Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year, University of New Mexico Press to Launch New Imprint, and More

by Staff

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.

Merriam-Webster has announced pandemic as its “Word of the Year.” The dictionary also highlighted eleven more words that saw significant increases in search traffic, including defund, schadenfreude, and malarkey

The University of New Mexico Press has announced it will launch a new imprint, High Road Books, in March 2021. The editors will seek to publish “thoughtful, stylish, provocative fiction and nonfiction with western roots and national appeal.” 

“I’m kind of like a parabola antenna, so that I can magnify the small voices of people who aren’t often heard.” In a profile at the New York Times, Yu Miri reflects on her interest in voices at the margins. The English edition of her novel Tokyo Ueno Station, translated by Morgan Giles, won this year’s National Book Award for Translated Literature. 

“I started writing personal essays as a way to cope—and as a way to survive.” Athena Dixon discusses the road to writing her debut memoir-in-essays, The Incredible Shrinking Woman. (Rumpus)

The Guardian has selected its top poetry books of the year, including RENDANG by Will Harris and Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz. 

At Granta, poets Ruth Padel and Ilya Kaminsky discuss their past and future obsessions.  

At the Washington Post, Bethanne Patrick recommends ten books publishing in December, including new novels by Emma Glass and Jane Smiley.  

NPR staff and critics have selected just over 380 titles for this year’s NPR Book Concierge.