and British novelist Simon Beckett discuss finding literary success in other countries with foreign-language readers. (Guardian)