Poets Laureate Fellowships Announced, Tolkien Estate Disowns Biopic, 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.

This morning the Academy of American Poets announced the recipients of its inaugural Poets Laureate Fellowships. The thirteen recipients of the grants, which range from $50,000 to $100,000, are Grace Cavalieri of Maryland; Molly Fisk of Nevada County in California; Jaki Shelton Green of North Carolina; Fred L. Joiner of Carrboro, North Carolina; Robin Coste Lewis of Los Angeles; Claudia Castro Luna of Washington State; Ed Madden of Columbia, South Carolina; Adrian Matejka of Indiana; Jeanetta Calhoun Mish of Oklahoma; Paisley Rekdal of Utah; Raquel Salas Rivera of Philadelphia; Kim Shuck of San Francisco; and TC Tolbert of Tucson, Arizona. (Poets & Writers)

The estate of J. R. R. Tolkien has disavowed a forthcoming biopic about the author, saying they “do not endorse it or its content in any way.” The film, directed by Dome Karukoski and starring Nicholas Hoult, promises to explore the novelist and scholar’s formative years. (Guardian)

Lebanese author Hoda Barakat has won the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for her novel The Night Mail. She is the second woman to have won the $50,000 prize. (Publishers Weekly)

“The brain on deadline does whatever it can: It improvises, it compresses, it contrives, it uses the language and the ideas that are at hand.” At the Atlantic, James Parker considers the athleticism of American sports writing in a new anthology of classic columns.

The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry has named French Canadian poet, essayist, and novelist Nicole Brossard winner of its 2019 Lifetime Recognition Award.

The race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination must be getting serious: Candidates Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Joe Biden have all declared their passion for James Joyce’s Ulysses. (New Yorker)

At Grub Street, Ecco publisher Daniel Halpern discusses working with Anthony Bourdain for two decades. Ecco will publish a tribute to the food writer, Anthony Bourdain Remembered, in May.

“It’s impossible for award committees to evade the potential political and social conflicts that permeate every point in the process—honoring the work, honoring the life, honoring the career. But they can at least be prepared.” At the Washington Post, Maureen Corrigan considers the retraction of lifetime achievement awards and our vexed understanding of what it means to be “worthy.”