Mieko Kawakami Arrives for English Readers, Jericho Brown on Reading Poetry, and More

by Staff
5.11.20

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.

The New York Times profiles Mieko Kawakami, the author of Breast and Eggs, which won the coveted Akutagawa Prize in 2008 and was translated into English this spring. Kawakami discusses gender and class politics in Japan, as well as the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I really want to get rid of the idea that poetry is something that you must decode every step of the way as you are reading.” Jericho Brown talks to Library Journal about his early reading life and teaching others to revel in the magic of poetry before analysis. Brown recently won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for his third collection, The Tradition.  

The Seattle Review of Books has announced it will be going on “indefinite hiatus.” In a note to readers, the editors write, “We find ourselves taxed on a number of levels: The digital infrastructure requires intense and comprehensive work; our staff requires more resources to grow the site and keep it from turning fallow at a moment when resources are less available than ever; and, quite frankly, some of us are exhausted.”

Marian Wood, who ran an eponymous imprint at Penguin Random House for nearly two decades, has died. Over the course of her career, Wood worked with notable writers across disciplines and genres, including Sue Grafton, Hilary Mantel, and Linda Bierds. (Publishers Weekly)

“Our criteria for earning a life, a living, is mutating like a virus that wants badly to stay alive.” Sabrina Orah Mark writes about navigating the academic job market for creative writers. (Paris Review Daily)

“I wanted to read and learn and see as much as I could of this strange place that I had found myself in.” Paul Lisicky recalls living through the height of the AIDS crisis in Provincetown, Massachusetts. (Rumpus

“I write to include. I want to share what matters to me, and to make it matter to you.” Olivia Laing discusses her creative process and values. (BOMB)

Literary Hub recommends fifty contemporary novels that run under two hundred pages. 

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to LITERAL and the cohort of publishers who have organized Radical May, an online book festival taking place throughout the month that features “a varied and multilingual programme of round tables, talks and debates around the ideas that will transform the world to come.”