Poets Receive Pew Center Support, Publishers Weekly Selects Best Books of 2020, 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 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has selected forty-one recipients for its 2020 grants and fellowships, which support “the Philadelphia region’s artists and cultural organizations for exceptional programs, events, and artistic work.” Among this year’s literary honorees are poets Airea D. Matthews and Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, who each received $75,000 fellowships. Meanwhile, Girard College earned a project grant to support a musical adaptation of Ross Gay’s most recent poetry collection, Be Holding

The editors at Publishers Weekly have selected their top ten books of 2020. Among the honorees are Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, and A Saint From Texas by Edmund White. The magazine also named its top fifty titles for young readers. 

“It’s about love before it’s about addiction.” Douglas Stuart talks to the New York Times about the mother-son bond at the heart of his debut novel, Shuggie Bain, which is a finalist for the Booker Prize, the National Book Award for Fiction, and the Kirkus Prize for Fiction. 

“People are very curious about me writing in my sixties and seventies, but actually I’d written those stories all along.” Vivian Gibson talks to the Rumpus about her lifelong writing practice and bringing her stories together in her memoir, The Last Children of Mill Creek

Gibson appears in the fifth annual 5 Over 50 feature in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine

“The entirety of The Hole feels like a dream. What grabs most readers, it seems, is not any particular scene, but the atmosphere.” David Boyd, the translator of Hiroko Oyamada’s The Hole, reflects on the author’s unique writing style. (Literary Hub)

“It took these twenty years for me to live through the experiences that ended up being the unifying themes of Violets.” Nancy Naomi Carlson, the author of An Infusion of Violets, reflects on time, inspiration, and voice. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

“I like puns. I like exploring the dictionary. I just focused on enjoying myself.” Kim Min Jeong on the value of poetic individuality. (Margins)

The New York Public Library recommends four new works of historical fiction, including The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline and Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy.