PEN/Faulkner Finalists, James Wood on Modern Literary Criticism, 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:

“Sometimes I think I’ve lost my nerve a little bit. I think it’s growing older, and a certain reservoir of anger literally runs out. That’s fine. So you’re not doing manifestos and slaying people any more. You’re wiser and more generous, and you’re trying to write yourself, and have had the experience of being reviewed yourself.” New Yorker book critic James Wood talks with the Guardian about his changing attitude towards literary criticism, takedowns he regrets, and his latest novel, Upstate.

Hernan Diaz, Samantha Hunt, Achy Obejas, Joan Silber, and Jesmyn Ward have been named the finalists for the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award. The annual $15,000 prize is given for a book of fiction published in the previous year. (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, Yale University has announced the eight recipients of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prizes. The winners, who will each receive a $165,000 to honor their literary achievement and promise, include poets Lorna Goodison and Cathy Park Hong, fiction writer John Keene, and nonfiction writer Sarah Bakewell. Read more at the G&A Blog.

In even more award news, Lambda Literary has announced the finalists for its thirtieth annual awards, given to LGBTQ writers of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, mystery, romance, graphic novels, and more.

Finally, John Farrell has won the 2018 New York-Historical Society’s $50,000 book prize for his biography of Richard Nixon. (ABC News)

Jonathan Karp has been promoted to president and publisher of Simon & Schuster adult publishing, where he will oversee all of the division’s adult trade imprints: Atria Books, Gallery Books, Scribner, Simon & Schuster, and Touchstone. Karp’s appointment comes a little more than a month after the abrupt departure of Judith Carr, the former publisher of Atria Books. (Publishers Weekly)

Inside Higher Ed checks in with nonprofit Books@Work, which brings college professors into workplaces to lead book discussions with adults and encourage them to keep reading.