Oxford Dictionary’s New Words, Herrera Speaks Out, 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:

At a reading at Emory University last Sunday, U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera warned against the risks of the country becoming a “border-securitizing machine” and urged the country to resist fear. “We have to just get out of our personal cultural boxes and talk, then create, and then respond,” he said. “You and I might disagree, but let’s get to the core of it.” (Emory Wheel)

In the most recent episode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast, listen to Herrera read a poem and discuss breaking down borders in his keynote address at Poets & Writers Live in San Francisco in mid January.

“Craptacular” (remarkably poor and disappointing), “aquafaba” (water in which chickpeas or other pulses have been cooked), and “haterade”(excessive negativity) are among the new words added to Oxford Dictionaries online. The content team behind the dictionary noted that many of the new words represent the growing “convergence of high-level politics and online language.” (Guardian)

At the New York Times, Chelsea Clinton talks about her favorite books; looking up to Meg Murry, the protagonist of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time; the “energizing and enervating” force of Svetlana Alexievich’s writing; and her ideal literary dinner party.

Yesterday twenty-four senators—twenty Democrats, two Republicans, and two independents—sent a letter to President Trump urging him to not defund the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. (Hyperallergic)

The Rumpus interviews poet Eileen Myles about her reading style, the “endlessly complicated discourse” of feminism, and the relationship between poetry and comedy.

“My self is not up for grabs—confusing me with my narrator is a failure of your imagination, not mine.” Julie Buntin writes about her debut novel, Marlena, and the struggle to separate fact from fiction. (Catapult)

The Washington Post reviews Kay Redfield Jamison’s new book, Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire, which explores the relationship between Robert Lowell’s artistic genius and his manic depression.

Artist Josh Begley has compiled a time-lapse video of every front page of the New York Times from 1852 to the present, which shows landmarks in the newspaper’s development, including when the newspaper dropped the hyphen from the “New-York Times” in 1896 and when the first color photograph appeared in 1997. (Kottke.org)