Mary Ruefle on Invisibility, the Pablo Neruda “Anti-Biopic,” 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:

Film Comment features an interview with Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín about Neruda, his new film exploring the life of Nobel Prize–winning poet Pablo Neruda. “I didn’t want to make it. I thought it was impossible to make a film about Pablo Neruda. Eventually we found a way to dig in and produce what we like to call an anti-biopic.”

Poet Mary Ruefle talks about her thirty-year career in poetry, finding pleasure in miniature, and the feeling of becoming invisible as one ages. “When you become invisible, you become your inner life—that’s wonderful—because your outer, physical life is gone, and you’ve been waiting your whole life for that to happen. To be alive without a body—isn’t that the afterlife everyone dreams of?”

At Signature, Tobias Carroll considers visual art as inspiration for writing fiction and explores eight novels and stories inspired by real works of art.

As the world of medical science continues to examine the positive effects of writing on health, a clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota, has started incorporating poetry and prose workshops into its wellness programs. (Star Tribune)

Meanwhile, Business Insider lists fourteen reasons why reading improves brain function and overall health.

“She had a brilliant eye for a good sentence, and not much patience with bad writing. Good writing was truthfulness, and truthfulness (sometimes frighteningly) was her central value. She was a great debunker.” Poet Ian Patterson, husband of late author Jenny Diski, reflects on his wife’s life as a writer. Diski died in April from cancer, of which she wrote about openly. (Guardian)

Austria's word of the year has a whopping fifty-two letters. The German word, Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung, was coined this year in response to a long, drawn-out Austrian presidential election. (Smithsonian)

Fiction writer Krys Lee discusses her debut novel, How I Became a North Korean, as well as her experiences as an activist working with North Korean refugees in South Korea and China. (Guernica)