National Poetry Month, Anisfield-Wolf Winners, 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:

National Poetry Month is here! The Academy of American Poets offers thirty ways to celebrate poetry throughout April.

Meanwhile, U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith helped NPR kick off its National Poetry Month poetry challenge—readers are invited to tweet 140-character poems to @npratc with the hashtag #nprpoetry. Each week a poet will share some of the submissions on the air.

Houston is celebrating poetry this month with its “Dear Houston” project of “poet-trees” in Eleanor Tinsley Park. Visitors can write poems on ribbons hung around trees. (Houstonia Magazine)

In advance of the premiere of PBS’s Poetry In America series, TIME recalls how John McCain turned to poetry to help him survive his five years in a prisoner-of-war camp during the Vietnam War. McCain appears in PBS’s forthcoming series to share how he memorized the 1907 poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and recited it with a fellow prisoner using taps on the wall between them.

Elizabeth Ebert, the “grand dame of cowboy poetry,” has died at age ninety-three. (New York Times)

Shane McCrae, N. Scott Momaday, Jesmyn Ward, and Kevin Young have won the 2018 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, given for literature that confronts racism and examines diversity.

“King’s murder made Baldwin feel like the last person capable of bridging the divide between his generation and younger activists.” Ed Pavlic describes the role James Baldwin assumed after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Wednesday is the fiftieth anniversary of King’s death.

Samanta Scwheblin’s Fever Dream edged out George Saunders’s Lincoln In the Bardo in the championship round of the Tournament of Books, and Loudness’s “Crazy Nights” has triumphed over Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” for the March Shredness championship title.

The Guardian rounds up fifty of the most exciting emerging writers in fiction, poetry, politics, memoir, and more.