Poets on Video, Writer Saves Work From Burning Home, 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:

At the Poetry Foundation, Austin Allen considers the history of poetry in the age of YouTube. “What videos give poetry fans above all are performances: windows onto authors’ conceptions of pieces we’ve carried in our own heads; cadences we never detected on the page; obscure material, curiosities, ‘extras.’”

In a risky move to save his art, a writer in New Orleans ran into his burning home yesterday to rescue his laptop, which contained two of his completed novel manuscripts. (Associated Press)

At BOMB, Valeria Luiselli speaks with fellow Mexican fiction writer Laia Jufresa about her latest novel, Umami, and the use of empathy in writing fiction. “I think good narrative comes from observing the world and what happens inside yourself,” Jufresa says. “The opportunity to move in and out of two realities, your inner world and the world outside of you, is what I find fascinating about writing.”

On Wednesday, Carla Hayden was sworn in as the fourteenth librarian of congress. Hayden is the first woman and the first African American in the library’s history to hold the position. (New York Times

Poet Louise Glück and fiction writer James McBride are among the recipients of the 2015 National Humanities Medals. President Barack Obama will present the awards during a ceremony at the White House on September 22.

“This is a new now. This museum feels like the benefits reaped from decades of institutionalized black studies, which of course built on many more decades of great black scholarship.” Poet Elizabeth Alexander celebrates the forthcoming opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (Washington Post Magazine)

Ursula K. Le Guin reflects on her early writing years and her attempts to sell her first novels. “My first attempt at a novel, begun in a tiny notebook in Paris in 1951…was intrepid, immodest, and unwise.” (Paris Review)