Memoir of the Queer Underground, Questions at the NYPL, and More


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.

At Lambda Literary, Alvin Orloff discusses writing his memoir, Disasterama!: Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977-1997, which weaves together his personal history with the subcultural histories of San Francisco’s queer scene. “Stories about how ordinary nobodies weathered the plague were (and are) still few and far between, so I figured it was time I did my bit to fill in the historical record.”

A new book from St. Martin’s Griffin documents the many peculiar questions posed to staff at the New York Public Library over the years. Highlights include “Can you give me the name of a book that dramatizes bedbugs?” from 1944 and “What kind of apple did Eve eat?” from 1956. (Literary Hub)

Sheila O’Connor talks to National Public Radio about her latest novel, Evidence of V, which was inspired by the story of her maternal grandmother, who was imprisoned in state reform school for becoming pregnant at age fifteen. The novel’s fragmentary structure reflects the enforced silences and absences in her grandmother’s—and many other women’s—stories. 

In a conversation with Michele Filgate, Lilly Dancyger talks about editing Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger, her own evolving relationship to anger, and how editing an anthology was both different and similar to her usual editorial and writing work.  

The New Yorker revisits T. S. Eliot’s seminal essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” and considers why it persists as a cultural touchstone. 

Tim O’Brien on his latest book, Dad’s Maybe Book, a “selective memoir” about fatherhood and pride. (Millions)

The New York Times visits Atlantis Books in Santorini, Greece, and talks to owner Craig Walzer about the myths and realities of bookselling in paradise

Emma Forrest on her meditation practice, the three women artists that influence her craft, and the origin story of her latest novel, Royals. “This book started coming to me in dreams.” (Guardian)