National Book Award Finalists, Colson Whitehead’s Next Novel, 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 finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards were announced yesterday. Finalists in the categories of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translation, and young people’s literature will each receive $1,000. The winners, who will receive $10,000, will be announced at the annual National Book Awards ceremony in November. Find out who made the shortlists at the G&A Blog. 

“It was a story I hadn’t heard before, and it was emblematic of so many injustices that go on every day that you never hear about.” Colson Whitehead’s next novel will take on life under Jim Crow. “The Nickel Boys,” scheduled for publication by Doubleday next summer, will follow two Black teenagers who attend a segregated reform school in 1960s Florida. The story was inspired by stories of abuse, neglect, torture, and suspicious deaths that took place at the Dozier School for Boys in the Florida panhandle. (New York Times)

Hear Whitehead talk about writing, social justice, and his previous book, the National Book Award–winning The Underground Railroad, in an epsiode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, Katie Prout writes about the intersections of class and creative writing, and going hungry at the most prestigious MFA in America. (Literary Hub)

Publishers Weekly reports that the number of self-published books topped the one million mark in 2017.  The total number of self-published titles released last year saw an increase of 28 percent from 2016.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s final book of poems, So Far So Good, was published last week by Copper Canyon Press. The collection was completed just weeks before the author’s death in January. The Washington Post highlights this and other notable poetry collections out this month. 

Pizza Hut has its own franchise of Little Free Libraries—and they all look like tiny Pizza Huts. (Atlas Obscura)

At Aeon, translator and author Mark Polizzotti considers the art of translation, posing the question: What is the task of the translator—to be a servant to the source or to create a new work of illuminated meaning?