Poetry and Standardized Tests, the Shakespeare Detective, 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:

Poet Sara Holbrook writes about being unable to answer questions about her own poems on a Texas state standardized test. “Any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich,” Holbrook says. (Washington Post)

“This gathering of his work…comes at a needed time when the American identity, especially the working class identity, seems to have disappeared, no longer visible beneath traditional banners of party politics and Democratic loyalties.” Thomas Curwen considers two new poetry collections by the late Philip Levine, who died in 2015. (Los Angeles Times)

Heather Wolfe, Elizabethan manuscript scholar and Folger Shakespeare Library curator, has made valuable discoveries about the identity and character of William Shakespeare. (Guardian)

Fiction writer Yaa Gyasi talks about her acclaimed debut novel, Homegoing, writing about slavery, and the complicated idea of “home.”  (Guardian)

Literary Hub features a survey of books that have been called the “Great American Novel.”

In Seattle, Donald Vass is the Kings County Library’s last book mender, a fading trade across many library systems. (New York Times)

Bruce Miller, executive producer of the forthcoming television series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, discusses the differences between the novel and the series. Atwood served as consulting producer for the series, which premieres April 26 on Hulu. (Wrap)