Maya Angelou’s Ninetieth Birthday, Roxane Gay’s Pop-Up Magazine, 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:

The late Maya Angelou would have been ninety today. To celebrate the author’s birthday, TIME highlights five facts about Angelou—she was the first black female conductor of a San Francisco cable car, for example—and Google features an animated video of Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, America Ferrera, and others reading Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” as a Google Doodle.

Roxane Gay is curating a pop-up magazine at Medium to “create a space for writers I respect and admire to contribute to the ongoing conversation about unruly bodies and what it means to be human,” starting with essays by Randa Jarrar, S. Bear Bergman, Matthew Salesses, and Kiese Laymon.

Joan Silber has won the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel Improvement, which also won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle award in fiction. Silber will receive $15,000. (Washington Post)

The New York Times Magazine reports on the Chinese government’s crackdown on booksellers in Hong Kong, especially those selling banned books.

 “…King’s legacy is not static. Five decades later, it continues to deepen and unfold.” On the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the New Yorker rounds up its coverage of the legendary civil rights leader over the decades.

Paul Bogaards, the executive director of publicity at Knopf/Doubleday, posted an official job listing for a publicist on the Penguin Random House website and then wrote a rather unconventional listing of the job for his blog. “You will attend meetings where nothing happens. That is another succinct description of book publishing in the twenty-first century.”

In response to writer Whit Reynolds’s Twitter challenge over the weekend for women to “describe yourself like a male author would,” Katy Waldman considers the “ridiculousness that ensues when bookish men perform interest in women’s inner lives out of a misbegotten sense of nobility.” (New Yorker)

Poet J. Jennifer Espinoza talks with the Creative Independent about creative process, protecting one’s mental and physical health while writing and being on social media, and how to deal with creative blocks.