Nomadic Press Earns First Annual Constellation Prize, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on Her Past and Future, 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.

In a press release, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses revealed that Nomadic Press has won the first annual Constellation Award. The $10,000 prize honors “an independent literary press that is led by and/or champions the writing of people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American & Pacific Islander individuals, for excellence in publishing.” According to its mission statement, the press “aims to build community among artists across disciplines.”

“Chicago Public is where I really understood more about what public libraries could and should be.” Carla Hayden reflects on her Chicago roots and her priorities for the remainder of her term as Librarian of Congress. (Chicago Tribune)

R. O. Kwon continues her annual tradition of curating an extensive list of books by women of color due out in the coming year. This year’s preview features sixty-one titles, including new work from Imani Perry, Namwali Serpell, and Weike Wang. (Electric Literature)

For Overlooked—a New York Times series dedicated to “remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in the Times”—Dan Saltzstein considers the legacy of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and her book Dictee. “I don’t think Theresa would ever imagine her book would survive this long and have this much influence,” her brother John tells Saltzstein. Cha was raped and murdered in 1982, when she was just thirty-one.

“Reading hooks transformed my thinking on a bevy of subjects, including feminism, Buddhism, Christianity, celebrity, sex, romance, and the limits and possibilities of representation.” Niela Orr writes on how the late bell hooks transformed her understanding of how to live. hooks died in December. (Paris Review Daily)

“The goal was to help a reader not just to know interconnectedness intellectually, but to feel it.” Anthony Doerr discusses exploring time and interconnectedness in his latest novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

 “The book was a love letter to my culture, if that makes sense. I was never going to be the person waving a big flag. That’s just not my personality. But it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a flag waving in my heart.” Xochitl Gonzalez talks representing Puerto Ricanness in her debut novel, Olga Dies Dreaming. (Cut)

JoAnne Banducci, who was named interim director of University of Nevada Press in March 2020, has been promoted to director. (Shelf Awareness)