National Endowment for the Arts Grant Recipients, Anti-Racism After Reading, 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.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded $1.4 million in grants to sixty-two literary arts organizations. Among the recipients, the Academy of American Poets received $75,000; the National Book Foundation received $70,000; and Poets & Writers received $60,000. Recipients of this round of funding were determined by applications filed in 2019; NEA funds associated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act are due to be announced later this month. (Publishers Weekly)

Katrina Brooks, owner of Black Pearl Books, discusses the sudden demand for anti-racist reading materials. “It’s great to read, but what do you do with the knowledge once you have it? What’s the application of it?” (KXAN)

“We’re trying to tell these stories, but it’s as if the industry only allows a few of us to do so at one time.” Candice Carty-Williams questions whether the publishing industry will make a sustained commitment to including Black voices. (Guardian)

ZORA magazine, which seeks to “unabashedly amplify the voices of women of color,” is celebrating its first anniversary. The editors share ten favorites articles from the past year. 

“A story about injustice dressed up as a detective novel, Southland reminds us that activism is both an ongoing project and a deeply personal choice.” Vallaire Wallace finds lessons for activism in Nina Revoyr’s Southland. (Electric Literature)

“Gather the rawest supplies you have—your memories, your feelings, your traumas, everything—and make something out of it that’s just truly your own.” Karla Cornejo Villavicencio on reclaiming control of her narrative. (Guernica)

“I try not to have particular goals in mind before I actually start to write—to allow what comes to come, and to work the rest out in editing.” Alli Warren aspires to have a writing process that is embodied and intuitive. (BOMB)

Elizabeth A. Harris reports on how libraries are adapting to the pandemic and planning for reopening. (New York Times)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Debbie Cohen, the owner of The Story House in Rockville, Maryland, who has been personally sewing face masks to sell to customers for over a month now. Cohen also recently partnered with a workshop in California to produce masks with literary quotes.