Natasha Trethewey on Remembering the Past, Millions Editor Lydia Kiesling Signs Off, and More

by Staff
1.10.19

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.

“I’ve had certainly plenty of reasons to be angry in my life, and a good measure of anger. But seething beneath the surface, I think, can be powerful. I’m not so sure about the more explosive anger that could just become didacticism.” Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and new Academy of American Poets chancellor Natasha Trethewey on the necessity of remembering the past. (Guernica)

Read more about Natasha Trethewey in the Poets & Writers interview “Three Poets Laureate: Lightning Rods for Poetry.”

Millions editor Lydia Kiesling bids farewell to readers in a book preview celebrating the abundance of new titles publishing in the first half of 2019.

“In particular, the novel marked a crucial turn in how the author sought to characterize the most abiding theme and moral principle of his work: love.” At the Atlantic, Dagmawi Woubshet considers the legacy of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk.

The Jewish Book Council has announced the winners of the 2018 National Jewish Book Awards. Book of the Year went to Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, while Erika Meitner received the prize in poetry for Holy Moly Carry Me. In an interview at the Ploughshares blog, Meitner discusses the book, a collection that examines gun culture, violence, and raising a family in rural Appalachia.

Read more about Meitner and fellow poets Beth Ann Fennelly, Lisa Moore, and Catherine Pierce, who are fighting for gun control in the classroom. (Poets & Writers Magazine)

“For a long time, thriving meant one thing to me: to be writing, and to be writing well. To be alone, by yourself, in a room, working. There is no other way to be productive. That is a fact. But what about thriving because of human connections?” Jami Attenberg on leaving New York City and starting over in one’s forties. (Curbed)

Tommy Pico, author of the 2018 poetry collection IRL, discusses a writing life spent on the road: “I’ll get off stage and I’ll be shaking and not able to talk to anybody, and then I’ll be lying in bed later unable to go to sleep, and I’m thinking, ‘There must be an easier way of doing this.’” (Literary Hub)

“I wanted to read the same story but with samosas instead of scones.” Soniah Kamal discusses her new novel, Unmarriageable, which reimagines Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan. (Rumpus)