Novelist Porochista Khakpour on Immigration Ban, Poetry in Protest, 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 poem] is particularly attuned to the needs of the modern protest: It offers wisdom about the evils of the past, in an attempt to prevent more evils of the future. To use its language is to claim an understanding of history.” Megan Garber considers how Martin Niemöller’s post-Holocaust poem, “First They Came,” is used in current protests. (Atlantic)

Meanwhile, Iranian American novelist Porochista Khakpour responds to the president’s executive order over the weekend banning entry into the United States for people from seven Muslim-majority countries. “What is going to happen to this country, what will they do to my other country? You can be a refugee once, I’ve always thought, but how to be one twice?” (CNN)

“Thirty-five poets, / thirty-five howls, can you hear them, America?” United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera introduces Poems for Political Disaster, a new chapbook from Boston Review, which grew out of reactions to the election. The chapbook features poems from Jorie Graham, Major Jackson, Solmaz Sharif, Monica Youn, and others.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, but if you’re not in the mood for love poetry, check out these poetry collections in translation on themes other than love, including biography, travel, and history. (Book Riot)

As it turns out, Bob Dylan is not the first songwriter to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Rabindranath Tagore, a Calcutta-born poet, artist, and prolific songwriter, was awarded the prize in 1913. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Actress Christina Ricci discusses her role as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda Fitzgerald in the new Amazon original series Z: The Beginning of Everything, and the marriage between the author and his muse. “[Zelda] really was made to feel like if she left him, she would be the woman who ruined F. Scott Fitzgerald. Little did she know she was going to be blamed for that anyway.” (Vulture)

Isaac Zisman looks into why the American Society of Magazine Editors omitted the fiction category from its 2017 National Magazine Awards for the first time in fifty years. (Millions)