National Book Awards, Stan Lee’s Last Superhero, 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 winners of the 2018 National Book Awards were announced last night at a ceremony in New York City. Sigrid Nunez won in fiction for her novel The Friend, Justin Phillip Reed won the prize in poetry for his debut collection, Indecency, Elizabeth Acevedo won in young people’s literature for her novel, The Poet X, and Jeffrey C. Stewart won in nonfiction for The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke. Yoko Tawada received the inaugural prize in translation for her novel The Emissary, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Mitsutani. Read more about the winners and the ceremony, which was hosted by actor and comedian Nick Offerman, at the G&A Blog.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has selected its Best Books of 2018, including There There by Tommy Orange, A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza, and The Overstory by Richard Powers.

Read a conversation between Powers and fellow novelist Barbara Kingsolver in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, and listen to Orange and Mirza read from their books, which were featured in Poets & Writers’ First Fiction 2018.

Forbes has released its annual 30 Under 30, which this year includes poet Danez Smith, author of the collection Don’t Call Us Dead, which was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in poetry and won the Forward Prize. Smith’s next collection, Homie, is due out in 2020.

The late Stan Lee’s daughter, JC Lee, says she was collaborating with her father on one final superhero before he died: Dirt Man. Lee says she intends to finish the new story, which she hopes will be made into a film, and plans to create a childhood literacy foundation in her father’s name. “The importance of the written word and the importance of reading is not to be underestimated,” she said. “There’s a lot to be passed on to children about reading and writing, maybe doing competitions—we’re taking this as far as we can take it.” Stan Lee died on Monday at the age of 95. (Guardian)

Earlier this week, at the annual gala for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), outgoing executive director Jeffrey Lependorf passed the torch to Mary Gannon, the former associate director and director of content for the Academy of American Poets. (Publishers Weekly)

Poetry Daily, the online anthology that has been promoting poetry since 1997, will be moving to George Mason University, where it will be published in partnership with the Department of English’s Creative Writing Program and George Mason University Libraries. Founders Don Selby and Diane Boller, who are retiring at the end of the year, will remain on the board of directors of the Daily Poetry Association, the independent nonprofit that publishes Poetry Daily.