Poetry Foundation Provides Update on Community Commitments, Elizabeth Poliner on “Endings That Change Everything,” 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 Poetry Foundation has issued an update on its progress toward “becoming a more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and transparent organization,” following up on the goals outlined in its “Open Letter of Commitment to Our Community,” which was published just over a year ago. While emphasizing that the work is ongoing, the organization notes it has completed an equity audit, appointed more people of color to the staff and board, and issued $2 million in emergency grants to help poetry and arts organizations endure the pandemic.

“The effect of these ‘endings that change everything,’ as I’m calling them, is to radically enlarge a given story while at the same time resolving it.” Elizabeth Poliner writes about the art of “endings that change everything,” praising stories by Anton Chekhov and Alice Munro. (Literary Hub)

Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman discuss collaborating to write their debut novel, The Very Nice Box. “I couldn’t have written this book alone, and if I had tried it would’ve taken me ten years,” says Gleichman. “More people should do this. When you have another smart voice in the room, good things happen.” (BOMB)

Lucy Ives recommends embracing that writing is a struggle. “It’s like playing the piano or something like that. You have to stay with it to be able to do it well, or be happy with what you’re doing.” (Creative Independent)

“As everywhere, queer, trans, and intersex writers of color have been underrepresented in the British narrative.” Paul Mendez, the author of Rainbow Milk, celebrates nine works of Black British queer fiction. (Electric Literature)

“I started writing about my trauma in other ways, in ways that weren’t boring or obvious to me.” Brandon Taylor reflects on the limits of identitarian writing. (AnOther)

“I’m growing more interested in the inadequacy of our views of other people—in fiction and in life.” Sally Rooney discusses her story “Unread Messages,” which was excerpted from her novel Beautiful World, Where Are You for the New Yorker.

Erroll McDonald will begin acquiring exclusively for Knopf, shifting gears after serving three decades as an acquiring editor for both Pantheon and Knopf. (Publishers Lunch)