On Being Octavia Butler’s Neighbor, NYPL Launches Publishing Imprint, 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:

“I dwell on the memory of my missteps, marveling, for example, at the naiveté that led me to invite Butler, a Hugo and Nebula winner, to join my friends and me at our science fiction book club.” Sheila Liming reflects on her time as a neighbor of famed writer Octavia Butler. (Public Books)

Actress Cynthia Nixon talks about playing the role of Emily Dickinson in director Terence Davies’ new biopic, A Quiet Passion, and her own fascination with the famous poet. (Signature)

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is partnering with Macmillan to launch a publishing imprint inspired by the library’s collections. The imprint will release five to eight books per year. Tony Manx, president of the NYPL, says the project will “celebrate the role of libraries with the public.” (Guardian)

Another Macmillan partnership, this time with actor and late-night host Jimmy Fallon, will donate $1 million to First Book, a nonprofit that distributes books and educational resources to children from low-income families. (PRNewswire)

Twenty nonprofit poetry organizations across the United States have come together to form the Poetry Coalition, an organization dedicated to promoting poetry in American culture through public projects and programs. (Publishers Weekly)

In the latest installment of Electric Literature’s advice column Blunt Instrument, Elisa Gabbert considers a question about continuing to pursue a writing career in the face of a Trump presidency, and whether personal literary ambition is currently a “form of self-care or apolitical careerism.”

Meanwhile, the Association of American Publishers has sent an open letter to the president-elect, stressing the importance of the book and journal publishing industry. “U.S. publishers need a common sense assurance that their ability to obtain a fair return on capital investments in competitive markets will not be thwarted by flawed federal laws and court decisions.”