On Not Reading, Roald Dahl Day, 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:

Today is Roald Dahl Day, which marks the centenary of the renowned author’s birth. Celebrations around the world will be held today and throughout the week, including a large arts celebration in the author’s hometown of Cardiff, Wales. More than 200 million copies of Dahl’s books have been sold worldwide, and have been translated into fifty-nine languages. (Itv.com, BBC News)

The shortlist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize has been announced. This year’s finalists for the £50,000 prize include American novelists Paul Beatty and Ottessa Moshfegh; U.K. writers Graeme Macrae Burnet and Deborah Levy; and Canadian authors David Szalay and Madeleine Thien.

Kazim Ali, an editor and writer of both poetry and prose, speaks about balancing teaching, writing, and editing, as well his influences and interdisciplinary approaches to writing. (DiveDapper)

The National Endowment for the Arts published their Annual Arts Basic Survey last month, which revealed that 2015 marked the first year in thirty-three research cycles that the percentage of adults who read literature fell below 45 percent to 43 percent. (Electric Literature

“Trusting the literary press and the mechanisms of the market to curate the books we read and study is to hand over whole regions of literary curiosity and judgment before one even picks up a book.” Author and professor Amy Hungerford makes an argument for nonreading. (Chronicle Review)

Association of American Publishers President and CEO Tom Allen will retire next year after seven years in the position. The organization has grown to nearly four hundred member organizations under Allen’s leadership.

Novelist Lionel Shriver’s keynote remarks at Australia’s Brisbane Writers Festival over the weekend sparked a public backlash that led to the censorship of her speech on the festival website and a disavowal of her speech by festival officials. The American author criticized anti–cultural appropriation efforts and defended her “right to depict members of minority groups in any situation, if it served her artistic purposes,” which offended many audience members. (New York Times