National Poetry Month, Four Quartets Prize Finalists, and More

by Staff

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.

Happy National Poetry Month! Join the Academy of American Poets in the largest literary celebration in the world with readings, the Dear Poet project, and more than thirty other ways to participate.

The T. S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Society of America have named Catherine Barnett, Dante Micheaux, and Meredith Stricker the finalists for the 2019 Four Quartets Prize. The annual $20,000 prize is given for a “unified and complete sequence of poems” published in the United States in 2018. The winner will be named at a ceremony in New York City on April 30. (Poets & Writers)

In Havana, Cuba, local and U.S. organizations have collaborated to create a museum commemorating Ernest Hemingway’s life on the island. The new restoration center is built on the property where the novelist lived for twenty-one years, and where he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast, and Islands in the Stream. (Guardian)

“If people can see their favorite poets just being casual fans of poetry, then maybe poetry can also be for them.” Danez Smith joins fellow poets Rupi Kaur, Eduardo C. Corral, Paisley Rekdal, and Rachel McKibbens in a discussion of social media and what happens when verse goes viral. (Publishers Weekly)

In Portland, Oregon, Colson Whitehead delivered the keynote address at this year’s Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. “Don’t worry about reading other people’s great works. Find your own.” (Vulture)

“Let’s not turn everything I write into a public service announcement.” Bret Easton Ellis talks to the New York Times about bad publicity, outgrowing parties, and the laissez-faire attitude of White, his first book in nine years.

Over at NPR, Canadian writer Miriam Toews explains her approach to giving a human voice to horror in her latest novel, Women Talking. “The women will go on to write their own story.”

At the Atlantic, James Parker returns to the “exultant brokenness” of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and finds that the novel, now fifty years in print, never gets old.