Poem-a-Day Will Highlight Black Writers, Resignations Continue at National Book Critics Circle, and More

by Staff

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.

The Academy of American Poets has invited six new guest editors to select and publish work by Black poets for its Poem-a-Day series throughout the summer. In a press release, the organization wrote, “These new curatorial partnerships are part of the Academy’s ongoing work to make unequivocally clear the essential and influential contributions that Black poets have made and make to American poetry.” The six editors are Major Jackson, January Gill O’Neil, Mahogany L. Browne, Marilyn Nelson, A. H. Jerriod Avant, and Nicole Sealey. 

Resignations continue to rock the National Book Critics Circle. Vulture reports that, at last count, only ten members of the twenty-four-person board of directors remain. Board members have all resigned for different reasons: Some resigned in solidarity with Hope Wabuke—who called out anti-Blackness and racism within the organization’s leadership, particularly in statements made by board member Carlin Romano—while others resigned in protest of her actions, arguing Wabuke had broken the organization’s bylaws by sharing internal documents; some members disagreed with separate aspects of how the organization handled the episode.

Amistad Press has launched #BlackoutBestsellerList and #BlackPublishingPower, a social campaign to celebrate Black authors. Imagined and developed by editorial director Tracy Sherrod, the campaign seeks to flood best-seller lists with books by Black writers to “demonstrate our power and clout in the publishing industry.” Readers are encouraged to participate by buying any two books by Black writers between June 14 and June 20. (Publishers Weekly)

“It’s been eerie for me to see people describing the book as timely, because when I was writing it, I didn’t think about it that way.” Brit Bennett discusses her new novel, The Vanishing Half, and asking readers to not look away. (Vulture)

Camille Dungy reflects on false eyelashes and butterfly rearing, beauty and fragility. “Her lashes were black and long and wet with what she will never unsee.” (Paris Review Daily)

Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado, and Thomas Page McBee consider the meaning of pride, and share their personal journeys within the queer community. (New York Times)

Novelist Daniel Peña shares dispatches from the protests in Houston. “Though you come with rage you see how everyone around you has converted that rage into light. Everywhere there’s light.” (Literary Hub)

The winners of the Georgia Author of the Year Awards have been announced. Among the honorees, Malcolm Tariq’s Heed the Hollow won in the full-length poetry category and Heather Christle’s The Crying Book won for memoir. 

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the Society of Authors for hosting #PoetsInLockdown, a Twitter campaign that invites writers to share “tips, advice, and inspiration.” The conversation is scheduled to take place throughout the day today.