No Nobel Prize in Literature This Year, Writers Call Out Junot Díaz’s Treatment of Women, 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 Swedish Academy announced that it will not award a Nobel Prize in Literature this year, due to controversy about how the academy handled allegations of sexual harassment against a man with close ties to the board. The Academy will award two prizes next year. (Wall Street Journal)

Writers Zinzi Clemmons and Carmen Maria Machado have called out writer Junot Díaz for his treatment of women. “As a grad student, I invited Junot Díaz to speak to a workshop on issues of representation in literature,” tweeted Clemmons. “I was an unknown wide-eyed 26 yo, and he used it as an opportunity to corner and forcibly kiss me. I’m far from the only one he’s done this 2, I refuse to be silent anymore.” (Book Riot)

Jane Chu, the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, will step down in June when her four-year term expires. Chu has led the agency through troubled times; the Trump administration has sought to eliminate the agency, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities, in its budget proposals from last year and this year. (Publishers Weekly)

A new study has confirmed that kids with increased access to books and greater adult support are likely to learn better. As part of the study, which was funded by JetBlue, researchers placed book vending machines in low-income neighborhoods for two months; sixty-four thousand books were distributed. (U.S. News & World Report)

Kyle Dacuyan has been named the next executive director of the Poetry Project. Dacuyan, who is currently codirector of national outreach and membership at PEN America, will succeed Stacy Szymaszek. (Poetry Foundation)

Lawrence Downes profiles writer Hernán Diaz, whose debut novel, In the Distance, about a lonely Swede traveling across the American frontier in the 1800s, is reinventing the modern Western. The book, which was unagented and published by indie publisher Coffee House Press, was a finalist for the Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner Award. (New York Times)

From how to make a schedule to manage your time to how to prepare your CV, Marianna Schaffer offers tips on how to apply to grants for artists. (Creative Independent)

“I write books hoping that people like me will one day be part of the canon, even if its defenders would never welcome us.” Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrant and minority writers should be included in the canon. (Washington Post

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! NPR offers a guide to the best deals and books.