National Student Poets Announced, Amazon Removes Racist Literature, 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 Student Poets Program have been announced. The annual program, an initiative from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, appoints five U.S. student poets to serve as literary ambassadors in their communities through service projects, workshops, and public readings. In addition, each poet receives a $5,000 academic award.

Amazon has removed from its site a number of products that promote “hateful and racist ideologies,” including white nationalist literature. The move comes after Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison sent an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demanding that the company stop selling the products. (BuzzFeed News)

Nineteen former clients of Danielle Smith, a children’s literary agent who recently closed her agency after accusations of fraudulent deals, recall past experiences with Smith that have “shaken their confidence and adversely affected their careers.” (Publishers Weekly)

At NYLON, twenty-five writers, including Amanda Stern, Jenny Zhang, and Crystal Hana Kim, share the books that inspired them to write.

For more from Crystal Hana Kim, read her recent series of Craft Capsules, in which she discusses the art of research, writing a novel with multiple narrators, and more. 

“[Philip] Roth’s sense that actuality was exceeding fiction writers’ imaginations (and throwing up real-life figures like Richard Nixon and Roy Cohn who were the envy of any novelist) would be echoed more than half a century later by writers of satire and spy thrillers in the Trump era.” The Paris Review blog features an excerpt of Michiko Kakutani’s new book, The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump.

Designed by the architecture studio of Chu Chih-Kang, a dark library in Taiwan illuminates nearly three hundred books, each of which faces forward, creating the illusion that the books are suspended in the air. (Designboom)

“While I was reading many of my expectations were just flipped upside down. It’s just a gorgeous, gorgeous poem.” Poet Nicole Sealey reads the poem “Indigo” by Ellen Bass and discusses her work with New Yorker poetry editor Kevin Young.