Pitt Poetry Series Editor Ed Ochester Retires, Raven Leilani’s Luster Picked Up for Television, and More

by Staff
10.26.21

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

After more than four decades at the helm of the Pitt Poetry Series at the University of Pittsburgh Press, Ed Ochester has retired. Fellow poet Toi Derricotte praised his legacy, stating Ochester “had a vision of twenty-first century American poetry in 1978 and, award-winning book by award-winning book, went about making it happen.” A search is underway for the next series editor. (Shelf Awareness)

Raven Leilani’s Luster is being adapted into a television series for HBO. The project will be spearheaded by two production companies, Gaumont and Viva Maude, the latter of which is led by renown actress Tessa Thompson. (Deadline)

“In times of chaos, it is the arts and humanities that grant us the knowledge and the insight to understand what we are experiencing in the world around us.” In an op-ed for USA Today, Elizabeth Alexander, the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, writes about the value and urgency of the arts, including how they can offer “a new path forward from our global emergencies.”

“Something I love about friendship as a relationship model is its capaciousness: a friend can be so much to one person, a mentor, a confidante, family, a lover, a ride or die. It’s so rich with possibility!” Derrick Austin discusses celebrating friendship in his latest poetry collection, Tenderness. (Rumpus)

“One of the interesting things about the novel, before America got its hands on it, is that it was really just a bunch of pages. What might be on them, while it frequently met certain requirements, could potentially consist of almost anything.” Author and artist James Hannaham champions flexibility when it comes to form. (Kirkus)

“Thanks to Goosebumps, I’ve been able to replace some of the real horrors of the past year with fears outlandish enough to laugh at.” Madelyne Xiao writes about revisiting R. L. Stine’s Goosebump series and how fears evolve with age. (New York Times Magazine)

The Asian American Writers Workshop hosted a roundtable with five New York City teachers on facilitating lessons around 9/11 and bringing Asian American literature into the conversation.

The six finalists for this year’s Booker Prize, including Patricia Lockwood and Richard Powers, look back on the origins of their shortlisted novels. (Guardian)