Poetry Foundation Appoints New President, Writer Documentaries, 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:

The Chicago–based Poetry Foundation has announced the appointment of Henry S. Bienen as its new president. Bienen, who currently serves as president emeritus of Northwestern University, has served as the Foundation’s interim president since July. “In the midst of conducting a thorough and open search for president that yielded many excellent prospects, the board saw that Henry’s enthusiasm, experience, and deep connections in Chicago and beyond made him a clear choice for this position,” said board chair Dick Kiphart.

In an interview with People, President Barack Obama named Lauren Groff’s novel Fates and Furies as his favorite book of 2015. Michelle Obama chose Elizabeth Alexander’s memoir, The Light of the World, as her favorite book of the year. (Yahoo! News)

Vanity Fair features an interview with late literary agent Carmen Balcells about discovering Gabriel García Márquez, and the history behind his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. The interview was conducted just weeks before Balcells’s death in September. She was eighty-five.

“What I love is the ripeness of the language. Dylan Thomas would have been thrown out of the MFA class.” Novelist Kevin Barry discusses the inspiration he finds in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, in the way that Thomas pushes “language to the extent of what it can do on the page.” Barry’s latest novel, Beatlebone, won the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. (Atlantic)

At Rookie, poet Eileen Myles talks about her new book, I Must Be Living Twice, as well as the reissue of her 1994 novel, Chelsea Girls.

Some of the year’s best-selling books were equally loved and hated by the critics. The New Republic provides a guide to 2015’s most polarizing titles, including Jonathan Franzen’s Purity, Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, and Garth Risk Hallberg’s City on Fire.

From Margaret Atwood to J. D. Salinger, Paste lists eighteen of the best documentaries about writers for your viewing pleasure.